National Human Resources Survey of Clinical Neurophysiologists in Canada
Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Background:Although electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG) and evoked potential (EP) studies are common investigation tools for patients with neurologic illnesses, no formal data on the manpower supply in Canada exists. Because of the importance of these on training requirements and future planning, the purpose of this study was to establish a comprehensive profile of the human resources situation in clinical neurophysiological services across Canada.Methods:A questionnaire was
... uestionnaire was sent to all clinical neurophysiologists in Canada. To capture the maximal number of respondents, a total of three rounds of mail out were done. In addition, to obtain accurate demographic data on supporting technologists, a separate survey was also carried out by the Association of Electrophysiological Technologists of Canada.Results:Of the 450 clinical neurophysiologists identified and surveyed, the provincial response rate was 59±14% (mean±SD). Of these, the vast majority practiced in urban centres. There was substantial regional disparity in different provinces. While the wait time for most EEG and EP laboratories was less than six weeks, the wait time for EMG was substantially longer. With the age of the largest number of practitioners in their sixth decade, projected retirement over the next 15 years was 58%. The demographic distribution of the supporting technologists showed a similar trend.Conclusions:In addition to considerable regional disparity and urban/rural divide, a large percentage of clinical neurophysiologists and supporting technologists planned to retire within the coming decade. To ensure secure and high standard services to Canadians, solutions to fill this void are urgently needed.