Current Issues

There are always a number of current issues impacting orthopaedic surgeons and their ability to deliver the best musculoskeletal care possible to Canadians. The COA tries to keep our finger on the pulse and brief members regularly on issues impacting the field, advocacy initiatives and collaborations with other organizations.

If you have a concern that you think the COA should be following or reporting on, please feel free to contact policy@canorth.org.

Current issues that the COA is addressing right now include:

Wait Times and Access to Orthopaedic Care

Many Canadians wait too long for access to musculoskeletal care. The COA strives to promote access to timely, appropriate orthopaedic care, and therefore continues to meet with government representatives to advocate for the adoption of innovative models of care. The COA also believes that national standards for appropriate wait times are important.

To learn more, click here to access COA Continues to Advocate for Access to Orthopaedic Care’, by Dr. Peter MacDonald, COA President (COA Spring Bulletin, 2017).

Position Statement on Access to Orthopaedic Care 

Intimate Partner Violence and EDUCATE Training Program for Fracture Clinics

Research has found that one out of every six women who present to fracture clinics has experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) in the past 12 months and that one out of every 50 women attending fracture clinics is there to receive treatment for an injury that was sustained as a direct result of IPV. Because of this, the COA, the Centre for Evidence-Based Orthopaedics at McMaster University, and a team of clinician-researchers from across Canada and the United States have partnered to raise awareness about IPV victimization and provide orthopaedic surgeons and allied health care professionals (HCPs) with education on how to respond to IPV. This is being accomplished through several initiatives including a new training program called EDUCATE. The EDUCATE program is designed to empower orthopaedic surgeons and allied health care providers with the knowledge and skills required to successfully identify and assist women in fracture clinics who have been victimized by IPV. The program is currently being implemented and evaluated at select fracture clinics.  Based on the evaluation, the program will be refined and made available nationally in summer of 2018.

To learn more, click here to access ‘Intimate Partner Violence: What Canadian Orthopaedic Surgeons Need to Know!’ (COA Spring Bulletin, 2017).

Intimate Partner Violence Position Statement and Best Practice Recommendations (and IPV Resources Appendix) – 2017

EDUCATE training program in the news:

Fight against domestic violence calls on orthopedic clinics (Montreal Gazette; April 8, 2017)

Diagnosing domestic violence: N.L. surgeons learn how to spot the signs (CBC News; April 12, 2017)

Unemployed and Underemployed Orthopaedic Surgeons

Despite long wait times for patients to receive musculoskeletal care, and an aging population which will further strain the health care system, there is an unacceptably high rate of unemployment among orthopaedic graduates. This poses a serious threat to the quality of patient care and to surgeons’ personal and professional wellbeing. The ever-increasing number of graduates unable to find employment in Canada are faced with chronic locum experiences and serial fellowships, and many are turning to job opportunities abroad.

To learn more, click here to access ‘Patients Continue to Wait… and Orthopaedic Surgeons Continue to Languish in Unemployment – The Status of Orthopaedic Unemployment in Canada’ (COA Winter Bulletin, 2016).