Modest Success for Doctor Search Committee
Cumberland County’s physician recruitment committee continues its search for new doctors despite the challenges imposed by a pandemic and the precautionary steps to control it.
The committee met last night, online, to talk about creative ways to reach physicians who might consider a move to Cumberland. A number of recruiting events were cancelled since March and some annual gatherings are still in limbo for the foreseeable future. The trick is to find new ways to reach out in a COVID-19 world.
There has been some success in attracting four new practitioners expected this summer, though openings continue at the regional hospital, such as psychiatry, and family doctors in Parrsboro, Pugwash, and Springhill.
The physician focused committee also addressed urgent concerns over the current nursing shortage at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre. The hospital faces a temporary closure in obstetrics due to a lack of nurses, and most other departments are facing challenges while maintaining services.
The physician committee stands ready to help their health care teammates. As one doctor said, “If we don’t have nurses the hospital would close. We cannot ignore this need because we must work together.”
The committee is preparing to host a new cohort of residents from the Dalhousie Rural Residency Program which provides two-year training programs in the field. The Northern Health Zone will host seven residents arriving next week. They are scattered across Antigonish, Pictou, Colchester, and Cumberland counties.
Evidence from this program has shown that physicians who train in rural settings will often settle in similar settings. In fact, some prefer to stay where they completed their residency program.
The local committee will continue to meet remotely. Members of the committee include physicians, local municipal leaders, and other community leaders, all serving as volunteers.
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