What it Takes to Recruit New Doctors to Waterloo Region

David Tubbs Staff PhotoDavid Tubbs
Marketing & Communications Lead
Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce

Physician Recruitment is one of the Chamber’s most important initiatives that culminates every year with the Family Medicine Resident Weekend that hosts 18 to 20 potential family doctors and their partners. The three day weekend is a way to showcase what the community has to offer. Residents tour local medical facilities and discuss practice opportunities with local family physicians while their partners tour our rural and urban communities and explore employment opportunities.

Over the weekend they meet business and community leaders and learn more about what our great region has to offer. While this is the flagship event in our recruitment efforts, our Vice President of Physician Recruitment, Mary Sue Fitzpatrick works tirelessly all year on making sure we are attracting as many new physicians as possible and here’s how.

Coordinate with Family Doctors in Province and Out of Province

One of Mary Sue’s most important roles as VP of Physician Recruitment is the constant connecting and coordinating with potential new doctors for the region throughout the year. At any given point, Mary Sue is in contact with 15-20 physicians seriously looking to set up or relocate their practices and many of them are not new physicians, but experienced practitioners looking to relocate.

This type of coordinating entails an ongoing session of emails, phone calls, and often culminates in a city wide tour of medical facilities that would interest the physicians and also a “soft sell” pitch on how wonderful our region is both economically and socially. These doctors could be currently based in London or as far away as another province. The one thing that is for sure, the ability for Mary Sue to coordinate with these doctors on an ongoing basis and create real relationships with them is the difference maker in how we’ve been able to sustain our recruitment efforts all year long. She gets to truly know them, their family, their wants and their needs to help make them comfortable and accustom to a new community for them.

Reach Out to Governmental Organizations

In addition to the one-on-one contact with the physicians, Mary Sue activity coordinates with government organizations such as the Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integration Network and HealthForce Ontario to ensure a cohesive sharing on information. This means that when HealthForce Ontario, which is the recruiting and marketing arm of the Ministry of Health, is contacted by a doctor wishing to relocate to our Region, Healthforce Ontario reaches out to Mary Sue.

These relationships are of vital importance to ensure that the Chamber is able to pass on its questions and concerns in a fast and appropriate manner to make sure that there are no extraneous roadblocks to bringing new physicians to the Region.

Help Mitigate Relocation Concerns

One of the most common concerns for physicians looking to the relocate to Kitchener-Waterloo is whether or not the physician’s partner will be able to find employment here. If a physician’s husband or wife can’t find meaningful work along with their physician spouse, it is often difficult to convince the physician to move to the Region. To support them, we work to connect the partners and spouses with employers who might be able to utilize their skills and see if they would be a great fit.