There has been a lot of talk of physician retention in Estevan in the past couple of years, but one medical practitioner has committed to remain in Estevan and build his practice.
Dr. Boye Adeboye came to the Energy City in the spring of 2018. When he arrived, he didn’t have to commit for a particular amount of time, so he could have left a month after coming, but instead he has been here for four years and counting.
He decided to stay because he’s not fond of moving frequently.
“It took me over five or six years, with friends pushing and pushing that I should come to Canada, that I finally moved here,” said Adeboye.
Estevan has proven to be the only place he knows in Canada, because it was his first job as a physician in the country.
“I think the people are friendly, they are nice, and most importantly, my kids like it,” he said. “So that is a key thing. They don’t live here with me, but every time they come here, they seem to have a very nice time, or maybe they enjoy the quiet life.”
He confesses that it was a tough adjustment to life in Estevan. When he came for a site visit in the winter of 2018, it was the coldest day of that year. Adeboye recalls St. Joseph’s Hospital executive director Greg Hoffort apologizing for the weather that day. And there was heavy snow that blanketed the community.
When he was told Estevan was the eighth-largest city in Saskatchewan, he wanted to know where the city was, because he was used to living in a city in England with a million people that wasn’t among the 10 largest cities in that country.
“I think at that point, they may have thought that maybe I wouldn’t take the job, but they explained to me that in Saskatchewan, a population of 5,000 makes a city,” Adeboye recalled.
Adeboye recently ventured on his own, opening the Estevan Family Health Practice, and he has added to his services. He has done a lot more than family medicine in his career, and so a lot of the skills that he could perform before have not been put to use in Estevan.
“At some point, you want to do something new, or at least keep up with the skills you had before,” said Adeboye.
In addition to his work as a family physician, he intends to provide services that people might find valuable. One of them is esthetic medicine, with services such as digital mole mapping, leveraging the use of artificial intelligence to take serious kinds of skin moles.
“You can map them on top of each to see not only the size has changed and the colour has changed, but which part of it has changed as well,” said Adeboye.
Digital mole mapping allows him to cut out those that are necessary, changing or have become suspicious.
Also, there are people who don’t know what their back looks like.
Leg vein treatment is another service that will be provided.
Adeboye is also instituting online booking and other automated services that he has utilized elsewhere but would be new for Estevan. He has brought in a QR code that any of his clients can scan into their phone, save it and permanently use it when booking an appointment, so they can book at any time.
“Just when you think about it or need it, go into your phone or your computer, and you can book an appointment.”
They are also using online check-in services. And they can send messages if someone wants to have something like a pap smear or another test. It should make the appointment smoother and quicker.
“We don’t need to ask too many questions if they fill in that history for us,” said Adeboye.
And they have instituted e-prescribing. Using emails, pharmacists locally and around the province can send more secure messages quicker, which should make the process faster.
He needed to be on his own before he started these new services.
Adeboye encourages doctors to come and try Estevan. He knows that most physicians go to medical school in big cities, so there is an adjustment to small-city life.
“There is quite a lot to say about small towns, too. The homeliness, the friendliness of the people. The fact that you get things done quite easily. And I will say one big deal for me has been no traffic,” he said with a laugh.
He said he is trying to bring a model of family medicine and practice that he believes works well, and uses the services of other colleagues and health-care workers, and he is looking to bring in other ideas.
Adeboye also praised the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation for their support throughout this process.