Picture of Benjamin HuangBenjamin Huang
University of British Columbia
Class of 2017

This piece was written as reflection on the author’s rural family medicine experience.




s is for sechelt.

s is for sunday arrivals and saturday departures. for seven thirty ferries, sun decks, and sightseeing at sea.

s is for surprises, for stairs to a fireplace and floors of dark mahogany wood. s is for setting tables and chairs and settling in.

s is for smoothly slipping into the system and for swiftly getting started. for sutures and slings and starting iv’s, for smears and swabs and scaphoid casts. for supracondylar fractures and shortness of breath, for strep and staph, for salbutamol and synthroid. s is for surgical assist, for stylets and SpO2, for sterile gowns and size seven gloves.

s is for scabies. for spaces between fingers where little critters squirm and strike and ensnare patients in poverty. s is for spreading and scrubbing and seeking more permethrin.

s is for separation, for stories of heartbreak and divorce, for syndromes of fetal alcohol and Down’s, for singleness in your sixties and for sixteen year old pregnancies. s is for sexual histories and STI screens, for symptoms of depression, for sympathizing with pain.

s is for seeing your preceptor cry with a colleague when his dad just died, for seeking extra ER shifts and forsaking the light of day for learning’s sake. s is for smiling at daily morning rounds and for struggling to stay awake at weekly staff meetings.

s is for sunsets, for the sun set on dying. s is for speeding down side roads just to seize a small snapshot of the fading light before it sinks past the horizon.

s is for the sunshine coast and the salty sea that slides along its shore.
for the sound of wind in the trees and the stars that shine just above them. s is for the stories we tell to encourage and to remember.

s is for sechelt, but also much more.