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Are we headed for a shortage of burn care providers in Canada?
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Are we headed for a shortage of burn care providers in Canada?

Burns. 2018 06;44(4):1000-1004

Authors: Vrouwe SQ, Jeschke MG, Fish JS

INTRODUCTION: Specialized burn care is categorized as an essential component in the criteria for provincial/state and regional trauma systems. Studies in the United States and New Zealand found a need for more burn surgeons and anticipated a severe shortage in the future. The purpose of this study is to describe the current active workforce of burn surgeons in Canada and forecast any perceived shortages in the future.
METHODS: Burn care providers were identified from each metropolitan area across Canada. A survey was modified from a previous study and distributed electronically via SurveyMonkey™ to representatives from 26 centres.
RESULTS: Twenty-six centres responded to the questionnaire (response rate=100%). Four of these centres self-identified as providing dedicated burn care, 19 identified themselves as being integrated into surgical programs at their institution, and two stated they no longer treated burn injuries. The mean number of acute burn admissions per year was 67.2 (range 2-290). Of the centres admitting over 75 burns per year, 44% (4/9) are currently looking for a surgeon, 56% (5/9) will be looking for another surgeon in five years, and 44% (4/9) are having or feel they will have trouble finding a surgeon to manage burns.
DISCUSSION: Canada is facing a shortage of burn care specialists similar to other developed nations. Active mentorship of surgical trainees is essential to maintain the delivery of high quality of burn care in Canada.

PMID: 29395411 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]