Globe-trotting physician and RN settle down in BC

Deciding to settle in Canada was not the easiest choice for Dr. Eva. “I was enjoying travelling and it was a risk to come here. I did not know if I would be able to practice in Canada. But BC is where we wanted to be. This is where we wanted to raise our family.” While Queen continued to work at Vancouver General Hospital, he started on the long road of becoming a licensed family physician in BC. “I completed the MCC Evaluating Exam and then started as a Clinical Trainee at Burnaby Hospital. It was there that I met the key people who helped me along the way.” Two physicians, one of whom was a former examiner for the Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (LMCC) exams, helped Dr. Eva to get settled and get to work on his goals. “They became mentors, friends and colleagues. It was a very special day when I was able to invite them to my convocation,” he said. A challenging road Once he had gained some clinical experience, it was time to write the next set of exams, the LMCC. “My friends all thought I was crazy for not writing the US exams too. But we wanted to be here. So I focused everything on the Canadian exams. And I passed everything.” The next step was the International Medical Graduate (IMG) Residency Program where he was shortlisted for a four-month assessment. “It was very tough. I was competing with doctors from all over the world – many of them specialists - and there were very few spots.” At the end of the four months, one of those spots had Dr. Eva’s name on it. “Our twin daughters were five months old at that point. I had never had a family while studying before and there were many challenges,” he recalled. The family moved from Surrey into Vancouver to be closer to both hospitals and struggled to find child care that would fit with their shift and call schedules. Return of service Upon completion of the residency program and the Canadian Certification in Family Medicine (CCFP) exam in 2010, Dr. Eva became a fully licensed Canadian physician. The family chose to do a two-year return of service in a community of need in Interior Health. “We looked at many communities in BC, especially in the Okanagan. When we first visited Princeton we thought it was too small. But then when we got back to Vancouver, we received a letter from the Mayor and a Regional District Director inviting us back for a proper visit,” said Dr. Eva. “We were really wowed by the reception on that second visit. The community had arranged everything. We saw schools and met so many friendly people.” They also liked the relative proximity to Vancouver, so they could keep in touch with the many friends they have there, and the easy access to the Okanagan. The right opportunity The couple knew that there would be challenges, but they also saw a chance to make a difference. “We wanted to serve a place and do something special. We saw how much need there was for a steady doctor, and we decided that this was the right opportunity for us.” Dr. Eva started working in Princeton in August, 2010. Queen and their daughters, Omuwa and Omone, followed in late fall. The little girls have adjusted quickly to their new community. “Our girls are having the best time here. They love hockey and every Friday they go to the hockey game. They are taking dance lessons and have gone bowling. Pretty soon, they will learn to skate.” Queen has started working at the Princeton Hospital and the couple now find themselves working together for the first time since their university days in Nigeria. “It’s kind of strange,” Dr. Eva laughed. “But I think we’ll get used to it.”

More Profiles