We tackle issues that matter to doctors

Ep. 40 Practicing Medicine in Canada: Promises and Realities

Shawn Whatley, MD

What’s the professional life of Canadian doctors really like?  Does the safety and stability of a single-payer system free them from business concerns and allow them to concentrate on patient care?  Or do the realities of central planning produce unexpected uncertainty and stress for patients and doctors alike?

To help us gain a realistic understanding of the Canadian system, we have as our guest Dr. Shawn Whatley who currently runs a primary care practice in Ontario, Canada.  Prior to this position, Dr. Whatley worked for many years as an emergency physician and he is the author of No More Lethal Waits: 10 Steps to Transform Canada’s Emergency Departments.

Dr. Whatley is past-president of the Ontario Medical Association and he is a senior fellow at the MacDonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy in Toronto.  He also publishes a highly trafficked blog where he shares insightful and humorous comments about healthcare in Ontario.  In other words, he is the perfect guest to inform us about the realities of healthcare in Canada.


Shawn Whatley, MD.  Blog and Twitter


Shawn Whatley.  No More Lethal Waits: 10 Steps to Transform Canada’s Emergency Departments (Amazon)


Milton Friedman at the Mayo Clinic speaks on Free Markets in Healthcare (YouTube, 9 minutes)


Watch the episode on our YouTube channel.


  1. Anthony M. Perry, on 11/06/2018 at 2:20 AM

    Michel was right. One of the best. Very informative.

  2. Anthony M. Perry on 11/10/2018 at 8:39 PM

    I also just finished reading an editorial in the latest JAMA about changes in cancer treatment which show great promise but will entail considerable cost for the afflicted individual, at least in the present stage of development. Considering this it seems to me more important than ever that we convince the public to reject the nonsense of “insurance” for relatively low cost predictable items.

    It is such a travesty that by rejecting the free market and inviting in the bureaucracy we are wasting so much of our treasure and time providing things that are affordable, and thereby raising prices and stifling innovation in communication and delivery of services. And in doing this we are limiting and restricting resources that should be going to those who need help with real problems.

    I remember talking to a friend of mine who was living in Canada for a few years. She was happy to note that massage therapy for her minor musculoskeletal problems was provided. Meanwhile patients were limping around on walkers waiting a year for hip replacement.

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