Dr. Farahnaz Farzadfar, a member of the Our Health Clinic in Chester, said her goodbyes last week after more than four years in the community. Recruiting efforts are underway to find a replacement.
Her final day was August 15. Farzadfar said that she will miss the people and the community.
"We loved the community. Everything was great and that made it very difficult to make this decision," she told LighthouseNOW.
"I really appreciate the very kind people. I've been really overwhelmed with the kindness, especially since they found out since I was leaving. They have showed their appreciation and that has made it very difficult for me to leave them. I'm very emotional these days. I sometimes feel like I'm actually leaving my family."
She said that her and her family had to move so that her husband, a pharmacist, could have a good, full-time position in his field.
He has now opened his own pharmacy near Zurich, Ontario, a small community where they will be setting down roots. She will be practising in a clinic, with a similar set-up to the Our Health Centre in Chester.
"He applied to many places, but he was unsuccessful in getting a good, permanent position," said Farzadfar. "Most of the positions were jobs that you were not able to count on for an income. He had to wake up early in the morning, then drive for two-to-three hours for work. He did it for two years, then he felt it was impossible to continue."
Farzadfar was one of five doctors and a nurse practitioner who were working out of the community-owned health centre.
She had 1,400 patients on file and saw between 80 to 85 patients per week. She says that she has worked hard, as have her colleagues, to make the transition for her patients as easy as possible.
Farzadfar said that she has been working to ensure that her chronically ill patients have enough refills to last them about a year. She also made sure that tests for her patients were updated, adding that some of her colleagues have agreed to take over about two-thirds of her patient list.
She hopes that it will not take too long to find a replacement, adding that a doctor from England toured the facility recently and he seemed interested in moving to the area, and two others are expected to tour the area this month.
Kristen Lipscombe, senior communications advisor for the Nova Scotia Health Authority, said that they want to thank Dr. Farzadfar for "providing excellent service to her patients. We wish her well as she begins a new chapter in her career."
Lipscombe confirmed that recruitment efforts are well underway.