Physician team relocating to Vancouver Island thanks to multi-division collaboration

The Vancouver Island Regional Recruitment and Retention Working Group works together to assist GPs as they explore practice options on Vancouver Island. The “Island Collaborative” (as the divisions call themselves) has a one-for-all and all-for-one philosophy—they approach the challenge of attracting new GPs to their communities by setting competition aside and working for the collective good.

Recently, the Island Collaborative had an opportunity to do just that. Drs Ian and Marie Hellen Cafferky, a husband-wife physician team from Ireland, were considering moving to Vancouver Island, and Dr Ian Cafferky made plans to visit the island to scout out potential communities on the lower island in which they could set up practice. Four divisions swung into action, preparing a meticulously planned multi-division welcome for the potential recruit. Dr Cafferky says:

“I visited Vancouver Island for a week in early October. As part of my site visit I visited practices in Victoria, Sidney, Nanaimo, and Oceanside... I had envisioned a very hectic week with a lot of site visits and it certainly was a packed week! But the four divisions individually and collectively couldn't have made it easier and I was really happy with how the week went.”

The divisions worked together to schedule community visits, and due to their communities’ proximity, Victoria and South Island embarked on planning their recruitment welcome activities (referred to as “red carpet” experiences) together. The red carpet experiences were tailored to highlight each community’s unique attributes—local realtors and businesses provided real estate info, presentations, and catered lunches. Dr Cafferky was provided with opportunities to connect with doctors in local practices as well, to determine whether they would be a good fit.

“Finding the right practice fit is part of the equation. Helping recruits find like-minded physicians with whom they’d wish to practice is as important as finding the right geographic location.”
–Myla Yeomans-Routledge, Physician Recruitment Coordinator, Nanaimo Division of Family Practice

“I was really impressed with the way all the divisions seemed to genuinely want you to make the right decision for you and your family, and I never felt I was getting the 'hard sell' in an area or that there was any competition or rivalry between the divisions.” –Dr Ian Cafferky

The new recruits decided to join a Nanaimo-area clinic. Their arrival will prevent two sets of retirement-related unattachments in a clinic that was considering closing altogether had those positions not been filled. Dr Cafferky felt that his time spent touring prospective communities with Nanaimo, Oceanside, Victoria, and South Island Divisions was a great introduction to Island life:

“Having travelled such a long way and it being my first time on the Island I really wanted to get a taste for the various divisions/areas and I certainly felt that I got this over the week. It was a really great experience and a fantastic week all round... a great introduction to the Island. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of relocating to Vancouver Island.” –Dr Ian Cafferky