FHS Seminar Series - More primary care doctors but less primary care: The paradox of Canada’s perpetual doctor shortage

by Dr. Ruth Lavergne, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, SFU

April 05, 2018

Event Type

Seminar Series


April 05, 2018 at 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Blusson Hall, Room 9920


Accessible, high-quality, primary care is central to the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of health care systems. Canadian provinces have taken varied approaches to primary care reform over the past 15 years, but Canadians still struggle to access care where and when they need it and an ever-growing proportion is without a regular health care provider. While these reports imply a physician shortage, in fact there are more primary care physicians per capita than ever before. What explains the gap between growing per-capita physician supply and apparent unmet patient need?

This seminar will highlight research on changing practice patterns among primary care physicians that helps explain this gap and consider implications for health human resources planning. The seminar will conclude by discussing how different approaches to the organization and delivery of primary care might help bridge the gap to ensure all patients can access the care they need.


Ruth Lavergne is a quantitative researcher who uses observational methods and large administrative databases to examine health care delivery. Ruth leads research examining primary care reform and health human resources planning in British Columbia. Other research interests include mental health services, regional variation in health services delivery, and rural health. Ruth has methodological expertise in quasi-experimental research design and use of linked data in health research. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences in 2016 she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University. She completed her PhD at the University of British Columbia in 2015.


* This Seminar Series is open to the SFU Research Community.  

* This seminar will be available by webast and will be recorded . For webcast view here.

*  A light lunch will be available at this seminar.  

* The FHS Research Seminar Series is an Accredited Small Group Learning by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.