P.E.I. uses virtual reality to recruit doctors to the province

A new physician recruitment VR project gives doctors a 3D experience of living and working on PEI. (Source: Government of PEI)

Doctors considering a career in Prince Edward Island can walk the simulated halls of the province’s healthcare facilities and experience community landmarks thanks to a virtual reality project to help recruit physicians.

The physician recruitment virtual reality (VR) project gives doctors three-dimensional exposure to what it is like to live and work on P.E.I., without having to travel to the province.

“A visit to P.E.I. can often help convince potential recruits that our island is a great place to live and work. As national and international travel continues to be a challenge, this VR technology, brings the island experience to a physician, no matter where they are in the world,” says Ernie Hudson, Health and Wellness Minister.

A doctor interested in working in P.E.I. can receive a package from the local recruiting team, with a variety of local products and a virtual reality headset. The headset is preloaded with scenes of the island and a virtual work site visit of healthcare facilities.

Phase I of the project, launched this week, highlighted all that Summerside and surrounding areas have to offer, including visits to the Prince County Hospital, Harbourside Health Centre, and Summerside Medical Centre. Phase II will showcase Charlottetown and surrounding areas.

“Virtual reality is a creative approach to our recruitment efforts – one that we hope gives us a competitive advantage,” said Dr. Megan Miller, chief physician recruiter.

“While the immersive technology is impressive, this was also a way for us to introduce physicians considering P.E.I. to future colleagues. P.E.I. physicians embraced this idea and have been quick to contribute in front of the camera to showcase the medical career and lifestyle offered in P.E.I. This is the essence of a physicians recruiting physicians recruitment model.”

The VR headsets will take their first trip this week, as the recruitment team heads to St. John’s to meet with medical students, residents, and physicians.