New QEH medical director one of 18 new Island physicians
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) new medical director Dr. Hussam Azzam is one of 18 new physicians who began – or will soon begin – practicing on Prince Edward Island since January.
Dr. Azzam, an obstetrician/gynecologist, has practiced medicine for nearly two decades in Canada and overseas and held senior administrative positions in health care, most recently in Manitoba. The 17 other new physicians – a combination of family physicians and specialists – take over existing practices or fill vacant positions within the provincial complement.
“I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to be part of the health care system on Prince Edward Island and part of the team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital,” Dr. Azzam said. “I look forward to building on important work carried out by those who have previously held this role, ensuring that Islanders and their loved ones receive the best care and support when they come to us.”
Dr. Azzam, who started in his new role as QEH medical director earlier this week, will also remain clinically active with the obstetrics/gynecology service in Charlottetown.
Among the other new physicians joining the province are neurologist Dr. Heather Williams and emergency medicine physicians Drs. Spencer Brown and Matt Twiddy, who fill new physician resources announced as part of government’s balanced 2017-18 operating budget released in April.
The province’s Recruitment and Retention Secretariat works closely with Health PEI to identify and prioritize physician resource needs for the province. There are currently 246 physicians practicing across Prince Edward Island, 50 more than in 2006 and the most ever for the province. For more information, including health care career opportunities and programs on Prince Edward Island, visit www.healthjobspei.ca.
“As a government we understand the importance of attracting highly skilled health care professionals to our province who are passionate about providing quality care to their patients,” said Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson. “Through the efforts of the Recruitment and Retention Secretariat, in partnership with Health PEI, we are seeing increased interest from the medical community across the country, including individuals currently studying to become a physician.”
Recruiting specialist physicians can be challenging as these are highly sought-after medical professionals by health care jurisdictions across the country and, at times, the United States. Family medicine can also be difficult to recruit; however, programs such as the PEI Family Medicine Residency Training Program can help up-and-coming physicians start their medical careers within the province.
The Recruitment and Retention Secretariat and Health PEI are currently recruiting to several physician opportunities within family medicine and other specialty areas. One family physician and a specialist have already committed to begin practicing in 2018 with several other physicians engaged in negotiations.
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Since January 2017, 18 new physicians began or will soon begin practicing on Prince Edward Island including:
- Dr. Matthew Kutcher – family medicine, based in Summerside (February);
- Dr. Martha Carmichael – internal medicine specializing in geriatrics, based in Summerside (May);
- Dr. Kristian MacDonald – ear, nose and throat specialist, based in Summerside (May);
- Dr. Spencer Brown – emergency medicine, based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (May);
- Dr. Matt Twiddy – emergency medicine, based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (July);
- Dr. Heather Williams – neurologist, based in Charlottetown (July);
- Dr. Jessica Corbett – medical oncologist, based at the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre (July);
- Dr. Joey Giordani – family medicine, based in Crapaud (July);
- Dr. Saber Goher – family medicine, based in Alberton (July);
- Dr. Padraig Casey – family medicine, based in Cornwall (July);
- Dr. Michael Carroll – orthopedist, based in Charlottetown (July);
- Dr. Hussam (Sam) Azzam – QEH Medical Director and obstetrician/gynecologist, based in Charlottetown (August);
- Dr. Mahesh Nachnani – psychiatrist, based in Charlottetown (late August);
- Dr. Teryl Sansom – pediatrician, based in Summerside (September);
- Dr. Stephen Scales – family medicine, based in Charlottetown (September);
- Dr. Ian Wilson – plastic surgery, based in Charlottetown (September);
- Dr. Maeghan Keddy – obstetrician/gynecologist, based in Charlottetown (November); and
- Dr. Sonia Lee – radiation oncology clinical fellow, based at the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre (Fall).