Barbara Zelek is Associate Professor and Co-Chair for the Section of Family Medicine at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Marathon, a rural community on the North shore of Lake Superior, made CMAJ headlines in 1997 because it boasted a stable workforce of seven physicians for the first time in over a decade. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of that CMAJ article and of the arrival of Dr. Sarah Newbery and Dr. Eliseo Orrantia in Marathon.
The article described “a medical renaissance” taking place in Marathon and an end to “the revolving door that has affected rural medicine across the country”. That door has stopped revolving in Marathon since 1997 thanks, in many ways, to the leadership of Eli and Sarah.
The High Plains of eastern Colorado have been referred to as a dwindling remnant of the “worst hard time”, reminding us of a not too distant past that included the dust bowl and westward out-migration to the West Coast. Rural Colorado has become mostly a crop-circle curiosity or a time to “put your seat into the upright and locked position” for the thousands of travelers that fly over at 30,000 feet. The small town of Last Chance, Colorado sits at the junction of 2 blue highways. It is home to just 22 residents.
Last Chance once had a Dairy King and 2 gas stations, and was for many, the last chance for food and fuel before heading east into the vast open plains of eastern Colorado. ...continue reading →
Peter Uhlmann is a semi-retired psychiatrist from Powell River, BC. He works as a locum consultant psychiatrist to several Northern communities.
In 2004 I started providing psychiatric locum service to Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. I worked in the local mental health centre and also on the psychiatric ward at Stanton Territorial Hospital. Later I travelled to three other communities; Hay River, Ft Smith, and Ft Simpson. For a few years I served those three communities on a regular basis every three to four months. As well as seeing patients, I would provide in service to health providers and education to community agencies. In 2006, I began working in four Inuit communities in Nunavut, specifically in the Kitikmeot region. I would service Taloyoak, Kugaaruk, Gjoa Haven, and Cambridge Bay. I still travel to these communities twice a year, and provide back up consultation via telehealth, telephone, or email. ...continue reading →
Dubrovnik, Croatia, was the setting for this year's WONCA rural practice conference. This is an amazing small city, the so-called 'Pearl of the Adriatic' and a tourist attraction since the late 1800s.
We are two nurses and a physician from rural PEI who took on the job of resurrecting an old medical practice, starting on a very part-time basis in the fall of 2013 and going full-time a year later. The “why” of it is far too long a story for this blog but I have blogged about it before.
We were trying to find some good multi-disciplinary CME in Canada for us three to attend last year. We failed, of course. And then one of us suggested the 13th WONCA world rural health conference as a place where we would likely meet like-minded professionals who were concerned about the systems aspect of rural health care as well as the individual encounters. ...continue reading →