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NSCC students in Stellarton participate in province's doctor recruitment challenge

Students at the NSCC campus in Stellarton brainstorm ideas as part of the Challenge NS competition.
Students at the NSCC campus in Stellarton brainstorm ideas as part of the Challenge NS competition. - The News

Premier Stephen McNeil has asked students in Nova Scotia to come up with a solution in 12 hours for a problem that’s plagued the province for years.

As part of what’s become the annual Challenge NS event, McNeil posed this question to students at NSCC Campuses throughout Nova Scotia including in Stellarton at the Pictou Campus: “What could we do differently to address challenges such as attracting more family doctors to Nova Scotia, alleviating emergency room pressures, or creating greater continuing care access?”

He then challenged students to create a product, service, or strategy that will help offer solutions for this important sector. Students starting at 10 a.m. were to come up with an idea and create a 90-second video to pitch their idea by 10 p.m.

After they’re completed, team submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges

In addition to cash prizes, the top three teams will also have their videos presented to McNeil for consideration.

Tristen Mabey was one of about 41 students taking part in the competition in Stellarton and said while it’s fun it’s also challenging.

“It’s a huge thing. It’s also an extremely difficult topic,” she said.

As he brainstormed ideas Devin Anderson said the topic kind of weighed on his mind when he thought about the real need in the province for more doctors.

“We have so many systems in place, but obviously it’s not working as well as it should,” he said. “It’s tough to find an idea they haven’t already thought of.”

Some topics they discussed while they brainstormed were the waiting and acceptance requirements of people trying to transfer credentials to Canada.

Anderson suggested they should look at what would Nova Scotia could offer to differentiate themselves from those around them.

Whether their ideas are chosen in the end or not, said NSCC teacher Anne McDonah who is helping to organize the event, it’s a good opportunity for students to work together to come up with ideas for real issues.

“It forces students to take a look at the area in which they live,” she said.

Winners will be announced on Monday.

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