NZ medical workforce data.

The latest NZ residents doctors association newsletter included some interesting statistics regarding the current medical workforce.

Of interest are the average age of the SMOs/Consultants/Attendings working in the various fields. The Muscloskeletal medical docs being the oldest of the bunch and NZ EM doctors coming out as the relative whippersnappers.

The table also includes the number of trainees to SMOs. This is affected by a number of factors. Many fields simply do not have very many training positions within New Zealand. Others are very popular such as EM/Paeds and Urgent care and have capacity for larger numbers of trainees. This is often due to the service provision that trainees are able to provide to District health boards and private employers whilst completing their training.

Discipline

SMO Average  Age

Vocational Trainees /# SMO

Musculoskeletal Medicine

59.59

-

Medical Administration

57.50

-

Palliative Medicine

57.07

0.13

Occupational Medicine

54.67

-

Sexual Health Medicine

54.44

0.22

Rehabilitation Medicine

53.95

0.23

Paediatric Surgery

53.78

0.11

Pain Medicine

53.69

-

Cardiothoracic Surgery

53.32

0.32

Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery

53.11

0.15

General Practice

52.96

0.23

Vascular Surgery

52.55

0.23

Family Planning and Reproductive Health

52.50

-

Neurosurgery

52.50

0.20

Dermatology

52.22

0.07

Obstetrics & Gynaecology

52.22

0.40

Psychiatry

52.08

0.26

General Surgery

51.57

0.03

Orthopaedic Surgery

51.05

0.23

Internal Medicine

51.00

0.46

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

51.00

0.26

Public Health Medicine

50.93

0.02

Pathology

50.88

0.18

Accident & Medical Practice/Urgent Care

50.81

0.98

Urology

50.73

0.17

Ophthalmology

50.64

0.17

Radiation Oncology

49.62

0.40

Rural Hospital Medicine

49.28

0.18

Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery

49.27

0.29

Diagnostic & Interventional Radiology

49.24

0.19

Intensive Care Medicine

49.16

0.22

Paediatrics (General Paediatric)

49.13

0.44

Anaesthesia

48.97

0.31

Sports Medicine

48.61

-

Clinical Genetics

45.33

0.17

Emergency Medicine

45.04

0.74

 

 Perhaps our SMOs could continue their careers a little longer like Leila Denmark who practiced until she was 104 years old!

 

Assault in hospital.

Sadly assaults both verbal and physical  are a common occurance in hospitals around the world. A recent survey in the NZMJ confirms the amazing prevelance. Nurses are more at risk than doctors as they spend more time in promixity to patients. With those working in psychiatry and in emergency departments being at the highest risk.

Despite these rates it seems to be an accepted part of the job that the odd patient will attempt to punch/hit/kick/spit on you or more commonly verbally abuse you for any number of reasons. In my experience it is very rare that a patient is prosecuted for their behaviour. Often colleagues are dissuaded from taking matters further even after being assaulted.

Perhaps a police liaison such as those being introduced at Blackburn hospital would make a change. Having the local constabulary visit the department and offering the patient the choice between settling down or visiting the cells has been almost universally effective in getting patients to comply with requested standards of behaviour.

The last word i will leave to Paul Quigley from Wellington Hospital ED:

“There are mentally ill patients, others are under the influence, and some people are just arseholes”

Refs:

NZMJ article http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/127-1394/6125/

Thoughts from mike ardargh http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/10074792/Hospital-staff-under-attack

Blackburn (WARNING Daily mail link) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2591479/Hospital-A-amp-E-unit-gets-time-POLICE-station-patients-violent-abusive.html

 

Going back to school.

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