Oyen, Alberta (November 6, 2014) – Residents of Oyen, Special Areas, MD of Acadia No. 34, Village of Empress and Village of Cereal will soon have access to three full-time physicians, thanks in part to the recruitment efforts of the Big Country Medical Dental Board, its partners and the community.
Currently two out of the three physicians are already practicing at the Oyen Medical Clinic - Dr. Petra Muller (in practice since 2008) and Dr. Roxy Conde, (who recently committed to 3 year contract). The third, Dr. Akin Osakuade, is currently going through the immigration process and is expected to arrive shortly from the United Kingdom.
“There are challenges in recruiting a physician, especially in small communities. It takes patience because we want to find a doctor that is a fit, who can step in and work well with the other physicians and the community,” explains Dr. Vanessa Maclean, medical director for Alberta Health Services (AHS) South Zone. “These doctors embrace the challenge of a rural practice and are able to do a little bit of everything which makes them a great fit.”
The Big Country Medical Dental Board has been actively working with AHS, SAMDA Economic Partnership Ltd., Rural Physician Action Plan (RPAP), Dr. Muller and the community to recruit and retain physicians.
The community’s success was a result of a number of innovative and collaborative activities including: a regional physician recruitment and retention strategic plan; a targeted marketing campaign; as well as a strong online presence via website and social media.
“They really embraced the challenge. They were extremely patient, positive and were very creative in their entire approach. We’ve all learned a ton from the work they’ve done,” says Dr. Maclean. “A small group of people led it, but it was the community being 110 per cent behind them that truly made it successful. They rolled out the red carpet and proudly showcased what they had to offer.”
Christie Dick, economic development practitioner for SAMDA explains that she is proud of the work that the partners have done: “This has been a very collaborative initiative and everyone who has participated in the process is part of a team that has brought something valuable to its success. It shows how working together and empowering each other gets results.”
Dick also mentions that the website continues to generate leads from individuals in various stages of recruitment readiness; reporting that as of today, approximately 19 leads - two Canadian and 17 international - have been generated.
The BCMDB will continue to support their current physicians as well as follow-up on leads as required. For anyone interested in learning more, they are encouraged to visit www.physiciancareersinoyen.com.
Big Country Medical Dental Board would also like to thank the local healthcare professionals for their involvement including: Dr. Adina McBain, Dr. Leslee Rosadiuk, Dr. Jackie Hagens, Dr. Cec Ruscowski and Dr. Tracey Logan, as well as municipal council and staff, community members at large and neighbouring community recruitment committees. These contributions have been integral to the success of the recruitment and retention efforts.
Economic Development Practitioner
SAMDA Economic Partnership Ltd. & Return to Rural