New family physician arrives in Campbell River

Dr. Samra Nasir worked as a family doctor in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia before arriving in Canada

After completing her 12-week clinical field assessment in Port Hardy, Dr. Samra Nasir has moved to Campbell River to begin her family practice, and she couldn’t be happier.

As one of the 11 internationally-trained physicians for rural communities announced by the province this week, Nasir says she is looking forward to starting her practice and is thankful the process of being assessed went quickly and smoothly.

She had worked as a family doctor in both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia before arriving in Canada but says her credentials were checked and approved “quickly and efficiently” so she could open up shop here in B.C.

“I know others who have felt like they waited in suspense to see where their documents are going,” Nasir says. “I was so glad the system was transparent, followed posted timelines and was fast.”

Minister of Health Terry Lake says Nasir will open her practice after going through the Practice Ready Assessment-BC (PRA) program, which assesses internationally-trained physicians for practise here, which helps fill gaps in the system — especially in smaller, rural communities.

“This program not only ensures that qualified international doctors are working in rural areas where they are most needed, but the three-year return of service also provides stable access to care for patients,” says Doctors of BC president Dr. Charles Webb. “The partnership of Doctors of BC and the provincial government allows us to tackle rural recruitment and retention concerns in a strategic way that benefits patients, physicians and our health care system.”

As part of the program, international doctors wishing to practise in B.C. undergo what the government calls “a rigorous assessment process,” where they spend three months with a B.C. physician who evaluates their skills as they care for patients.

Physicians successfully completing the program commit to practise for at least three years in a designated rural community in need.

The PRA program has been extended through March 2018 to help bring even more internationally-trained physicians to our province’s rural areas, the provincial government says.

“The Practice Ready Assessment program is one of several ways we are strengthening health care in local communities, especially in rural and remote areas of the province,” says Lake. “Doctors in smaller communities provide a broad range of health care in their practices and hospitals that not only support the health and wellness of individuals, but the community as a whole.”

The new physicians, including Dr. Nasir, will start practising within the next month. It’s still unclear as to where in town Nasir will be practising.

Nasir was part of the second intake of international doctors in the program.

The first saw 14 doctors assessed in 2015 and placed in McBride, Hazelton, Quesnel, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John (two), Terrace, Castlegar, Lillooet (two) Invermere, Port Hardy (two) and Powell River.

Another 15 international medical graduates will be assessed during the spring and fall of this year.

Two more cohorts are planned to be assessed next year.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

A true community garden takes root in Tsa’xana

Tsa’xana First Nation residents typically have to grocery shop in Campbell River, 90 km away

Vancouver Island community organizes luncheon for seniors to beat COVID-19 blues

Sayward Community Recreation Association and Mowi teamed up to deliver lunch boxes to senior citizens in Sayward

Road rage incident in downtown Campbell River results in charges

Action movie scene caught on video, which helped identify driver

North Island Hospital Campbell River’s campus has a new food forest

And the hospital staff is encouraging the community to come ‘nibble’ on the produce

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Most Read