Losing good medical professionals on a technicality

We have lost a valued member and professional of our community.

Dr. Cecilia Siegling is forced to leave in order to secure employment for her husband Rudi who was trying to secure his doctors residency in Prince George.

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The arm of the B.C. College Of Family Physicians, which controls residency placements for doctors, gives priority to those outside the local area and beyond to fill the local placements.

Many doctors choose to start their careers in the North to get their foot in the door then move on after their initial contract is up.

We hear all the time how hard it is to retain doctors in the North. This is a case of professionals wanting to stay in the North but are forced to leave in order to secure their careers.

This is unfortunate, as Dr. Siegling contributes countless hours to our community on a volunteer basis and won the My Family Doctor Award in 2017. This award acknowledges the doctor-patient relationship she has worked so hard to develop and maintain.

Dr. Siegling came to Prince George in 2006. She, along with her entire family, are very active in our community.

She just recently purchased her own building to house and grow her practice in Prince George. This is all for naught as her husband cannot practice here because he is not a priority placement.

Dr. Siegling does not want to leave our city but her hand has been forced. Her practice will close on the last day of May. Her family home and newly renovated medical building have been sold.

In true caring for her patients, Dr. Siegling found replacement doctors for all her patients so that no one was left without a family physician.

The Sieglings will leave Prince George and head to Saskatchewan to start a new life and practice for both of them. Prince George's loss is definitely Saskatchewan's gain.

In my opinion, the College of Physicians must look at all competencies when it comes to hiring and retaining physicians in the North.

If not, we will continue to lose good people in the future.

Bill Leslie

Prince George

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