US Doctor Moved to BC so she can "Practise Medicine and Enjoy it"

US Doctor Moved to BC so she can "Practise Medicine and Enjoy it"

September 12, 2016

Dr. Khati Hendry and her spouse, Sally Kilburg, made the move from California to British Columbia (BC) in 2004. Knowing that they wanted to relocate to Canada and stay on the west coast, the couple visited a number of places throughout BC looking for the best match.

Dr. Hendry added that she made the move to Canada so she could “really be able to practise medicine and enjoy it, versus being caught up in the nightmare of US health care politics.”

The couple considered the type of practice, the amenities of the towns, the general ambience and most importantly, finding a place where they could happily live. They settled on Summerland as the best place to establish Dr. Hendry’s family practice.

Easier Transition

Any international move to a new medical system is not without its challenges. Fortunately, Dr. Hendry didn’t have any major glitches making the transition, but she recalls experiencing some anxiety and stress negotiating the maze of exams and legal requirements to set up practice in British Columbia.

“There are always adjustments to a new medical system,” she said. “Health Match BC made it much easier.”

More than a decade later, Dr. Hendry has enjoyed a well-established practice in Summerland, BC where she is enjoying a better quality of life and in an environment that is much more supportive of being a family doctor—she loves “working in a health care system that allows me to focus on patient care.” 

Improving Care

Dr. Hendry became active in her local Division of Family Practice and then started serving on the provincial General Practice Services Committee starting in 2013—working together with Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health to improve primary care across the province. She finds this work very exciting, and would be almost unimaginable in the fragmented US system where she worked before: “Sometimes I look around and wonder if people understand how special this opportunity is.”

British Columbia is well known as a lifestyle destination and Dr. Hendry’s experience is no exception. She enjoys the outdoors, has been more physically active, and happily takes time to explore a beautiful part of the world--a highlight was visiting the Great Bear Rainforest and sighting the white “Spirit Bear”.

Words of Wisdom

Dr. Hendry offered some advice for other physicians thinking about making a move to BC.

Personally, she noted, “When relocating a family – be it a spouse, partner, or a family with children – it is important that the family is going to be happy with the new life.” Their move to Summerland has worked out extremely well, as they have found a place within a community that has been welcoming to them both.

Professionally, she advises physicians to “be aware of, and to fully understand, the exam procedures and requirements in advance.” She added: “There will always be hoops to go through, so it is helpful to have Health Match BC to help navigate those hoops.”