To describe the current state of academic emergency medicine (EM) funding in Canada and develop recommendations to grow and establish sustainable funding.
A panel of eight leaders from different EM academic units was assembled. Using mixed methods (including a literature review, sharing of professional experiences, a survey of current EM academic heads, and data previously collected from an environmental scan), 10 recommendations were drafted and presented at an academic symposium. Attendee feedback was incorporated, and the second set of draft recommendations was further distributed to the Canadian Association Emergency Physicians (CAEP) Academic Section for additional comments before being finalized.
Recommendations were developed around the funding challenges identified and solutions developed by academic EM university-based units across Canada. A strategic plan was seen as integral to achieving strong funding of an EM unit, especially when it aligned with departmental and institutional priorities. A business plan, although occasionally overlooked, was deemed an important component for planning and sustaining the academic mission. A number of recommendations surrounding philanthropy consisted of creating partnerships with existing foundations and engaging multiple stakeholders and communities. Synergy between academic and clinical EM departments was also viewed as an opportunity to ensure integration of common missions. Education and networking for current and future leaders were also viewed as invaluable to ensure that opportunities are optimized through strong leadership development and shared experiences to further the EM academic missions across the country.
These recommendations were designed to improve the financial circumstances for many Canadian EM units. There is a considerable wealth of resources that can contribute to financial stability for an academic unit, and an annual networking meeting and continuing education on these issues will facilitate more rapid implementation of these recommendations.