In October 2015, the Western Canadian Collaboration, consisting of provincial recruiters and regulators from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, journeyed to the Irish Times Medical Career Fair in Dublin, Ireland, and the British Medical Journal Career Fair in London, U.K. The health authorities in both countries are experiencing turbulence, resulting in a large number of physicians looking to relocate to more stable practice opportunities with better compensation.
Alberta representatives from RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta were able to share the advantages of practicing in our respective provinces, while providing a distinct focus on rural opportunities. Although some prospects had no idea where Alberta was on the map, for most the word was out that Alberta offers better pay, respectful work environments, great education for their kids, and an overall improved quality of life.
We are pleased to report that October’s recruiting trip hit our targets. Although we are still in process of refining the leads, the Western Collaboration is on track to have collected 130-150 strong candidates, with a concentration expressing interest in Alberta. Our statistics show that over the last five years, 82% of doctors coming to rural Alberta are International Medical Graduates (IMG’s). RPAP’s recruitment strategies actively seek out, screen and pathfind high-quality candidates to fill the healthcare workforce our rural communities rely on.
The next step is to hand the leads to our Alberta Health Services recruiting partners, who will match suitable candidates to sponsorship-eligible vacancies with the help of Recruitment and Retention Committees and medical colleagues.
Recruiting physicians truly is a team effort, and RPAP thanks all the valued partners who play such important roles. In 2011, RPAP joined forces with our sister provincial recruiting agencies from British Columbia and Saskatchewan to form the Western Canadian Collaboration. We agreed that our combined efforts would increase the pipeline of ideal physician candidates, while being more cost-effective than going it alone. Four years later, we’ve added the Manitoba Healthcare Providers Network to our team, and expanded our candidate search to include Ireland and the United States.