I am writing regarding the article “The hospitalist program: A new specialty on the horizon in acute care medicine,” BCMJ 2003;45(8):391-394.
It occurs to me that the hospitalist program is well intentioned, however, wrongly staffed; I explain: staffing the hospitals with general practitioners from the community at large only exacerbates the very problem that it is supposed to help, the orphaned patients. In fact, it takes away from general practice the very physicians who are in greatest demand, those who can truly treat all patients, regardless of their age and medical problem. I instead believe that the hospitalist program should be staffed with those physicians who are waiting in the queue to enter the IMG (International Medical Graduate) credentialing system in BC, of whom there are many doing menial jobs and wasting their expertise waiting for a chance. What better medium than a hospital, where they can be assessed by their peers, sharpen their medical and language skills, and work under supervision, as well as make a decent wage with which to have a proper start in Canada?
Too bad the Ministry of Health and/or the College do not see this superb opportunity for what it really is: a way to assess and register the foreign physicians among our population, giving them at the same time a way to make a start here and provide to those approved a way to enter our exceedingly inflexible medical system. The proposal, if implemented, would surely go a good way to providing more physician bodies to help in these times of serious depletion amongst our ranks, both specialists and general practitioners.
—Alex Porzecanski, MD
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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.
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