What it’s really like to practice medicine in the U.S.

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  • Anna Stratis says:

    I’m a Canadian family physician, and I’ve lived and worked in New York for 3 years. It has been a brutal experience – I’ve seen the underbelly of the US healthcare system because I have worked in underserviced areas (Bronx and rural western New York state) as a stipulation of the H 1b visa that I require to do clinical work in the US. Working in primary care in the US is a slog – insane amounts of paperwork, insane costs of medications, long wait times for those who do not have elite insurance, high rates of provider burnout, declining rates of self-employed physicians (high overheads with insane liability insurance and billing departments which make physicians become employees for big machine organizations), poor job satisfaction, reduced respect for physicians with expanded roles of mid-level practitioners (ERs firing physicians and replacing with NPs and PAs)… The list is endless. I’m returning to Toronto so that I can feel like my years of medical training mean something, so that I can deliver care in a system that makes more sense and is more aligned with my values, and so that I can enjoy clinical practice again

  • Greg Sloan says:

    Great article!

  • Richard says:

    Google mortality rates in us hospitals and Canadian hospitals.
    Twice as many dead in us per 100000 people. End of story.
    Murder Inc.

    • Awoz says:


      Furthermore, if that is true, you have to look at the populations being served. In the US, where not all people have insurance, and those who do have it are only covered for specific situations, people will only go to hospitals when they actually have a real medical problem. As a healthcare worker in Canada, i see a ton of people who do not need to access emeegency services use them like a family doc. Very wasteful, and because they dont actually have a life threatebing condition, it skews the numbers to show less mortality in Canadian hospitals per patient visit. This is a mucj more difficult thing to track than meets the eye.

  • Michael Breeden says:

    Thanks for the information on an important subject. The American Health Care System is becoming unmaintainable. Sooner or later, it will need to be reconfigured. It seems like the Canadian System works pretty well. Hopefully, we do it smart.

  • Akerke says:

    I agree this is a totally biased article. If everything in Canada is so great why we have so many doctors leaving the country for the US?

  • Bernard Marlow says:

    This article is inherently biased. Everyone you interviewed was now in Canada. How can you write an article about “What it’s really like to practice medicine in the U.S.” without interviewing a single physician currently practising there.


Karen Palmer


Karen is the Destination Development and Marketing Coordinator at The Corporation of the County of Prince Edward.

Jeremy Petch


Jeremy is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and has a PhD in Philosophy (Health Policy Ethics) from York University. He is the former managing editor of Healthy Debate and co-founded Faces of Healthcare

Debra Bournes


Dr. Debra Bournes is the Chief Nursing Executive and Vice-President of Clinical Programs at The Ottawa Hospital.

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