Walk-in clinic to expand with a family practice by the fall
“We're having some of the newer (medical school) grads walking through and looking at the space,” said Dr. Dennis Reich, the new clinic's medical director.
Reich said he hopes to open a family medical practice at the 3,000-square-foot location by late August.
“There are long waits and patients still don't have enough family doctors,” Reich said. “The older doctors are retiring and they've got really large practices.”
Because family doctors nearing retirement tend to have large numbers of patients, Reich said it can take several newer doctors to pick up their patient load.
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, which graduates 75 new doctors per year – at its campuses in Sudbury and Thunder Bay – has helped correct Northern Ontario's doctor shortage, Reich said.
“The medical school was critical,” he said. “That was the best decision ever. Had that not happened, we would be in a massive crisis right now.”
He said his new clinic will use digital records for convenience, and to save on the space required for paper records. Younger doctors will also feel more at ease with the collaborative environment he hopes the clinic will foster.
Doctors will be able to work closely with a visiting dietitian, and will be in the same space as the Real Canadian Superstore's pharmacy.
Sandra Rebellato visited the clinic July 14 to inquire about the planned family practice.
She said her daughter, who has a brain tumour, has not been able to find a family doctor in Sudbury.
“It's tiring when you see new doctors,” Rebellato said. “You have to have somebody follow you. It's a shame that we're from here and can't have a doctor.”
Bryon Messier, store manager of the Real Canadian Superstore, said he was confident the new clinic would fill a need for Sudbury.
“From what I hear there is a doctor shortage,” Messier said. “He (Reich) fills in this gap quite nicely.”