(image courtesy of PRA-BC.)
Creston has a new doctor thanks to the Interior Heath placement system called Practice Ready Assessment.
Dr. Storrier hails from South Africa and is the first doctor to be placed in Creston using PRA program which has been in effect for three years. Mayor Ron Toyota illustrates the process.
“We were lucky enough to get into the queue, put our name in and then this particular individual came along, said they wanted to relocate to Canada and then they went through the whole process and everything else. And now it’s official, now Dr. Storrier will be here this month!”
The efforts made in finding Dr. Storrier tell a deeper story, as the hunt for physicians in smaller communities is a challenge for Canadians and people across the globe.
Mayor Toyota explains another method the Town has been using for many years.
“We have, in Creston, what we call a physician recruitment program, and this has been in effect for ten plus years. I have been on it since I’ve been mayor. What we do is, we have a physician recruiter who we contract to.” Mayor Toyota elaborates, “She goes out and goes to conferences and meetings and everything else. She sets up a booth and explains why people should come to the Creston Valley and settle.”
According to Mayor Toyota, the recruiter found seven physicians over the last several years by means of persuasion and attending conferences. He goes on to detail what primarily compels people, including Storrier, to settle in the Creston Valley.
“It’s lifestyle. They want to live in a smaller community. They want to be out in the woods and the environment. That’s all good stuff that we have to offer.”
Homegrown talent is another subject Mayor Toyota touches on. With student loan forgiveness programs for those who study in the medical field and wish to practice in smaller communities such as Creston, these soon-to-be graduates will have ample opportunity to apply their talents right here in the Valley.
Until then, programs like PRA and recruitment efforts will supply the bulk of new physicians.