Quebec gained 345 physicians in 2021, according to the College des medecins

Quebec had 345 more doctors on Dec. 31 than on the same date the previous year, bringing the total number of doctors on the province's college of physicians registry to 25,176.

In its annual report, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press, the Collège des médecins du Québec indicates that 172 family physicians and 157 specialists were added to its workforce last year. In addition, 16 physicians held a defined-use permit, which means that their right to practice is restricted to a specific institution, usually in a region, or that they cannot perform certain professional acts reserved for the practice of medicine.

Of the total number of registrants, however, approximately 10 per cent are inactive but remain registered, either because they are on parental leave, fellowship, sabbatical, sick leave or retirement.

REGIONAL DISPARITIES

Regionally, the Montérégie region shows by far the largest increase, with an addition of 68 physicians, specialists and general practitioners combined.

The Montreal and Laval regions follow with additions of 46 and 45 physicians, respectively. The Laurentians (36), Outaouais (30) and Quebec City (22) regions followed.

Two regions, however, suffered losses: Nord-Québec, which lost five physicians, and Bas-Saint-Laurent, which lost one.

Another interesting regional statistic is that Abitibi-Témiscamingue added the most physicians with a defined-use permit (13), followed by Côte-Nord and Laurentides (both 11). These are largely regional assignments by the Ministry of Health based on the Plans d'effectifs médicaux, or Medical Manpower Plans (PEM) for specialists and the Plans régionaux d'effectifs médicaux, or Regional Medical Manpower Plans (PREM) for family physicians. These plans are designed to ensure that regions and institutions have the required number of physicians to serve the population.

INCREASINGLY FEMALE PROFESSION

Women continue to dominate the medical profession, accounting for 53.4 per cent of the workforce (12,002) as of Dec. 31, 2021. Among postgraduate residents, there are 2,178 women (55.8 per cent).

Of the 21,970 physicians registered and practicing in Quebec, 85.6 per cent obtained their medical degree outside Canada or the United States. Only 3.7 per cent of them (806) are graduates of another province and 0.4 per cent were trained in the United States.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 19, 2022

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