Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Into the Snowy North

Written on January 7th, but it took me a few days to get the internet up and running!

Dear Laura,

Well, I have arrived safe and sound in a lovely little town in Canada’s North. (I haven’t yet decided whether it’s wise to actually name it on here, so we’ll keep it unidentified for the moment.)

My flight was long (about 7 hours of travelling) but uneventful. My connecting flight from the big city airport to this town was on a tiny little turboprop airplane which had 18 seats and was impressively named “The Spirit of Pickle Lake.” I should have taken a picture for you – it was pretty cute. The plane was so tiny that I was nearly bent double at the waist to make my way down the aisle. Fortunately, I like little planes. They feel more adventurous to me or something.

The trip was fine, and I was met at the airport by a lovely woman who works for the hospital in administration. Not only did she pick me up and drive me to the house where they’re putting me up (and this at 7 p.m. on a Sunday night), she then drove me to her house, where I had a roast beef dinner with her and her husband before she delivered me back to my place safe and sound. There’s nothing like small town hospitality!

I’m sharing a nice townhouse with two other women – another medical student who is here for another week or so, and a locum physician who apparently comes out here regularly to work for short periods. (Locums are like the supply teachers of the medical world. They work for a few weeks or months at a time in an underserviced community to help them out, and some communities – like this one – actually depend entirely on locums for certain specialties like obstetrics or anesthesia. I’m hoping to form a relationship with a community in the north so that I can do short locums there throughout my career, both for a change of pace and also because I really think that the lack of doctors in Canada’s north reflects badly on this entire country.)

Anyhow, I met my med student roommate tonight and she seems really nice. The doctor was working overnight, so I will meet her tomorrow. And I’ll do my best to take my pictures – there’s snow here, and lots of it!


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