Saskatchewan Career Spotlight is a new electronic publication coming to you directly from saskdocs. We have hundreds of people in many communities delivering high quality, team-based health care to the people of this province on a daily basis. Below are profiles of many of those individuals who were more than happy to share their stories. We've also thrown in another story profiling some of the attractions of the area in which these health care providers live.
If you have a story to share, send us an email email@example.com. We would love to profile you and your community.
Inside This Issue:
Southern Physician Enjoys Being Close to His Patients and Family
Dr. Brad McIntyre, a family physician in the southeast Saskatchewan town of Redvers, clearly remembers the two South African physicians who practised in his nearby hometown of Alida while he was growing up.
“They were really friendly guys and they made family medicine really appealing for me. They set a good example of what I think a family physician in rural Saskatchewan should be doing.”
Dr. McIntyre completed his own residency in family medicine in Swift Current and was well-prepared for his career ahead in rural health care. He feels his current role as a family physician in Redvers is a perfect opportunity on multiple levels. With two young daughters, being geographically close to his extended family and a tight-knit group of friends definitely has its benefits (his wife is from nearby Minot, North Dakota). Another highlight is that Dr. McIntyre still farms with his family when he has time.
“One of the advantages of practising medicine in a place like Redvers is that you are close to family. I know I can walk down the street to my house to look after my kids, or I can drive a short distance to ‘de-stress’ and do farm work, and then I can be back here at the health centre in only a few minutes if need be,” says Dr. McIntyre.
“When you practise rural family medicine, you use a wide range of skills and you’re with a small professional group in a small community. While resources may be limited, the scope of practice is broad. You could be monitoring a patient with chest pains and referring them to a cardiologist, dealing with a trauma and working with a STARS team, and then setting a broken bone. It all depends on the day.”
Dr. McIntyre loves the diversity of his practice as one of two doctors in the town – treating patients with anything from a cough or a cold, all the way to mild cognitive impairment or a stroke. Redvers also has a 40-bed long-term care facility where he does rounds. Being in a smaller community means practising beginning-to-end patient care and working consistently with colleagues to ensure a team-based approach to care.
“Living in rural Saskatchewan was always in my plan. There is lots of room, lots of places to explore, affordable living and a lifestyle with something different each season.”
Hear Dr. McIntyre's story in his own words by watching this video. While you're there, subscribe to our Vimeo channel to learn more about the many great physicians currently practising in Saskatchewan.
Registered Nurse is Proud That Nametags Don’t Matter in Oxbow
Alison Duncan – a nursing supervisor at the Galloway Health Centre in Oxbow – was drawn to Saskatchewan thanks to family connections. A relative of hers who has lived in the Oxbow area for 40 years contacted Alison in her home province of New Brunswick to “gently hint” that Oxbow needed registered nurses.
Nine years later, Alison is still pleased with her decision to settle in Oxbow. “Here you really get to know your patients, see them through their care, explore their medical history and get to know them not just as patients, but as people,” says Alison.
The Galloway Health Centre is an integrated health care facility that includes 12 long-term care beds, 10 assessment and observation beds, and 24-hour emergency services.
“The Health Centre is a busy place mostly because it’s a long way from a larger hospital or city so it offers a lot of services. Professionally, I think this is one of the strongest attractions to the job here: knowing how to use and assess a lot of stuff allows me to keep on top of many skills. This is different from a larger tertiary centre where nurses often specialize in the same type of care day after day,” says Alison.
Alison is especially proud of her status as a health care professional in Oxbow. “The community really takes you under its wing and it just astounds me that nametags don’t matter! It’s huge for the patients when they know your first name, when I establish that trust and the confidence they place in me as a care provider.”
Outside of work, Alison sees plenty of advantages to her lifestyle in Oxbow: “My husband really loves the outdoors, and he finds that southeast Saskatchewan has some of the best fishing and hunting spots in the country so he really enjoys the region as well. We both love to camp so we have a number of different camping spots we can visit at any time.”
At the end of her day, it’s relationships that matter most to Alison. “Since I’ve been in Oxbow I’ve developed more of a trusting relationship with patients. It’s these types of relationships that make me feel great. I love this small town – it has a real sense of community and I love being a part of it.”
Hear Alison Duncan's story in her own words by watching this video. While you're there, subscribe to our Vimeo channel to learn more about the many great health professionals currently working in Saskatchewan.
Cruising Through Southern Saskatchewan
Originally Published on July 24, 2017 by Bruin Alexander
I remember my first time through Saskatchewan, on a bus bound for Swift Current, watching the fields flash by. That was about a dozen years ago now, and it seems like a totally different time, a totally different life. That kid was on the first eastern road swing of his Western Hockey League career, and Saskatchewan wasn’t much more than a pit stop: five rinks, five hotels, and not much else.
Looking back, the funny thing was how excited all my teammates were about their province. Kids from BC or Alberta were excited by their hometowns, the odd ski resort, and maybe a lake they spent a summer at. The boys from Saskatchewan were excited about everything: how what’s-his-name’s little brother once played puck in that town, or how such-and-such an NHLer grew up plowing that field and skating on that pond, or about the one time they snuck out on the dirt bikes to fish out the back of so-and-so’s property.
As the bus drifted across the countryside, you’d hear a constant murmur of stories about here. There is a whole lot of folklore in the “Land of the Living Skies”. For a lot of my life, that folklore was tied up in hockey, and for good reason: they don’t do it as well anywhere else. But by my second swing through, I realized the pride was tied up in so much more than just the game.
As Nathaniel and I recently screamed through the fields of southern Saskatchewan, he began pointing out places he remembered from growing up: visits to his Grandpa’s farm, the stories his Pops would tell about another time. He had a lot of those stories and places to point out. Even though he didn’t live for long in Saskatchewan, he stayed long enough to get a taste of what that meant.
On our week or so cruising through the southern reaches and small towns, we met lots of people. They all had things in common - this attitude, this friendliness, and an earnest interest in a couple outsiders – all of which was steeped in a sense of pride regarding home. Everyone had a favourite place to point out, and with every place came a favourite memory. We could sit down in a diner and sink into conversations about wherever we found ourselves, learning local secrets about where to eat, where to fish, where to crash.
All of it had this charm. Everyone you met either never left, or if they had, they figured out enough reasons to come back. Everyone holds the door. Helping someone with groceries isn’t questioned. You hear “sorry” even – especially - when it isn’t warranted. Most of the folks you see know each other, and most of them have a story or two about the other. It’s a simple place that loves it that way.
Saskatchewan always had something to it, something people talk about, something I never understood. Something that had old friends from Kindersley, Estevan, Tisdale, wherever, dreaming of nothing but a small slice of home. I thought about that as we slowly headed west. The longer you hang around, the more you see the sweat, the community, the dignity. From old women excited to share stories of a time past and not altogether different, to old men complaining with childhood friends about the rain or the Riders. Sons sowing the land of their fathers, and daughters dreaming about one day living up to their mothers. A whole lot of people who can see forever on the horizon and are happy that forever is here.
Many visitors to our country come to see the coasts or the big cities. If you’ve done that, you might've seen Canada, but until you've been to the middle, you'll probably never understand Canadiana; the grit, the patience, the courtesy, the pride. If you want to understand why people around the world smile when they see that red and white maple leaf, come to Saskatchewan. It’s a place where many folks choose to stay, because the grass - as they say - is never greener than it is here.
Author: Bruin Alexander - writer, adventure photographer & social media strategist from Vancouver
As a photographer his goal is to inspire people to challenge the status quo and live fulfilling, mutually beneficial and purposeful lives. Through his travels he intends to document the notion that there is no 'right' way to live and that progress is best seen within diverse populations who share information in such a way as to create a more holistic and empowered individual.