Table 2

Key quotations from respondents

1Over the years people have said, “What is the right number?” “Who started it?” and “What is the rationale [for the 50:50 ratio]?” Anytime I have seen people search for [an answer] they haven’t come up with much. But having said that, I do think that it has served our population well
2What Canadians should be able to expect of their family physician is … a qualified caring professional who can see all men and women of any age for all presenting problems
3I would say that [the perception has] for the most part remained that the “smart people” go into the subspecialty, the prestige is associated with the subspecialty, that the real people who care about research go into the subspecialties. The best teachers are going to be the subspecialty teachers, the generalists are going to teach around the real soft stuff. They are not going to be valued academics, they are not going to be given important titles
4[The trend] in Canada and in many other places is for specialists not only to become a surgeon but they have to have a little specialized attachment. So you … become an internist with an extra qualification in respirology or cardiac medicine, or if you are a pediatrician you become a pediatric endocrinologist
5From the time a student begins medical school, if they are studying and working in a context that does not expose them to all medical disciplines in a very fair and equal way … then their own impression is skewed
6Many of [the challenges facing generalism] have started to be addressed over time. [These challenges] certainly hit the higher priority level for those who together have to address these; that includes governments, medical schools, medical associations, and the other health care associations, and that has started to turn things back around in the last few years. Each year more and more students are selecting family medicine again and we are now up to 35% selecting it as a first choice. [They fill] 40% of the first-year postgraduate positions
7In Canada we are definitely moving in the direction of team-based care … where one physician may provide a few of the focus practice areas of care and meet needs in that area, and their colleagues will meet others and they hopefully all can provide the broad scope of care that each patient and each family needs