The season for physician hiring is normally during the fall season as due to the shortage of physicians, there are job fairs being held the recruit these hopefuls.
A lot of communities result to job fairs when hiring more physicians to solve their lack of staff. Normally the job fairs are held at Queen’s University, the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa during November. According to the director of postgraduate education in the University of Ontario’s Department of Family Medicine medical schools have to work in order to make sure that their students will find work after school. Many of the communities represented at the Ottawa fair already have a full complement of doctors but fear for the future.
There was a recent survey at the University of Toronto, which indicated that 40% of new family physicians who graduated from that school intend to head south. One affected place was Deep River, a small town in the upper Ottawa Valley. Even if they only have an 18 bed hospital which has not opened yet, many are still getting scared. It is a wonder what will happen to the communities locally when medical students are all planning to practice somewhere else says the past president of the Ontario Medical Association.
There are less than 5% of Ottawa graduates move to the US according to him. The geographical billing restrictions are a huge pressure he states once more. For those new doctors who set up in any of 4 major centers can be penalized up to 30% of the normal billing fee. What he teaches his students is to take into account all the options they have.
In job fairs students will get the chance to learn more what their options are after school and in the mean time be able to have more training in areas such as obstetrics, mental health, geriatrics, emergency medicine and anesthesia. With the broad practice in the rural areas more residents and students attending the Ottawa fair prefer it to the urban ones. There are more services that a physician outside the city can offer to their patients. In the city every time something interesting comes up you have to refer it.
Special incentives are offered to doctors by communities to have them work there. Free secretarial help and office space for a year is provided by some hospitals. Some incentives include recruiters knitting sweaters for new doctors. They also have much to offer even if the US is still stronger. Even the government is paying for their education so they should not be able to leave like that.
In Marathon, a community of 5500 on the north shore of Lake Superior they offer a balanced life style incentive. Many doctors work extra hours in small towns though they also experience the good life. Marathon still needs about 2 or 3 more doctors so that existing staff can take sabbatical leaves and work fewer hours.
An office space and practice is offered in Renfrew, a town of 9000 located 100 km west of Ottawa as they are looking for physicians. The people going south will come back eventually. They are just typically scared of the health care environment.