Stitches and Sutures

I'm a 25-year-old second-year medical student living in Ontario, Canada. I'm pretty sure that the only way to stay sane in medical school is to have a life outside of medical school, and knitting is one of my chosen diversions.

Location: Ontario, Canada

Thursday, June 01, 2006

You know you’re in a small town when….

  • It takes less than 15 minutes to get to work in the morning. And that’s walking. Less than 5 if you’re driving, and that’s assuming that both of the streetlights are red.
  • Every one of your patients asks you where you’re staying and doesn’t see this as prying.
  • They all say the same thing, “oh yes, the beautiful house with the nice garden!” And then they tell you about their friend/old aunt/cousin who lives in the house across the street/down the street/around the corner.
  • All of the old houses in town (which is most of them) have little historical plaques stating when the house was built and who lived there. My favourite is “John Smith, Gravedigger, 1832.”
  • Your preceptor knows at least 50% of his patients in some non-work-related fashion. (The best example of this was today, when he told me that a little old lady who we saw at the nursing home used to be his dog sitter.)
  • You start to make these connections, too. The woman whose warts you just treated is the grandmother of the baby whose croup you treated last week in Emergency. The man with the heart attack is the father of the woman who owns the B&B where your classmate is staying. The man with prostate problems owns the pub you drank at last night.
  • The air has that fresh country smell – cut grass, and clean air, and just a hint of manure occasionally. I love it. Yes, really.
  • You go out for ice cream with your classmate and in front of you in line is the local obstetrician with his wife and son.
  • He buys your ice cream for you.
  • Your preceptor lends you his car so you don’t have to walk home from Emergency late at night.
  • Although your preceptor works overnight, you’re heading home because there are no more patients and your preceptor thinks you “might as well sleep in your own bed,” since there likely won’t be more than two or three more over the course of the night.
  • The car he lends you? A mustang convertible. New. And he doesn’t even remind you to lock the doors or drive carefully.
  • The next morning, he jokes that the whole town is going to be talking about him sleeping over at your house the night before, and you realize that even though he’s thirty years older than you, he’s probably right!
  • A sampling of the cases you see in Emergency include “kicked by horse,” and “trampled by cow.”
  • Every single patient asks you if you're enjoying yourself and looks absolutely tickled when you tell them you love it.
  • You just love every minute of it. Okay, maybe that doesn’t mean you’re in a small town. That means you’re me, doing my rural family medicine rotation in a small town.

I want to be a rural family doctor.


Blogger Jocele said...

Sounds like a wonderful rotation...Rural family medicine is the best--although my town isn't nearly so rural as it used to be :(

1:39 a.m.  
Blogger Laura said...

That's awesome, Nikki! I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

11:08 a.m.  
Blogger Lene Andersen said...

That sounds just lovely - like the dream practice. Love the convertible (was it fun to drive?) and the "trampled by cow". Make notes and write a Canadian James Herriott book. Erm... except for people. Y'know. ;)

12:23 p.m.  

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