PEI

How P.E.I. attracted 20 new physicians over the past year

P.E.I. has hired 20 new physicians this year, and another six will be added in 2019, according to the province’s physician recruitment co-ordinator.

'They can be sort of that big fish in a small pond'

Sheila Kerry, P.E.I.'s physician recruitment co-ordinator, says it is challenging for the Island and other provinces to recruit health-care professionals. (CBC News: Compass)

P.E.I. has hired 20 new physicians this year, and another six will be added in 2019, according to the province's physician recruitment co-ordinator.

Like many other provinces, P.E.I. has been dealing with a doctor shortage. Thousands of Islanders are on the province's patient registry waiting for a doctor, and Sheila Kerry said the province is "super happy" the physicians have chosen to practise on the Island.

"The landscape across the country is that recruitment can be challenging for health-care professionals," she said.

Kerry said she feels lucky to be a recruiter on P.E.I. because the Island often sells itself.

Work with medical schools

"Tourism P.E.I, does an excellent job for those folks who aren't familiar with the Island to really promote it and all of its beauty and what it has to offer."

But she said there is much more to attracting doctors to P.E.I. She said beyond advertising and the thorough selection process, they work closely with medical schools.

They can be sort of that big fish in a small pond.— Sheila Kerry

"We want to make sure we can get P.E.I. on the map and make sure that they realize that it would be an excellent career opportunity for them."

She said it's not just about what's best for the candidate, but also what's best for their family.

"It's more about trying to chat with the candidate and trying to figure out what's important to them and see if P.E.I. can be a good fit for them and if not, what can we do."

Other incentives

That could mean helping to find a job for a spouse, or the right school for children. And while financial compensation is important to the candidates, so too are other incentives such as vacation, educational opportunities and career advancement, she said.

"It's an opportunity for them to be able to see themselves as a leader in health care and in P.E.I. I really think they can do that. They can be sort of that big fish in a small pond."

More P.E.I. news

With files from CBC News: Compass

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