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Research Letter |

Physician Registration for Deceased Organ Donation

Alvin Ho-ting Li, BHSc1; Stephanie Dixon, PhD2; Versha Prakash, MHA3; S. Joseph Kim, MD, PhD2; Greg A. Knoll, MD, MSc4; Ngan N. Lam, MD1; Amit X. Garg, MD, PhD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
2Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3Trillium Gift of Life Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
4Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
JAMA. 2014;312(3):291-293. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2934.
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A shortage of organs for transplant has prompted many countries to encourage citizens to register (“opt in”) to donate their organs and tissues when they die.1 However, less than 40% of the public is registered for organ donation in most countries with a registry.1 One common fear is that physicians will not take all measures to save the life of a registered citizen at a time of illness.2 Showing that many physicians are registered for organ donation themselves could help dispel this myth. Although most physicians in surveys support organ donation,3 whether they are actually registered remains unknown.

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aThe College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario only provided a list of physicians who consented to release their information for research purposes (~60%). In 2012, there were an estimated 26 382 physicians in Ontario (Source: https://www.ophrdc.org/Public/Report.aspx.)bOntarians were selected from the Registered Persons Database.cUnable to link to other databases because of missing/invalid names and physician numbers. List of physicians was linked to the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences physician database based on unique physician number and the Registered Persons Database based on first name, last name, and date of birth (90% linked).dWe set this exclusion criteria because we only wanted individuals who visited a physician or interacted with the provincial health care at least once in the prior 5 years to ensure they remained Ontario citizens. The results did not appreciably change when we excluded this criterion.eSimilar strategy used to match registered physicians to registered citizens to compare those who opted to exclude certain organs or tissues from donation (specifically kidneys, heart, eyes, bone, liver, lungs, skin, and pancreas). We matched 6122 registered physicians to 24 488 registered matched citizens (93% matched).

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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