The search to find someone to lead New Brunswick's new trauma system has taken a twist, as the advisory committee tasked with the hiring is now considering two people.

Dr. Dennis Furlong, a former Progressive Conservative health minister in Bernard Lord's government and the chair of the trauma system advisory committee, said his group has narrowed its search for a top doctor down to two people.

He said it will interview both candidates in a couple of weeks and is considering hiring both because of the amount of administrative work that will be involved in setting up the trauma network.

"Clearly, when you're putting a system in place here, there's going to be a lot of administrative work in the first year, or two, or three, and we think it may go as high as four days a week," he said.

The successful candidate or candidates could be hired within a couple of weeks.

Furlong said it would likely mean giving up clinical practice.

But having co-medical directors, who would both be located in Saint John, to share the administrative duties would allow them to continue to treat patients.

Furlong said the two candidates are aware of the proposal and are open to the idea.

Candidates exceptional: health minister

Health Minister Michael Murphy describes the two as exceptional, but couldn't say much more than that.

"I can tell you that they both have national credentials. One is local and one is from outside the province," he said.

Saint John-based doctors have been pushing for Dr. Andrew Trenholm to get the job.

Trenholm, one of 25 trauma experts in Canada, was the medical surgical director of the trauma program for the former Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation.