Finding a family practice team to grow with

Jarrod Marsman was commuting between Nova Scotia and Alberta as a corrections officer when his family doctor retired. While his family doctor tried to find someone new to take over all of his patients, only some of his patients were transferred to other practices.

“He was my mom’s doctor, he delivered me and my sister, and that’s who I would go and see until 2011, when I became a corrections officer,” said Marsman. “When he retired, I know he was passing on his clients to some other doctors, but he had to focus on those people who had serious health issues.”

While working in Alberta, Marsman would access care at local walk-in clinics. When he moved to Springhill a few years ago, he continued to look for a family practice.

“When I came back home about three years ago, I went through four different doctors at walk-ins; two were in New Brunswick, and two here in Nova Scotia. One of them told me I should sign up for the 811 list.”

Marsman added his name to the Need A Family Practice registry, and about eight months later, received a call from one of its coordinators.

“I got a call asking if I still needed a doctor, and that was it.  I went in and met with her, and then the clinic gave me an appointment date two weeks later, so I could go over my health history with the nurse.”

“The family doctor there is really great. When I had my first meeting with her, I had brought my kids along, and she was playing with them. The doctor and other staff at the clinic are all around my age, so that’s reassuring that it’s a team to grow with.”

Marsman felt his experience waiting for a call from the registry was to be expected when there are a number of family doctors retiring from their practices.

“I know people get frustrated with the list, and having to wait is hard, but I feel my wait from when I added my name and when I got a call was realistic. I know that’s not ideal for someone who has a lot health issues, but someone will call, so people should sign up.