Monday, January 24, 2011

Sturgeon Falls and the Deep Freeze

Today definitely was a cold medical adventure...I'm still trying to figure out how to work in some more of the warm adventures.  I could really use a month in Cuba or Mexico right now.

I had a brief visit to Ottawa this weekend and now I'm back in North Bay for a couple more weeks.  It's the heart of winter now; last night when I drove back it was -25 (plus wind chill making it feel much colder) and today it was just as cold.

Dr. Madden and I spent the day in Sturgeon Falls running a clinic. Sturgeon Falls is a small francophone community about 30 minutes west of North Bay.  Dr. Madden picked me up early this morning since we had to be there for a school meeting at 8am.  It was at least -25 when we left and I was glad that I wasn't driving since I don't have a block heater or a remote starter...(although my car did start this morning when I had to move it for my roommate to get out of our driveway).

At the school meeting, we spent an hour discussing a child's behaviour problems with his teacher, the school's behaviour/Autism teacher, a worker from the children's mental health program and his mother. Then we dashed across the street to start our clinic at the West Nipissing General Hospital.  Since Dr. Madden only comes to Sturgeon Falls once per month, the clinic was jam packed!  I saw three new consults (these generally take 1 hour each) and a number of follow-up patients.  I'm sure Dr. Madden saw at least twice that many. We had great help from an excellent and efficient nurse, Sarah, as well.

When I was at the end of my first year of medical school in June of 2005, I did a month long placement in Sturgeon Falls with a local family doctor.  It was my first experience with clinical medicine (the first year of medical school was mainly classroom based). Today was the first time that I had been back to the community since then.  It's amazing to reflect on how much I've learned and how far I've progressed in my medical career since then!  I almost can't imagine that there was a time when I didn't know how to examine a baby or write a prescription!

Okay, there was way more snow today. 

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