Abstract

Recruitment and retention of physicians, especially in rural communities, are severe public health policy problems in Canadian hospitals. This characterizes the situation in Nova Scotia. This study explored the Eastern Zone of the Nova Scotia Health Authority to determine ways to overcome the physician shortage. Six participants, all working in physician recruitment in Nova Scotia, were asked semi-structured, in-depth questions about the current recruitment process in their respective zones. The research participants presented many parallel perspectives on problems and solutions. It was determined that the biggest obstacles faced by recruiters are bureaucracy, a lack of clear communication channels, failure to track return on investment, a lack of community integration (including spousal employment supports) and a lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the Eastern Zone. This study is timely given the salience of the subject, especially on the Canadian public agenda.