Re: BC at GC: Why care?

In the October 2015 Pulsimeter item “BC at GC: Why care? (So long and thanks for the fish)” [BCMJ 2015;57:350], Dr Cadesky makes the following statement regarding the Doctors of BC delegation to the CMA General Council: “ongoing issues such as… health human resources (also known as Why Aren’t There Enough Jobs for Surgical Specialists?).” The statement deserves comment.

A call to action on health human resources was triggered by increasing complaints from specialists who failed to find jobs after completing their training. Note the absence of the term surgical in front of the word specialist as not only surgeons have reported difficulties. However, the statement fails to mention that there are also too few of certain specialists to address unfilled job positions. Note the absence of the words patient care needs. This seems to be a recurring theme in these discussions. Doctors worry about doctors with no mention of the bigger pictures of residency planning mismanagement and patient care. Medical students are turned away from specialties that are in need of physicians and directed toward specialties that have an overabundance of physicians. The ultimate tragedy is that patients are unable to access timely health care.

Why is this misalignment of resources happening? Is it just poor planning or a complete lack of planning? No matter the reason, it needs to be addressed immediately. And the health human resource management needs to be affordable, sustainable, and fit for the purpose.

There is a profound silence and lack of immediate effective action. The lack of data is decried, but the difference between no data and some data is quite obvious—some data will improve decision making. The difference between some data and enough data is not so clear but should not delay decisions. The Medical Human Resources Planning Task Force has no dermatology member, has never asked for dermatology input, and has never reported to dermatology. I suspect other specialties have the same experience. Let’s roll up our sleeves and work together.

The 2014 and 2015 National Physician Employment Summits hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada produced little of substance, so we need to think nationally but act provincially.
—Evert Tuyp, MD
President, BC Section of Dermatology

Evert Tuyp, MD, FRCPC. Re: BC at GC: Why care?. BCMJ, Vol. 58, No. 1, January, February, 2016, Page(s) 9 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply