Extensive recruitment efforts are paying off in attracting more family doctors to Cochrane.

The chances of securing a family doctor have vastly increased in recent months after facing an acute shortage a year ago. Indications are it will continue to improve.

Dr. Adam Nielsen, medical director of Fireside Family Health, 50 Fireside Gate, says they are among the clinics with a new family doctor accepting patients. Dr. Waqar is currently conducting patient interviews and is expected to begin practicing sometime in mid-March.

"And then we've hopefully got another couple starting in the summer as well. Those are still up in the air, to a certain extent, but it sounds like Cochrane is starting to get a few new doctors."

He says several other health clinics are having similar success.

Fireside Family Health and Maple Leaf Health Centre, both located in Fireside Gate, have been aggressive in their recruitment efforts. He believes the lifestyle offered in Cochrane helps to make it an attractive place to practice.

"It's easy to sell Cochrane as a town and I think that lots of the medical opportunities are really quite good here with new clinics and new technology in the clinics, and there's a really good sort of physician base as well," he says.

"So once you are looking in the right places and you're talking to the right people, it seems like it's a pretty easy sell."

They use every tool at their disposal to connect with those people.

"It just seems like it's something that you just need to actively engage in the recruitment of doctors, whether it is residency programs at the various universities or international medical graduate programs or even hiring a recruiter in order to sort of gain access to some of the people who are actively looking to move as well," he says. "We are constantly getting out there and asking around. Eventually, some stuff comes around that works on both sides, and then you just sort of move forward with it."

He's excited to see some other new medical services opening here.

"I know that the Oasis in Rexall is opening up a sort of walk-in clinic just on Saturday mornings, and that's quite welcomed and really quite needed. It would be nice if Cochrane had even more walk-in services to help to offload the urgent care centre."

He's also pleased to see efforts underway to form a Cochrane Health Foundation by proactive residents wanting to help improve the town's health system.

He says the quickest way people seem to find a doctor is through word of mouth.

Here's another tool you can utilize.