Fate – and the vision of a looming mid-life crisis – brought Dr. Simon Bonnington, his wife, and two children to Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia nearly a decade ago.
“Despite obstacles that arose, it is without any doubt that I was meant to be put in Nova Scotia.”
Dr. Bonnington graduated from Bristol University (1990) and completed his Family Medicine residency in South West England (1995) prior to immigrating to Nova Scotia in 2010. His pathway from UK medicine predated the newly established physician stream, which has been created to reduce barriers for physicians. He calls his conviction to relocate pure “destiny.”
In his experience Nova Scotia now offers a smoother, more optimized, pathway for incoming physicians to allow them to build a great career whilst living a well-balanced life.
Working in the Collaborative Practice in Annapolis Royal in rural Nova Scotia, Dr. Bonnington enjoys seeing how the small community he has embraced as his home can benefit from the health care opportunities provided by members of his practice group. The collaborative practice physicians and administration work with “an amazing patient-group” whose expectations for health-care delivery are generally reasonable and well-balanced.
The beauty of Nova Scotia, according to Dr. Bonnington, is that you are able to be more relaxed about life. Their small but vibrantly active community provides an abundance of art and culture, and many diverse outdoor recreational activities like hiking, fishing and soccer.
Bonnington is well-known in his community for his variety of interests and community service. The family has been heavily involved in the creation of the province's second largest indoor rock climbing facility at the local gym, and he maintains an active life outside of work that ranges from volunteer service at the local botanical garden to both directing and performing on stage with the local acting troupe. The couple also enjoy their location in the province and its proximity to so many great local farms and vineyards.
“There is no time of year where there is nothing to do. Winter is a valuable season here, unlike in the UK where the drab, damp, grey weather tends to deter outdoor activities.”
At the end of the day, he believes that he and fellow physicians are paid to do a good job properly.
“When a physician makes the move to enter practice in Nova Scotia, the possibilities of endless,” he says.