Irish-trained physician finding opportunity on Prince Edward Island
Dr. Padraig Casey is in the early stages of a medical career and raising a family life. He’s building them both on Prince Edward Island.
Casey grew up in Ireland’s County Louth and received his medical training in Dublin. When the time came to enter into medical practice, he saw both personal and professional opportunities in Prince Edward Island.
“We decided to emigrate to Canada in 2016 after I’d been qualified for a couple of years. We were looking for places and a friend of ours who was in Newfoundland told us about Prince Edward Island," he said.
"Honestly, up to that point I hadn’t heard of PEI, but when I looked into it, PEI seemed like a place that would suit us. I emailed the recruiter and they pretty much called me back within 24 hours and arranged a site visit. We moved here within months.”
Casey says PEI fit the bill because it provided a good job, access to good schools, a nice mix of town and country lifestyle, and a relatively low cost of living.
“We had three children under five and wanted to have a more balanced life,” he said. Some important factors eased the transition. Casey’s wife, Amy, was able to find meaningful work at the University of Prince Edward Island, and the local medical community welcomed Casey.
“There are some other Irish doctors practicing here which made a nice sort of welcoming committee, but on top of that, all the doctors have been good about helping me as a newcomer to the country ,” he said.
“There’s a lot of good support from specialists in the medical community here; that’s not necessarily the case in every community. There’s scope here to broaden my skills and work up to my training. I find that a hugely rewarding part of the job."
The Recruitment and Retention Secretariat, in collaboration with Health PEI, worked with the Casey family to help them secure a practice and to navigate the paperwork around immigration and work permits. The Secretariat also provided a financial incentive in the form of a return-in-service grant for a three year commitment to practice in PEI.
“The first two weeks were pretty hectic, getting drivers’ licenses, buying two cars and that sort of thing, but the transition after that has been pretty easy, really,” Casey said.
“There are direct flights back to Dublin from Halifax which makes it quite convenient. I know that made the transition easier for my family here and at home. There’s kind of long tradition of Irish people leaving the country to find work.”
Casey said his experience with Prince Edward Island so far suggests this province is the right choice for his family and his professional life.
“With what we’ve found here and the support that has been offered, we’re delighted with our decision to come here.”