New docs on the block

News / Patient Care
By John Pereira

More than 20 physicians join KHSC following multi-year recruitment campaign

The physician ranks at Kingston Health Sciences Centre have grown recently following the completion of a successful recruitment campaign aimed at bringing new and highly trained doctors to the Limestone City.

In fact, more than two dozen doctors, all trained in various areas of medical specialty have agreed to call the Kingston area home, as KHSC, Queen’s University and the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO) undertook the multi-year effort to bring in new physicians to care for patients and undertake innovative health research projects.

The new recruits come from locations across Canada, and around the globe, with individuals moving from as far away as Europe and the Middle East. They represent a number of areas of expertise, including Dermatology, Neurology, Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Nephrology, Pediatrics, Pediatric Surgery, General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Thoracic Surgery and Respirology.

“KHSC worked with the team at SEAMO, to submit business cases to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to recruit physicians to fill new positions over a three-year period. In fact, so strong were the business cases that all were approved,” says KHSC Chief of Staff Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick. “Our goal was to enrich the clinical and academic services that we offer for our patients and families and to help reduce the wait-times to see specialists in our region.”

“It can be quite competitive when we’re recruiting these types of specialists, because there are often few available with expertise that matches the important areas of need in this region. We are very fortunate to enjoy such a strong and effective working relationship with SEAMO, the Faculty of Health Sciences and Queen’s University and that synergy has resulted in us bringing some very talented people on board to enhance healthcare in the southeast region,” he adds.

Two of those new recruits are Drs. Sonja Molin and Thomas Herzinger, wife and husband dermatologists who moved from Munich, Germany. Dermatology has long been an area of targeted growth as patients in the past sometimes had to be referred to doctors in Toronto or Ottawa.

“It’s been a very positive experience moving to Canada,” says Dr. Molin. “We were attracted to Kingston because we were excited by the opportunity to help shape a growing department. We have been impressed by the quality of life in Kingston as well as how warmly we have been welcomed by our patients and colleagues.”

Another recent recruit, thoracic and general surgeon Dr. Wiley Chung knew he was interested in moving to Kingston as soon as he saw a position open up at KHSC and Queen’s.

“Having grown up in a smaller city in British Columbia, I knew the type of place where I wanted to raise my family. There are only a small handful of locations in Canada that mix the quality of life offered in Kingston with the professional opportunity offered by KHSC and Queen’s.”

“I wanted to work in an environment where I could offer specialized and innovative care, while being a part of a highly respected medical school where I can teach and mentor the next generation of physicians,” says Dr. Chung. “I found that opportunity here in Kingston, and best of all I can finish a day of surgery and be home in time to watch the sunset from my boat on Lake Ontario.” 

Meanwhile, there is more growth on the horizon as KHSC, SEAMO and Queen’s are already working on the next three-year recruitment plan that aims to bring another raft of new physicians to Kingston over the course of the next few years.

“We’ve seen tremendous momentum following the integration of KGH and Hotel Dieu to create Kingston Health Sciences Centre,” says Dr. Fitzpatrick. “As one of the few fully fledged academic health sciences centres in the province, and working closely with colleagues in SEAMO, we’re becoming a very desirable destination for academic physicians, which is great news because we can continue to grow our academic and clinical services for the patients and families of southeastern Ontario.”