Medical Professionals can live their dreams right here in Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is always in need of physicians, and Sheila Kerry is working to let prospective doctors know that the Island is the place for them.
As the province’s physician recruitment coordinator, she is part of a team that works to attract and retain health professionals for the provincial health system. Her job involves working collaboratively with Health PEI to share the opportunities that PEI has to offer with medical students, medical residents, and physicians working in Canada and abroad.
“Much of my role is about networking—getting to know physicians and making connections with those we may not know personally yet. We make a point of connecting with students at Canadian medical schools, including Dalhousie and Memorial (University of Newfoundland), just to make sure that new physicians with potential ties to the Maritimes are aware of what opportunities exist for them to live and work in PEI,” Kerry said. “We work closely with medical students during their residencies on PEI and elsewhere to let them know about current and upcoming vacancies.”
While medical opportunities are a big part of the equation, successful recruitment can often depend on factors unrelated to the hospital or the practice.
“The reality is that physicians who are looking for positions can find work literally anywhere,” she said. "So I try to find what’s most important to the physicians and their families, and help them to envision the kind of life they want happening here on the Island.”
Candidates want to know things like what sports are around for their children, what the work opportunities might be for their spouse, what people do for recreation, and the kinds of restaurants and food options they may find in PEI.
If they’re from another country, they may want guidance and information on immigration and on having their credentials recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Prince Edward Island.
“From a professional prospective, physicians new to Prince Edward Island can quickly build networks and make connections in the health system. These connections provide opportunities for them to become influential leaders and make a difference in how health care is delivered in PEI. ” Health and Wellness Minister Robert Mitchell said. “From a personal perspective, Prince Edward Island has so much to offer for its size that it surprises people. It’s what makes us the Mighty Island.”
While physicians’ needs are very individual, Kerry said she is always working to see how Prince Edward Island can meet or exceed those needs. “Working here, we have to be willing to go the extra mile to get questions answered and find resources that may help physicians during their decision making process. We get questions of all kinds, from music to, food and accommodations . And we help to act as a liaison to physicians considering PEI as their next career move,” she said. “We want to ensure we are setting our physicians up for success on PEI well before they arrive.”
"We are happy to partner with communities to showcase what the Island has to offer."