On Oct. 18, Dr. Colin Tamboline is heading off to Nepal. The retiring Sidney doctor is looking forward to hiking to Annapurna base camp and taking in views of Mt. Everest, but there are still a few days of goodbyes left.
“I’ve had lots and lots of cards, which is the most heartfelt thing for sure,” said Tamboline.
Tamboline, who has had his own practice since 1995, has received flowers, the odd bottle of wine, and two wood burls for his lathe. He looks forward to completing many projects he says he’s been putting off for the last 30 years, but these last few days remain busy. He is being shadowed by his replacement, Dr. Ruth Caden, who arrived in Sidney on Sunday after a few days in Seattle.
“The place is beautiful and the clinic is great,” said Caden. “So it’s all good so far. It’s tough to find a place to live, but other than that it’s been great.”
Caden finished her four-year residency in Ireland this summer but decided to come to Canada a year ago. She said it was a challenge to work in Ireland due to a recession, so many Irish general practitioners have sought work elsewhere. She decided on B.C. for the temperate climate and because her qualifications were transferable. In fact, several of Caden’s classmates are doctors in Victoria.
Health Match B.C., which recruits international doctors, went to Ireland, and she decided it was a good fit.
Caden said she was drawn to the team-based atmosphere at the Peninsula Medical Clinic, where experienced support staff and fellow doctors are already in place.
Unlike the Canadian medical system, the Irish system has a large private component, and so it is very different on an administrative level, said Caden. Peninsula Medical is also a bit different because the doctor travels between rooms to different patients, as opposed to being set up in a single room. But neither doctor is worried.
“I suppose there’s a kind of a handover of the more complex patients and I’ve shadowed Colin for a little bit as well so that’s been very helpful,” said Caden.
Tamboline said he is “not disappearing” after his official retirement date: he will be in the background on an as-needed basis. He said he is relieved and thankful that his patients would be taken care of.
“I really want to thank Dr. Caden for taking this leap of faith and coming across the world to completely unknown situation to set up a family practice,” said Tamboline. “I think that’s just an amazing thing and I’m so happy she’s done it.”