Thunder Bay hospital aims to hire more specialists
General psychiatry professionals are needed, Health Sciences Centre's Stewart Kennedy says
Thunder Bay Health Sciences Centre officials say the hospital is in the best position it's been for the past 15 or 20 years, even though it continues to deal with a doctor shortage.
Executive vice president of medicine and academics Dr. Stewart Kennedy said the hospital has had success recruiting new emergency room doctors, and pediatricians, but is still short some specialists.
"Some of our significant challenges right now are general psychiatry,” he said.
“We certainly have significant gaps filling our psychiatrist within the population, the acute care population here at Thunder Bay Regional Hospital."
Kennedy added more "hospitalists" — doctors who work full-time in hospitals — are needed as locums, or temporary doctors, are currently filling gaps.
Thunder Bay’s recruitment challenges are not unique, Kennedy said, as it’s a nation-wide trend among hospitals.
The health sciences centre was able to recruit a new vascular surgeon, filling a years-old vacancy.
Kennedy said they’ve also been “able to get an additional five ER physicians starting in July, and another two, starting in October, on a full-time basis."
The hospital now boasts specialists in obstetric gynecology, he added, and it is offering a new bariatric program.
The fact many Northern Ontario School of medicine graduates are applying for hospital privileges is benefitting the hospital as well, Kennedy said.