Congratulations to Jarom Stevenson of Rosemary, Alberta, one of the recipients of the 2022 RhPAP Rural Medical School Award.
These awards provide a one-time contribution of $5,000 to assist with students’ tuition, accommodation, living, and/or professional development expenses.
Jarom, a medical student at the University of Alberta, grew up on a farm northwest of Brooks. As a youth, he participated in 4-H Beef club and worked for a local farmer doing custom baling and stacking when he wasn’t working on his own family farm or helping his uncle ranch.
After spending time in the oilfield and driving tractors and trucks, Jarom began to feel unsatisfied with his career trajectory and reached out to a family doctor to see if he would allow him to job shadow.
“Dr. Vincent Elgersma at the South Shore Medical clinical changed my life. I shadowed him for three days over two years, and he treated me like a medical student/resident. He would ask me questions, talk to me about screening for different cancers, and taught me the importance of knowing each patient and making sure that they received that care that they needed.”
“I was completely taken in by medicine and knew that this was my calling. This is what I want to have when I’m a doctor, and I think working rural is really the only way, which is why it is a large contributing factor as to why I want to work in a rural community. I love the lifestyle that you get in rural communities, and I love medicine.”
Jarom said having a general knowledge of what a rural community is and how it works is important for any health-care worker.
“Not all work in medicine will require an intricate knowledge of rural/agriculture/oil and gas business. [However,] rural people want a doctor who can at least understand them, their way of life, the importance of getting cattle/grain to market, getting hay cut and baled before rain, and being able to interconnect their lifestyle with their health, and their family’s health. In rural, everyone is a part of the community.”
Stevenson’s long-term goals right now include being a family doctor, potentially with further training in surgery, or some kind of specialist in a rural community.
Ultimately for Jarom, it is all about returning to his roots.
“It’s where my family is. I have priceless memories of growing up in a rural community that I want my own kids to be able to experience. I’m looking forward to the day that I can have my own little acreage with a few horses and a couple dogs.”
Congratulations, Jarom, on your 2022 RhPAP Rural Medical School Award!