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Med students gain insights, experience during Rural Week

June 5, 2019 — 

Each year, first-year medical students participate in “Rural Week” a one-week, hands-on learning experience that exposes students to rural and northern medicine and provides an opportunity for communities to showcase themselves and promote the benefits and rewards of health service delivery in towns and communities across the province.

This year, Rural Week took place May 27 – May 31. We caught up with Eagan Peters and Angie Woodbury to find out what they learned in their time away from the city.

Student goes cyclingName: Eagan Peters

Location: Portage la Prairie

What kinds of activities did you take part in?

Family medicine clinic, rounds at the hospital, chart reviews and visits at the Manitoba Development Centre, emergency room, and walk-in clinics at a nearby community and a reserve. My friends did some surgery and anesthesiology exposures in the OR as well.

What did you learn?

I learned more about prenatal care, how to take an effective directed history, suture, remove staples and sutures, drain an abscess, arthrocentesis, cryotherapy, conduct a well-child visit, more about ECG interpretation, more about physical exams, interpreting CBCs, CMPs, lipids, etc. There were lots of opportunities to get feedback on my histories and SOAP notes too.

What was the highlight?

Meeting the people in the community. The patients, the attendings, the residents, the nurses, our motel manager “Fireball Paul” and all of the local community members were all supportive, gracious, and patient with us during our stay.

The attendings and residents took us mountain biking, rock climbing, and golfing. They also hosted a welcome dinner and a farewell BBQ for us, as well as taking us out for lunch and ice cream throughout the week. The residents were happy to take us on during their rounds in the morning.

All of the hospital and clinic staff made us feel welcome and took the time to answer our many questions. People were so interactive and took pride in what they did. Throughout, everyone looked out for each other and worked together for the best patient care possible. This sense of community fostered by the people in Portage was a privilege to be a part of.

What was most surprising?

Portage has two ENT surgeons in addition to two general surgeons. Did not see that one coming.

Is rural practise in your future?

Yes! I want to come back to Portage for my family medicine rotation in clerkship.


Angie Woodbury (far left) with her classmates at Clear Lake.

Name: Angie Woodbury

Location: Dauphin

What kinds of activities did you take part in?

The main focus was family medicine, but I also got to see the operating room and observe the anesthesiologist.

What did you learn?

There is so much variety in rural practice!

What were the highlights?

Meeting the people of Dauphin, going on a hike in Clear Lake and getting a tour of a fully automated robot dairy farm!

What was most surprising?

Observing a complete hysterectomy done laparoscopically! That blew my mind.

Is rural practice in your future?

Hard to say at this point, but I would definitely go back to Dauphin for my family medicine rotation in Clerkship.

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