2016 Grant Awards

The posters and papers listed below each grant arise from work facilitated through the grant funding.

Assessing the Provision, Patterns, and Costs of Waiting for Rheumatology Care: A Step towards Optimizing the Care of Rheumatic Diseases

Principal Investigator: Kuriya, B’ Bernatsky, S; Widdifield, J.
Co-investigators: Paterson, M; Thorne. C; Bombardier, C; Pope, J; Ahluwalia, V; Tu, K; Jaakkimainen. L; Tatangelo, M; Hofstetter, C; Lyddiatt, A

Project Summary

Our research is the first comprehensive Canadian undertaking to quantify the population- and practice-level activity of rheumatologists in Ontario over time. We identified changes in the composition of the Ontario rheumatology workforce including increasing age and more female rheumatologists over time, which will have implications for the workforce clinical activity and physicians nearing retirement. The per capita supply fails to meet national benchmarks and international guidelines. Our findings draw attention to inequitable access to care across regions. Additionally, we identified that two-thirds of the rheumatology patient population are females, thus, the inequitable access to care is disproportionally affecting women.

Our research also quantified large rheumatology practice volumes and panel sizes, exceeding those of family physicians. Yet, rheumatologists do not have access to the same funding opportunities, which have been provided with primary care reform. The finding that fewer new patients are being seen annually is of particular importance because it implies rheumatology practice sizes (case loads) are saturated thus fewer new patients are being seen, which contributes to increasing wait-times and reduced access to care.

Our research also identified differences in clinical activity and remuneration (incomes) between female and male rheumatologists. On average, female rheumatologists provided fewer assessments & saw fewer patients annually relative to males, which resulted in lower earnings. This effect appears to be becoming more pronounced with time. These findings provide novel perspectives for workforce planning with an ever-increasing number of females in the workforce.

Oral Presentations

Widdifield, J. “Changes in the Composition and Clinical Activity of the Ontario Rheumatology Workforce Over the Past Decade”,  Ontario Rheumatology Association Annual General Meeting Muskoka, ON, May 27, 2018.

Poster Presentations

Presented at the 2018 Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting.

Presented at the 2018 European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)

Presented at the 2019 Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting.

Published Literature