Recruitment in anaesthesia: results of two national surveys
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Two national surveys were conducted in order to understand better the dynamics of anaesthesia recruitment. The first survey documented undergraduate anaesthesia curricula in Canadian medical schools. Also documented was the number of students from each school entering anaesthesia at the first-year post-graduate level (PGY1) in 1993; the number was then correlated with the undergraduate anaesthesia exposure in that school. Although all medical schools offered anaesthesia electives, a wide variation existed in the annual total anaesthesia lecture time, the length of anaesthesia rotations and the level at which they occurred. There was no correlation between the number of students entering anaesthesia in 1993 and the aspects of anaesthesia exposure surveyed in the study. The second survey examined why anaesthesia residents choose the specialty. The reasons were grouped into five categories and residents were asked to select as many reasons as applicable. Respondents were also asked to indicate two or three principal reasons for choosing anaesthesia. Four reasons were found to be among both the most selected reasons and principal reasons for choosing anaesthesia: "Hands-on", "Time-off", "Physiology/Pharmacology", and "Immediate gratification". Five reasons were found to be among both the least selected reasons and principal reasons: "Research", "Role model", "Earning potential", "Technology", and "Pain management". It is concluded that anaesthesia recruitment is not related to the duration of undergraduate anaesthesia exposure but is influenced by technical, applied basic sciences and life-style factors.