The Experience of GP Surgeons in Western Canada: The Influence of Interprofessional Relationships in Training and Practice

Jude Kornelsen, Stuart Iglesias, Nancy Humber, Nadine Caron, Stefan Grzybowski


Background: Challenges to the sustainability of rural healthcare in Canada demands innovative solutions to human resources shortages in rural communities.One solution is to support generalists with enhanced skills to meet some of the surgical needs of rural residents. Despite favourable outcomes, generalist surgical care is becoming a vanishing option due to the lack of interprofessional support garnered in education and practice.

Methods and Findings: Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 28 general practitioner surgeons (GPS) face-to-face and 12 GPS over the telephone. Interview participants articulated four themes, including their beliefs about GP surgery, the context of interprofessional relationships between general surgeons and GPS, and qualities of and barriers to interprofessional practice.

Conclusions: The importance of establishing positive interprofessional relationships within healthcare in relation to quality of care, outcomes, and system efficiency demands addressing interprofessional challenges at a macro (systems) and micro (personal interaction) level.


Interprofessional relationships; Professional dominance theory; Surgical training; Rural healthcare; Qualitative interviewing

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