Katrina Taylor loves ranching.
She grew up on a ranch near Warner, Alta, where her parents raised Black Angus cattle.
One year, Katrina convinced mom and dad to let her have a Hereford herd of her own.
She also tried her hand at raising exotic chickens.
So, what stopped her from pursuing a career in ranching?
At 16 years-of-age, Taylor volunteered at the Milk River Health Centre.
“And I just loved it,” exclaimed Taylor. “I loved the people. I loved the community. And that’s when I (decided) I wanted to do rural medicine.”
Taylor is currently in her second year of medicine at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine.
For students coming in from urban areas, the fear of the unknown really prevented them from doing a rural clerkship – Katrina Taylor
In her first-year, she did a pre-clerkship in Taber, Alta. that further convinced her that rural medicine is her calling.
“I got to assist in surgeries,” explained Taylor. “And then I walked out and (my preceptor and I) got to deliver a baby. And then we walked out and went to the ER, and I got to suture a gentleman’s face and do a bunch of really cool hands-on things.
“It was so cool.”
Taylor is a strong advocate for rural medicine. She co-leads a mentorship group where med students who are currently doing a rural clerkship share their experience with urban med students who are interested in doing a rural clerkship but are hesitant.
“For students coming in from urban areas, the fear of the unknown really prevented them from doing a rural clerkship and I think (the mentorship group) really helped (to eliminate those fears),” said Taylor.
The proof is in the numbers.
Last year, there were 26 applicants to the University of Calgary’s rural clerkship program, called UCLIC, compared to 15 the year before.
For her third year of medicine, Taylor will be doing a 32-week rural clerkship in Rocky Mountain House.
Congratulations Taylor on being selected as a recipient of the $5,000 RhPAP Rural Medical School Award.