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Kentville family physician Dr. Wadden wins Hidden Gem Award

Dr. Michael Wadden, a family doctor in Kentville, received this year’s Hidden Gem Award from residents in the Annapolis Valley Family Medicine Training Program for his “above and beyond” contributions to teaching.
Dr. Michael Wadden, a family doctor in Kentville, received this year’s Hidden Gem Award from residents in the Annapolis Valley Family Medicine Training Program for his “above and beyond” contributions to teaching. - Contributed

Community connection key to retention in Valley-based doctor residency program

KENTVILLE, N.S. – Three out of four graduating resident doctors are choosing to stay and set down roots in the Annapolis Valley.

And Annapolis Valley Family Medicine Training Program chief resident Dr. Lynne Cann says this high retention rate is due mainly to the “supportive and hard-working” practicing doctors residents are paired with.

Cann is one of 10 family medicine resident doctors in the Annapolis Valley district, which spans from New Minas to Annapolis. These residents have handed out awards to their preceptors –family doctors who are instructors with the program – that, Cann says, “have gone above and beyond the work that’s required of them.”

Pictured here are the other award winners from this year. Chief resident Dr. Lynne Cann said the awards recognize program instructors who do far more than what’s required of them.
Pictured here are the other award winners from this year. Chief resident Dr. Lynne Cann said the awards recognize program instructors who do far more than what’s required of them.

Six awards were handed out, including one to Kentville-based family doctor Michael Wadden, who received the ‘Hidden Gem Award’ – an honour created especially for him and handed out this year for the first time.

“[Wadden is] very, very invested without getting anything back from that. We thought he was an underrecognized asset to family medicine here in the Annapolis Valley,” says Cann.

Each resident has graduated from medical school and is in the process of receiving more specialty training. Preceptors like Wadden work with students and offer them real experience within their practices.

Cann says most, like Wadden, take time out of their day to do things like “write us notes, provide more information and allow us to assist in their practices” to really make residents feel at home.

Wadden says he was “humbled and honoured” to receive the award he was not at all expecting.

He’s practiced in Kentville for 22 years, and worked with the residency program for a decade, and says he and the other doctors learn just as much from teaching as the students, who “offer us a valuable service.”

He also says the connections that grow between preceptors and students factor into a resident’s decision to stay or work elsewhere.

“If you ask them why they stay, it’s because they feel connected to community,” he says.

Cann agreed that this is why three of four graduating doctors will remain within the Annapolis Valley.

“For us, that builds relationships and provides a positive role model for you to look up to, so a lot of us are setting down roots here, and we’re pretty keen to stay,” she says.

List of the 2018 award winners:

  • Best Lecturer – Dr. Nick Opthof
  • Best Specialist Service – General Surgery
  • Most Supportive Team – Soldier’s Memorial Hospital Emergency Department
  • Best Clinical Teacher Award – Dr. Keith MacCormick
  • The Hidden Gem Award – Dr. Mike Wadden
  • Best New Teacher Award – Dr. Anca Matei

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