Doctor recruitment still a priority
Doctor recruitment still a priority
August 19, 2009

By Lindsey Cole
The Oshawa Express

Oshawa is still in need of doctors– though some progress has been made. Speaking on behalf of the founding members of the Oshawa Physician Recruitment Taskforce, Dr. Adrian Pettyan says Oshawa needs about 20 to 25 more doctors in the area to fill the patient load.
Each doctor typically takes on around 1,400 patients in their roster, and that doesn’t include walk-ins he says.“There is still a need. There is still a definite need,” he says. But Dr. Pettyan warns against thinking there hasn’t been any progress. In fact, as of June 2008, 31 doctors decided to make Oshawa the place to start their practice.“It’s much better than before,” he explains, adding they have made some headway and continue to stress the importance of the taskforce in this community. The City of Oshawa also finds the task force important, setting aside money in this year’s budget for the group. Over the past four years the city has spent more than $500,000 to help the taskforce. And the support is appreciated and needed, Pettyan says. Currently, he says, the major clinics in Oshawa get around five to 10 phone calls a day from people who are looking for a family doctor. But sometimes actions speak louder than numbers, he says.“When you are looking at recruitment the numbers don’t speak the story.
“The city has strongly endorsed physician recruitment to continue.”

He says there have been some significant changes in the last year that may just bring more to the area. Queens University may be changing their medical program so that physicians doing a rotation stay for two years at one location. This is different from the current
program where future doctors rotate between rural and urban practices. Pettyan says this may mean more doctors settling in Oshawa once they get to know the city.“It’s anticipated that Oshawa will actually get residents placed in the city for the two year placement,” he
adds. Another change is the movement away from the General Motors focus
onto a more educational side of Oshawa.

“We’ve profiled the city. We have much more to offer. The city is in a wonderful position.” With the university and college gaining ground on a national scale as well as a brand new cancer care centre, Pettyan says Oshawa is poised to recruit some new doctors to the area.“We’re pretty proud of what the city has to offer.” Members of the taskforce attend various conferences throughout the year in order to meet perspective doctors and give them a chance to take a look at Oshawa. They profile the city to the respective doctors.“There is hope. These 31 doctors didn’t just happen,” he says.“Because the city finds us important, this is a good thing for the city.”

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