Since 2012, the town of Sundre, Alberta has successful recruited several physicians. According to Sundre physician, Robert Warren, a four-step process was the community's secret to success.
Step 1 – Build a team
In 2012, a team of town and rural municipal councilors, business owners, and concerned citizens, including Dr. Warren, stepped forward to ask what they could do to help.
“Once we had our team in place we were able to go out and drum up leads among doctors who were coming, or who were interested in coming to Alberta.”
Step 2 – Work with the recruiters
According to Dr. Warren, the committee worked with AHS Central Zone, and the physician recruitment specialists within the zone, to get in contact with doctors who were coming into Alberta
Step 3—Act quickly
Once the Sundre committee received a lead, they made immediate contact with the individual.
“If the doctor made an inquiry to our community, then they got an email response within a day, and we spoke with them on the phone the next day,” says Dr. Warren. “We had to go through a lot people who after speaking with us, and finding out what our community was about, and what we’re looking for, felt it wasn’t a good fit for what they were looking for.”
Once the committee identified people who wanted to find out a little bit more about Sundre, they were invited to town for a visit.
Step 4—Put on an incredible show
Dr. Warren says the key was recognizing the community was not just recruiting a doctor, but they were recruiting a family.
Therefore, in advance of the physician’s arrival, the committee gathered information about what the spouse might need for work, what their children were interested in, and what sorts of activities the family was interested in doing outside of the medical practise. The committee developed tour itineraries featuring schools, amenities, prospects for the spouse, enabling the physician and their family to get a real sense of whether this community would be good fit for them within the two days they were in town.
“The doctor is easy to recruit, all you have to do is show them a practise that looks like it’s successful, and going to be supportive, but if their family’s not happy they’re not going to stay, and if their family doesn’t think they’re going to be happy, they’re not going to come.”