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Emergency physician Dr. Sarah Tennant enjoys busy, fun life in Bridgewater while also helping to recruit more physicians to rural communities in Nova Scotia

As a diplomat’s daughter, Dr. Sarah Tennant has lived in many places. Born in Ottawa, she grew up in Tokyo, Chicago, New York, Toronto, and Vancouver. Despite her extensive travels, Dr. Tennant picked Nova Scotia to call home.

Dr. Tennant completed her medical doctorate at the University of British Columbia as part of the second cohort in the Northern Medical Program in Prince George, BC. After medical school, she set off to experience East Coast living and completed her family medicine residency training in Prince Edward Island.  As so many of us do, she fell in love with this part of Canada.

Although she completed her third year of residency in Ontario, Dr. Tennant always knew she would return to the East Coast. After traveling around the Maritimes and talking to different physicians, she found her dream community and practice in Nova Scotia.

Today, Dr. Tennant is an Emergency Physician at the South Shore Regional Hospital (SSRH) in Bridgewater. She also occasionally picks up shifts at other nearby emergency departments and does inpatient hospitalist work at SSRH. “It’s a nice mix,” said Dr. Tennant. “I feel lucky to have found a place where I can have balance, practice emergency medicine, and do hospitalist work.”

She says the community has everything including nearby surfing spots, close proximity to an international airport, lakes, cycling, and so many other outdoor activities. When asked what she likes most about living in Nova Scotia, she said “being so close to the ocean!”

Dr. Tennant enjoys the collegial environment within her local network of physicians. “I am supported by my co-workers, and I like how I know all the specialists in my community. We work together as a group,” noted Dr. Tennant.

She also appreciates the quick commute to the hospital. Her commute is only 25 minutes by bike. When she is on call, she is less than ten minutes to the hospital by car. “I live 6km from work and right on the rails to trails,” said Dr. Tennant. “I like to keep active and feel lucky that I can use the trail to get to work.” Sometimes she says that she will even snowshoe or cross-country ski to work!

Dr. Tennant enjoys a busy and fun life in Bridgewater. “My kids are happy at school and have found activities they enjoy, including highland dancing and soccer,” she said. “Thanks to the affordability of Nova Scotia, my husband is a stay-at-home dad with lots of hobbies and I don’t feel I have to work non-stop,” explained Dr. Tennant.

In her spare time, Dr. Tennant and her family take full advantage of the many fun things to do in Nova Scotia. “I love how weekend adventures are at our fingertips,” she said.  

Recently, Dr. Tennant attended the Rural and Remote Medicine Conference in Ottawa along with NS Health’s physician recruitment consultants Bill O’Brien and Patti Smith. Nova Scotia Health regularly involve physicians in physician recruitment to best share what’s it is like to actually practice and live in the province.

“It was great to have Dr. Tennant with us at the conference. She has experience with the Dalhousie Residency program and has a love for rural practice.  She connected so well with practicing physicians and medical learners at the conference. She was able to share with many conference attendees about her practice experience and the quality of life in Nova Scotia’s rural communities,” said Smith.

“I think if someone is considering a move to Nova Scotia, they should just do it!”, said Dr. Tennant.  “I’m so glad we moved here. The hardest part about moving to Nova Scotia is figuring out which community you want to live in…there is so much variety!

Bill and Patti at the conference in a conference booth

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