Health­care pro­fes­sion­als pitch Vic­to­ria County as desti­na­tion

The Victoria Standard - - Front Page - CAROLYN BAR­BER

Vic­to­ria County was well rep­re­sented at the 2018 Fam­ily Medicine Fo­rum in Toronto.

Bad­deck phar­ma­cist Gra­ham Macken­zie, Bad­deck fam­ily physi­cian David Heughan, Neil’s Har­bour physi­cian Ni­cola Smith and her part­ner Em­manuel Com­tois pitched all Vic­to­ria County has to of­fer.

Now back in Bad­deck, Macken­zie re­flected on the fo­rum fol­low­ing a busy morn­ing giv­ing flu shots. Macken­zie is a mem­ber of the physi­cian re­cruit­ment com­mit­tee in Bad­deck. He’s re­al­is­tic about re­cruit­ment.

“We’ve had vis­its that to me seemed like they were com­ing here the next day to work for the rest of their life and we never heard from them again.” Still, he feels the Toronto event went re­ally well. “You can get a sense of peo­ple, if they're try­ing to work their way away from your booth or if they're stay­ing there, and there were a num­ber of peo­ple that re­ally hung around there for 10, 15, 20 min­utes ask­ing ques­tions. I would say there was at least 25 that were very solid leads. If we got 10 per­cent of those to come here for a week­end or a week just to try it, I think it was worth it.”

Macken­zie said most of the doc­tors at the fo­rum were fairly new, young and un­sure ex­actly where they want to be. The Vic­to­ria County booth em­pha­sized locums that give physi­cians the op­por­tu­nity to come and work for a week-

-end or a week, or take over an­other physi­cian’s patients for a spec­i­fied pe­riod of time, or do just emer­gency hos­pi­tal medicine.

“If we get some­body, I think that's how it's go­ing to be. It's go­ing to be peo­ple that come in and try it for a week or two and then maybe they'll come back again and try longer.”

The first re­cruit­ment hur­dle at the fo­rum was mak­ing sure prospec­tive re­cruits un­der­stood where Vic­to­ria County was on the map. Three-quar­ters thought Vic­to­ria County was in British Columbia.

Most physi­cians who ap­proached the booth were “out­doorsy” types ex­press­ing in­ter­est in cross-coun­try ski­ing, snow­mo­bil­ing, boat­ing and sail­ing. On the pro­fes­sional side, they were in­ter­ested in the types of patients in the catch­ment area as well as general pop­u­la­tion and de­mo­graph­ics.

“They're look­ing for what else the area has to of­fer, how far away the ma­jor cen­ters would be like Cape Bre­ton Re­gional, what they of­fer and how it works in con­nec­tion with our hos­pi­tal - just stuff that you would want to know if you were trav­el­ing to an area to work there for a lit­tle bit.”

Each physi­cian at the fo­rum had a bar­code on their name tag for re­cruiters to scan. The bar­codes con­tain con­tact info and fol­low-up pref­er­ences. All that lead in­for­ma­tion col­lected at the Vic­to­ria County booth has been sent to the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Vic­to­ria County’s CAO and War­den haven’t been fully de­briefed on the event yet, or had a chance to re­view the sum­mary data sent to them. On be­half of the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, though, War­den Bruce Mor­ri­son thanked all four pro­fes­sion­als, ac­knowl­edg­ing their gen­uine per­sonal in­ter­est in their com­mu­nity.

“We cer­tainly value their time and in­ter­est to go and at­tend the fo­rum on our be­half. Ob­vi­ously, they're very busy peo­ple. They ei­ther have a prac­tice or a busi­ness to run.”

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