Growing up in Southern Ontario, and having now lived in rural Alberta for eight years, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the challenges and benefits of health care in both small and large communities.
No health-care system is perfect, but what sets rural medicine apart to me is the passion behind those who choose to build their careers, and their lives, in the communities that need them the most.
… the drive rural practitioners have and the pride they take in their work, becomes clear when you see the extra mile they’re willing to go.
In my personal life, I have seen this through the way health-care practitioners and residents of my own community band together to improve their local system; no one just settling with what’s been given but striving to make things better.
Through my time with RhPAP, that passion, which pushes rural medicine forward, has become even more obvious as I’ve been given the opportunity to speak one on one with practitioners about their work and about the communities in which they chosen to make their home.
For many who decide rural medicine is for them, the rationale behind it is a combination of both personal and professional reasons. Rarely is it one or the other, as those who go into the medical field have committed their lives to the betterment of themselves, their patients, and their communities while working a job that is rarely 9 to 5.
How these professionals found their way to rural medicine varies, especially when we look back to when rural programs such as those sponsored by RhPAP weren’t as readily available, but regardless of how they got there, the drive rural practitioners have and the pride they take in their work, becomes clear when you see the extra mile they’re willing to go.
Anyone who’s had the opportunity to attend an RhPAP sponsored event can attest to the fact that they are always brimming with excitement. Whether it’s from the organizers who work tirelessly to ensure the events are available, the practitioners who give their time and expertise to teach and inspire, or students who look ahead to the possibilities before them, one thing is guaranteed to be there— passion.
It’s a passion that can’t always be found anywhere else because it comes from those who see the bigger picture in life and how they can change the world and make it a better place for all.
- Article & Photos by Lesley Allan