The system bottleneck arises largely from the lack of resources (e.g. funding to hire full time surgeons, operation room resources, recovery beds, nursing support) allotted by the government to allow orthopaedic surgeons to treat patients in a timely manner. Canada has the lowest number of orthopaedic surgeons per capita in the G7 countries, at 3.5 (Statistics Canada, 2019; Canadian Orthopaedic Association, 2019) to 4.5 (Dell et al., 2019) orthopods per 100,000 people living in Canada.
The inadequate access to MSK care for Canadians in many regions is more perplexing when we consider the number of trained orthopaedic surgeons in Canada who are ready to work and yet are unemployed or underemployed. Keeping in mind variation by region, what follows is an overview of orthopaedic employment prospects now and over the next five years across the country. How are we really doing?