Vancouver Island patient places “Doctor Wanted” ad

With her GP retiring, one woman takes action

When Tracy Lawrence was last looking for a family doctor 14 years ago, she put an ad in the paper — and it worked. Now, that doctor is retiring, so she’s hoping an ad will work again.

Lawrence, a North Saanich resident, said she first sought a family doctor when she had her son, in order to establish a family history with one doctor.

“I couldn’t find one at the time, and this was 14 years ago,” said Lawrence. “So I took an ad out, just like I did this time.”

While a doctor did not contact her, someone she knew recommended their own doctor who was taking new patients, and it worked out. Now, 14 years later, she said she’s trying the same strategy to see what comes of it.

Before placing the ad, Lawrence said she tried looking online for a family doctor, but to no avail. The Victoria Medical Society keeps a list of doctors taking new patients, but that list is bare. She tried calling some other offices anyway, including her husband’s doctor, but none of them were taking new patients. Her husband’s doctor placed her on a five-year wait list.

“That was my first realization that this might be a problem.”

Lawrence likes the consistency of a family doctor over a walk-in clinic, since they accept appointments and are more familiar with a person’s medical history.

“The most important thing is seeing the same doctor for every issue so they can track your health and if something goes awry, it might be more obvious if there’s that history,” said Lawrence.

To combat the shortage of primary health care providers, the province announced Wednesday it is creating 200 new nurse practitioner (NP) positions in a shift towards team-based primary health care. NPs can prescribe medication, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, and perform some medical procedures.

In a statement, Minister of Health Adrian Dix acknowledged there are “significant numbers” of British Columbians with inadequate access to a primary health care provider, and that “compared to other jurisdictions, B.C. has not made the best use of NPs.” By creating 200 new NP positions and adding 30 nurse practitioner education seats in B.C. universities, “this is about to change.” There are currently 426 NPs in B.C.

Until that change can take effect, Lawrence hopes the ad will kick start her search.

“I thought putting a want ad might spark some people to have a conversation with their doctor and say, ‘Oh, I hear someone’s looking.’ Spread the word faster.”

Just Posted

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs Vancouver Island man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Langford theft investigation leads to national crime ring

More than $250,000 in stolen goods recovered, $67,000 in cash seized

Pumps not needed to keep Cowichan River running this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

VicPD uses ‘less-lethal’ rounds to remove woman barricaded in stranger’s basement

The woman is believed to have broken into a dealership, attempting to steal a vehicle earlier in the evening

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Devil’s Hand Poker Run in Campbell River to face RCMP scrutiny

The Campbell River RCMP will be keeping a close eye on the… Continue reading

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

B.C.’s fuel suppliers to publish prices to provide accountability: minister

Bruce Ralston says move will ensure industry publicly accountable for unexplained prices increases

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Most Read