OTTAWA – In an effort to combat the national doctor shortage crippling many provincial healthcare systems, hospitals across Canada have declared that all PhD holders, regardless of field, are in fact “that kind of doctor now.”
“Honestly, this isn’t what I expected to be doing with my life,” said Dr. Josh Eastwood, a 29-year-old graduate of the Evolutionary Anthropology PhD program at the University of Lethbridge. “But when I tried to get a job in academia, every university I talked to said they were planning to dismantle their Humanities department for scrap lumber. It’s really lucky that I was able to fall back on becoming a pediatric oncologist, without any experience or training.”
31-year-old Elise Shepperd, a graduate of Comparative Literature, agreed.
“I was on a plane the other day when the flight attendant asked if there was a doctor on board, and it felt good to raise my hand and let her know that, yes, help was on the way,” he continued. “The patient died way before we landed, but he did get to hear some critical analysis of the role that social isolation played in the work of 19th century American female poets. So I feel like I helped.”
“Plus, when I inevitably reach that point in every doctor’s career where they decide to write the Next Great American Novel, I might actually go ahead and do it.”
Canadians have responded favorably to the change in hospital staffing.
“My children and I waited seven hours on hard plastic chairs in an emergency room corridor, and then a stressed-out man in a lab coat came in and told us that there’s a ‘nasty bug going around’ and that we should really try to get a family doctor,” said Amanda Pelchat, a 36-year-old mother from Kingston. “So obviously that’s a huge improvement from last week, when the exact same thing took fourteen hours.”
At press time, governments across Canada confirmed that they had no intention of streamlining the process of qualifying foreign-trained doctors, but would entertain the idea of letting Certified Public Accountants attempt some of the ‘easy’ surgeries.