Dr. Somtochukwu Ibezi has only experienced one Saskatchewan winter, and she loved it. Dr. Ibezi moved here in March 2017 and found out how even the coldest season this province has something offer in its own way.
Dr. Ibezi came to Saskatoon (population 254, 569) in March of that year, which happens to be near the end of the winter season. Although it was colder than what she and her family were used to it still offered something unique – clean (cold) air and lots of sunshine. Dr. Ibezi works at a thriving practice in the city, which sees a number of different cases on any given day. The scope of practice that her clinic offers is something Dr Ibezi really appreciates.
“I am a full-time family physician at Erindale Health Center (EHC). It is a group practice of family doctors located centrally in the Erindale neighbourhood. EHC is a busy and friendly practice which provides basic primary care to all age groups as well as other services (e.g. low-risk obstetrics, minor surgery, family planning services and a walk-in clinic). The doctors and staff have a wealth of experience and cheer, which makes EHC a great place to work.”
After completing her residency training in Family Medicine in UK and practising as a family physician for a few years, Dr Ibezi felt it was time to seek new horizons. The crowded commutes and big city living had lost their appeal; she looked west to a place she had heard of as a young girl.
“I first knew of a place called Saskatchewan in Canada from a map in a geography book as a teenager. Years later, when we decided to move to Canada, we did a lot of research, internet and otherwise, and found that Saskatchewan ticked all the right boxes.”
Ticking all of the right boxes means living in safe and affordable communities, lots of clean, fresh air and wide open spaces; and, depending on your type of adventure, nature and outdoor activities (year-round) a few minutes or a few hours away depending upon which community you choose.
Dr. Ibezi and her husband have three girls so having the opportunity to live in a safe and affordable city and being part of a collegial professional practice is something she really treasures. Even more so, Dr. Ibezi likes all of the other amenities that provide her with the work-life balance she found wanting in London.
“I lived in South London, England for ten years before moving to Saskatchewan. My family and I have fallen in love with the sunshine, clean air and being so close to nature in Saskatchewan. The commute here is great compared to London, as there is barely any traffic. Our cost of living has certainly dropped, with huge rise in our quality of life!”
Saskatchewan needs General Practitioners like Dr. Ibezi. There are two licensure routes for U.K. trained family physicians: one is through the College of Family Physicians Canada (CFPC) or through the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program. There are different requirements for each route so please ensure you meet all of the necessary qualifications before applying.
For those of you from the U.K. who are still undecided about moving to a place called Saskatchewan, Dr Ibezi offers this advice:
“Make the move! It is a friendly place, very green, plenty of sunshine, great work-life balance, and you get to practice the medicine you love.”
For more information on Saskatchewan and the physician opportunities available here visit www.saskdocs.ca. Or, better yet, come see us this fall at the Western Canada – Welcome Home booth at the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Careers Fair October 19-20.
See you there!