How Dr. Ashley White Built a Happy Life and Thriving Medical Practice in Small Town Ontario
By Michelle Annette Tremblay
If you live and breathe in Bancroft, Ontario, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve crossed paths with Ashley White. The bright young doctor
has her own busy practice on Oak Street with the Bancroft Family Heath Team, works at the North Hastings hospital, at the local addictions clinic, in the emergency room, and also owns and operates White Medical Aesthetics, on the main drag downtown.
Originally from the Bancroft area, Ashley moved away from Hastings County for several years to pursue her post secondary education. Like so many young people, she remained in the city after completing her undergraduate degree, and adapted, somewhat reluctantly, to urban life.
Eventually though, Ashley decided to follow her dream of becoming a doctor, enrolling in medical school at McMaster University in Hamilton. Unbeknownst to Ashley at the time, this was the first step in the path that would eventually lead her back home to Bancroft, and to an incredibly rich quality of life.
“I enjoy living here so much more,” says Ashley emphatically. “When I’m in the city I feel irritated. I hate navigating roads I don’t know; I hate paying for parking; I hate that it takes forever to get anywhere; and I hate that it costs so much to do anything.”
Ashley explains that the lower cost of living in Hastings County has allowed her to follow career goals that may otherwise have been out of reach for many years. And the county has been good to her in other, even more obvious ways.
“When I was starting med school and thinking about the kind of work I wanted to do, I knew right away that I wanted to be a General Practitioner (GP),” explains Ashley.
It was while studying at McMaster, that the young med student learned that Hastings County was actively seeking GPs. Ashley already had her sights on becoming a GP, and the County was offering financial incentives to med students who committed to moving to Bancroft after graduation, through their doctor recruitment program. It was a perfect match.
“The cool thing about knowing I was coming to Bancroft before finishing med school, was that I could tailor my training to what my community would need, explains Ashley. “For example, a lot of GPs don’t work the emergency room, but I made it a priority to become skilled and capable of doing that because I knew there was a need. In this way, I was able to design my training specifically for Bancroft.”
Now that Ashley has settled into the community, she feels incredibly appreciated.
“I’ll run into people in the street, and they’ll stop to say things like, ‘thank you so much for coming back.’ My old high school teachers have congratulated me on my schooling and on my practice,” she says with a grin. “The Bancroft Family Health Team has bent over backwards to make me comfortable, and the hospital staff have been extremely welcoming. It all feels very positive.”
When Ashley’s not at her family practice or working at the Bancroft hospital, she can often be found downtown at Thistle + Bloom, Nor
th Hastings’ local beauty studio, where she offers injectable cosmetic enhancements like Botox, Belkyra and Juvederm. Ashley shares the spacious spa-like studio with a few other female entrepreneurs in the beauty industry, including a nationally acclaimed permanent make-up artist, an eye-lash extension specialist, and a hair stylist.
“It’s this fun thing that I get to do on the side,” Ashley says of White Medical Aesthetics.
“I was actually convinced by another local business owner who saw the demand – permanent make-up artist Jaimie Jolly – and the community has responded really well. Recently, I was able to hire a registered nurse to work with me. She actually moved up here from the city, too. So, I’m happy to be providing an in-demand service, and also to be providing an employment opportunity!”
Ashley credits North Hastings’ low cost of living for a good chunk of her current success. She has been able to invest more time, money and energy into her practice and her medical aesthetics business than if she’d remained in the city. Also, life is just easier in Bancroft, she says.
“I have a lot on the go here that I wouldn’t be able to do in the city,” insists the general practitioner. “I actually have four different offices that I work out of, but they’re literally all within one minute of each other, and they all have free parking. I can even do home visits for my patients when needed. Little day-to-day things are just so much easier here, over all. Plus,” she adds, “I’m close to my family, which is awesome. The rewards of living here are really great.”
To learn more about Dr. Ashley White’s Family Medical Practice, visit www.BancroftFHT.com
To learn more about White Medical Aesthetics, visit www.WhiteMedicalAesthetics.com
To learn more about Thistle + Bloom Beauty Studio visit www.Facebook.com/Thistle.Bloom.Beauty/
Thinking of leaving the city?
To learn more about opportunities in Hastings County visit www.ILeftTheCity.ca