Barrie Area Physician Recruitment filling a need
Chief residents Dr. Sarah Foohey and Dr. Chris Blake, of the University of Toronto Family Medicine Teaching Unit at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, speak to more than 200 guests during Wednesday's information workshop intended to help those interested in becoming a doctor. The event was held by Barrie Area Physician Recruitment. If students were unable to attend or did not receive a package, the presentation is available at area school’s guidance departments. For any additional information, visit www.barriedoctors.ca or www.rvh.on.ca.
Tomorrow’s doctors are being groomed for the future.
Youngsters had an opportunity to learn about the medical profession during an information meeting at Bear Creek Secondary School, Wednesday evening.
High school students and their families had an opportunity to hear first-hand about what it takes to become a physician from current family medicine residents with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) and the University of Toronto Family Medicine Teaching unit, which works out of RVH.
Hosted by Barrie Area Physician Recruitment, in partnership with the Simcoe County and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic district school boards, students learned about what to expect about various aspects of a medical career, according to Brittany Peterson, of Barrie Area Physician Recruitment.
“The event was important because it was educating the younger generation on how to get into medical school, what courses to take, what programs the ministry offers to help students complete medical school and residency and, the biggest question, how much it’s going to cost,” she said.
The information session was also open to university and college students, teachers and guidance counsellors as well as parents whose children may have been away at school.
“The session helped to get students interested in medicine and what types of course they should be looking at taking and the path they would like to take,” Peterson said. “It’s a ripple effect. The classes you take in high school obviously help your application to university.
“There are a variety of different under-graduate courses you can take. Most typically it’s science and health-science based.”
Hopefully, students who train in the area will stay after they complete their education, she added.
“It’s all about training our own. That’s the way we approach it,” Peterson said. “We’re growing our own physicians here. They are fully integrated into our medical community. They’ve practised here for two years and they know our physician group in the area.”
Barrie Area Physician Recruitment has about a 60% to 70% retention rate, she added.
“We’re planting the seed,” Peterson said. “A number of residents have completed what’s called a third year of enhanced training in residency. It could be emergency medicine, palliative care, care of the elderly or sports medicine. We keep in touch with them and they come back here.
“It’s a great avenue of recruitment for us. The fact that they choose to come back to our area is a big deal.”
The reasons for that are many, she added.
“Barrie has a very close-knit medical community. We’re close to Toronto. We’re close to the Muskokas. We have also have a great work/life balance here as well,” Peterson said. “People are interested in that. They want to be able to take their kids out skiing after work on a weeknight or go to an outdoorsy event on the weekend.
“The Barrie area is a fantastic place to live.”
Eastview Secondary School student Brooke Burlock eagerly took in the information.
“The most helpful part was hearing current and correct information about the steps of how to get into medical school,” the Grade 12 student said. “It was really interesting to see the life of a medical student and then the next step of being a resident.”
To learn more, visit www.barriedoctors.ca or www.rvh.on.ca.