Cornwall ON – Well, my first year of medical school has come to an end. That’s right, I wrote my final exam on Friday May 21st and freedom then began. I have to admit that I’m still not used to not having to study each minute of it seems every day, but slowly & surely I will get adjusted to the free time & lounging by the water in the sun. Although this all seems too good to be true; it is most definitely not realistic.
The following week after my exam, a classmate & I drove ten hours to northern Ontario, in which we spent the week following Dr. Alain Lebel in his medical practice located in Smooth Rock Falls. It was a great experience which we had the opportunity to spend clinical hours not only in his family practice, but also, being that he is the only doctor in the community of approximately 1, 500 citizens, he also must oversee the emergency department as well as the in-patients at the hospital. I had always considered Cornwall to be a rural setting; however, after spending the week in Smooth Rock Falls, I realize that we are quite a developed city in which our hospital facilities are undergoing much progress & upgrade that only a community in northern Ontario like Smooth Rock Falls would wish to have rather than drive the hours to either North Bay, Timmins or Sudbury to receive specialized care. Nonetheless, the experience will be one that I will not forget as Dr. Lebel & his friendly staff taught us so much, & we are so thankful that his patients allowed us to be involved in their health care management.
I have contacted physicians in the City of Cornwall to do electives with throughout the summer at either the hospital or in their own medical practice & have received great feedback from them; therefore, I am anxious & excited to start spending time in the clinical field to get a perspective on health care in my hometown.
As for now, my summer in Cornwall begins. From spending time with my family, to babysitting my sixteen month old nephew, & of course seeing friends that I have not been able to see as much during the school year; I have many plans for the summer. I have to admit that there’s one particular plan for the summer that stands out above all; a three-week trip to Peru & Bolivia in July which includes a hike of the Inka Trek in Machu Pichu! I just received today the required immunization for my trip & have done some shopping for hiking equipment & other essentials & can’t put into words how excited I am for this trip to South America. Although my family members & some friends are worried, I’m sure this will be a trip of a lifetime!!!
So for now, between spending time in the hospital, preparing for my trip & how could I leave out watching the hockey playoffs; I am enjoying the time spent with family & friends or lounging by the water reading. It is thus without a doubt that I will take advantage of this summer as I only have one left after this one.
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Be careful you do not burn yourself out, because society will allways need dedicated professionals.
Stay positive and surround yourself with positive people, best of luck.