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  • Writer's picturePrasanthi Naidoo

The Physician Recruitment Crisis in Alberta's Medical Clinics

In the vast and intricate tapestry of Canada's healthcare system, Alberta finds itself at a critical stage. My name is Rafia Mushal, a Master of Management student at the Haskayne School of Business, currently interning with Joberfer. During my tenure, I have engaged with 50 medical clinics across Calgary and Edmonton, delving into the complexities and urgent challenges they face in recruiting physicians. This exploration has not only enriched my perspective but has also shed light on the innovative solutions Joberfer brings to the forefront of this pressing issue.

The Physician Recruitment Crisis in Alberta's Clinics

Each clinic I encountered narrated a similar story of relentless pursuit for physicians, an endeavor faced with difficulty and often, disappointment. This scarcity of family physicians as well as specialists has profound repercussions, leaving approximately 650,000 Albertans without access to essential primary healthcare. The ripple effects are staggering: unmanaged chronic conditions,  illnesses left undiagnosed until they reach critical stages, and an overburdened emergency healthcare system which patients misuse for basic needs such as prescription refills and routine lab work.1

An Alberta Medical Association (AMA) survey reveals a widespread agreement among family doctors on the unstable state of primary care in the province, indicating a pressing need for action. A significant proportion of these medical professionals report financial instability within their practices, with an alarming 20% fearing their operations may not be sustainable beyond a six-month period.2

The Challenge of Recruitment from the Clinics' Perspective

Clinics face an uphill battle in their effort to fill physician vacancies, a challenge marked by its complexity and rooted in both systemic issues within Canada's healthcare framework and the unique dynamics of Alberta's medical landscape. This struggle is not singular but multifaceted, affecting clinics in several critical ways:

Financial Instability: Many clinics are under financial pressure, a situation worsened by the difficulty of recruiting and retaining physicians. This financial instability jeopardizes the continuity of patient care and the clinics' ability to offer comprehensive services, putting further strain on an already fatigued system.

Talent Scarcity: The national physician shortage hits especially hard in Alberta, where the demand significantly exceeds the available supply. This disparity puts clinics in fierce competition for a limited pool of candidates, complicating their efforts to maintain consistent, high-quality care.

Skepticism Towards New Solutions: Given the ongoing recruitment challenges, many clinics are wary of adopting new strategies. Past experiences and a cautious stance towards innovation slow the acceptance of new approaches, including platforms like Joberfer, despite their potential to offer effective solutions.

These considerations collectively illuminate the complex challenges clinics are encountering accentuating the need for inventive solutions that tackle these problems directly. This opens up possibilities for improving how healthcare staff are managed and hired in Alberta, creating a clear path to overcome these difficulties.

Joberfer: A Beacon of Innovation in Physician Recruitment

Joberfer steps into Alberta's healthcare recruitment landscape with a fresh and dynamic approach. Leveraging a referral-based system and offering a pay-per-applicant model, we ensure that all applicants for Alberta are licensed with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA). This approach not only fosters a more efficient matching process but also cultivates a community that benefits both physicians and clinics.

Looking Ahead: Opportunities for Change

Despite the hurdles, the future holds promising opportunities. Clinics that have leveraged Joberfer's services report significant value, with some receiving qualified applicants within 24 hours. Our model stands in stark contrast to the prohibitive fees associated with traditional recruitment, presenting a cost-effective and risk-free alternative for clinics. This sustainable approach to physician recruitment underlines our commitment to not just filling vacancies but ensuring the right fit between clinics and physicians for the long term.

Our aim is to not only streamline the recruitment process but also to enrich the healthcare ecosystem in Alberta by fostering meaningful connections. With our enhanced referral program and commitment to excellence, Joberfer is poised to make a lasting impact on the province's healthcare landscape.

Your Invitation to Join the Healthcare Recruitment Revolution

Addressing Alberta's physician shortage requires bold action and collaboration. At Joberfer, we are dedicated to ensuring every Albertan has access to essential primary care. As we enhance our platform, we invite clinics to showcase their opportunities on, enabling a direct connection with top-tier physicians.

Embrace the opportunity to elevate healthcare recruitment in Alberta. Our refined referral program and intuitive platform empower your clinic to seamlessly attract and engage with the ideal candidates. This initiative is more than filling roles—it's about contributing to a sustainable, accessible healthcare ecosystem.

Act now. Showcase your opportunities on and join us in shaping the future of healthcare in Alberta. Together, we can ensure comprehensive healthcare access for everyone.


[1]Understanding Alberta's Family Medicine Crisis." Alberta Medical Association, 2024,

[2] Derworiz, Colette. "Primary Care in 'Critical Condition,' Alberta Doctors Group Head Says, Citing Survey." CBC News, 23 Jan. 2024,

Written by

Rafia Mushal

Masters of Management Student Intern

Haskayne School of Business

University of Calgary

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