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Communities recruit physicians; doctor says community needs to brainstorm

To The Editor,

I am currently working as a family doctor at the Casselman Medical Clinic. I have been taking care of Dr. Pat Arenas’ patients for two months now. Dr Arenas has served the people of Casselman for an astounding 44 years and is much loved and missed, as she is off sick.
There is a crisis in the medical centre at this time, as there are fewer doctors and a continued inability to recruit new ones. In my research of this issue, I’ve come across a quote, that says:

« Remember, communities recruit physicians »
It is in this document:
http://www.healthforceontario.ca/UserFiles/file/PRC/recruitment-essentials-rr-en.pdf

I am currently enjoying my time at the medical centre. I am working hard to make up for the time that Dr Arenas was away and to learn the new patients and procedures. I have been given a warm welcome. However, I cannot stay, as I was recruited to temporarily help out. Dr. Bastianon, my husband, who has been working in Casselman for 24 years, asked me to take a leave of absence from my job in Ottawa as a stopgap measure.
Many have asked me why Casselman cannot attract new doctors. It is a complex question, but the community also needs to play a role, as the above document points out. A well functioning medical centre is one important aspect for the quality of life for a community.

In my opinion, it is time for the community to start brainstorming as to how best to help this clinic thrive and keep its citizens well.


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Thanks
Dr. Christie Diekmeyer

Christie Diekmeyer
Ottawa

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