Congratulations to Kristi Mellom, one of four recipients of the RhPAP 2020 Rural Medical School Award. Each student receives $5,000 to assist with their studies toward rural practice.
Mellom grew up in Wetaskiwin, about 70 kilometres southeast of Edmonton. She did an undergrad in psychology and is now in third-year medicine at the University of Alberta.
There’s a lot of opportunity in rural medicine to do what you love and adjust it as you grow. – Kristi Mellom
Currently, she is doing a 10-month Rural Integrated Community Clerkship (Rural ICC) in Camrose where she spends time in clinic, at the pre-natal primary care network, and at the hospital. The Rural ICC is an option for third-year medical students. Students are provided with continuous patient care, preceptor supervision and learning experiences.
Mellom finds the greater sense of community in a rural setting appealing, and she also likes the flexibility of rural practise.
“There’s a lot of opportunity in rural medicine to do what you love and adjust it as you grow. As a younger physician, if you want to do a little bit more emergency, or spend more time on-call, or work some hours that aren’t ideal as you age, you have that flexibility,” Mellom explained.
“You can see people from the time that they are little to the time that they are older. I like that you can see a mom through her pregnancy and then take care of her and her baby as well as her grandma in your family practice.”
Mellom would welcome the opportunity to someday set up practise in the Wetaskiwin area.
“Another thing that interests me is working on [an Indigenous] reserve. I’ve had a little bit of a chance to [job] shadow in Maskwacis. I worked there previously before medicine, so it’s definitely a community that I’m considering returning to.”
Mellom is thankful for the financial help that RhPAP has provided.
“I just feel incredibly grateful to have been selected for it,” she added.
“I also have some exciting things [happening] in my life. I’m planning a wedding, so this takes the edge off the financial burden.”