Changes in career plans during medical training and practice: It's time to look ahead and act

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Major changes in physician-resource policies and in the structuring of medical licensure requirements in the past decade have resulted in a less flexible system with respect to both choosing and changing a career path in medicine. The survey results reported by Drs. Susan Shaw, Gordon Goplen and Donald S. Houston in this issue (see pages 1035 to 1038) indicate that a high percentage of physicians now practising in Saskatchewan changed their career plans after graduation. The author argues that this finding points to the need to re-examine the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate medical education. The present system needs to be made more flexible so that medical students can gain sufficient clinical experience before deciding on an area of practice and to give practising physicians who want to change specialties the option of retraining.

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