Doctors Choose to Practice Medicine on the South Shore
The Health Services Foundation of the South Shore
A career in medicine can take you anywhere. For Dr. Andrea MacDonald and Dr. Chris Bebbington, their careers have brought them home to Lunenburg County.
After meeting at Dalhousie University’s Medical School, the pair followed their medical dreams to residencies at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We decided to stay in Newfoundland once we finished,” says Andrea. “We enjoyed Gander but after a few years we decided it was time to take our kids and go home!”
Andrea started to think about coming back to the Maritimes while chatting with a colleague at a conference. “They asked if we ever thought about coming home to practice medicine. I told them we had but it was really challenging to find a hospital that would take on both of our specialties. We knew we didn’t want to be in a big city. And the conversation blossomed from there.”
South Shore Regional Hospital offered the perfect fit for both Dr. MacDonald (an OBGYN Specialist) and Dr. Bebbington (an Internal Medicine Specialist); they will be able to practice medicine in a smaller hospital and have access to all the things they need.
After the site visit to South Shore Regional Hospital, Chris took some time to research the area online and found a familiar face in a NOW Lunenburg County video. “And there was Dr. Rob Harris, who I went to medical school with, in a physician recruitment video for Lunenburg County! So I called him and we chatted about what it was like to practice in the area. I heard a lot of good things and it turned out I knew or had connections with a lot of people in internal medicine at South Shore Regional.”
With Chris’ family mostly in Halifax and Andrea’s family across the border in New Brunswick, creating a home in Bridgewater made sense to them. “Not only will we be able to practice community medicine and our specialties, we will also be able to see our families.”
On top of being a perfect fit for their career, they’re also looking forward to living the South Shore lifestyle. “Coming from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia’s weather is a huge benefit for us,” admits Andrea. “We are looking forward to the community farm markets and having easy access to beaches. Our kids are in love with going to the beach and we are excited to enjoy the outdoors. It’s really a blend of all the things we need.”
The COVID-19 pandemic threw a bit of wrench into their plans. While Dr. Bebbington and Dr. MacDonald did find a place to live, due to COVID-19 restrictions, they couldn’t come and see the home in person. “So we bought the house without even seeing it! We were able to do the home inspection virtually,” says Andrea. “We made it work!”
The arrival of Dr. Bebbington and Dr. MacDonald to Lunenburg County highlights the success of a collaborative community approach with The Health Services Foundation of the South Shore, Western Zone Physician Recruiter- Patti Smith, NOW Lunenburg County, and local physicians all working together.
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