Saturday, April 26, 2008

It feels just like a vacation...

Since living here in Iqaluit I've taken up squash. Yes, I know, it's a strange sport to take up in the arctic but it's fun and a great workout. Imagine doing a few hundred lunges and a few dozen wind sprints and you have the game pretty much down. The worse you are the harder you work on the squash court (I, for instance, work my butt off). It's been a fun way to meet people and get out during the cold winter months when going outside is sometimes not terribly appealing.

When physician supply here in the arctic is lean (and it often is) it's left to the long term docs to pick up the slack. The emerg. needs to be covered, obstetrics needs to be covered, anesthesia needs to be covered, and when there aren't enough docs around that coverage can be tough to find. For the last few months we've been pretty understaffed and that has meant a lot of 7 day work weeks and lots of on call. A couple of months at that pace really eat into the rest of your life and for me squash games got put on hold. This month has been better staffed and we've even had a couple of weekends off! I've been back on the squash court a few times, though any skill I had has definitely atrophied.

Since I started playing again about 5 people have come up to me and asked how my vacation was. Vacation? What vacation? They react in disbelief when I tell them I have just been working every day for a couple of months, assuming I had been out of town since I hadn't been playing. It can be a tiring schedule up here sometimes, but luckily the work is usually enjoyable even when it's too busy. At the end of this week we're taking a real vacation. A bit of R&R should recharge the batteries, though I doubt it will do much for my squash game....


Elaine said...

I hope you REALLY enjoy your well earned vacation. Your blog of the arctic is fascinating.

Inkling said...

I found you from FreshMD"s blog. I'm from the States, married a Canadian, and living in BC. Finding this blog and the one that brought me here has done wonders for helping me feel more at home with the medical community. That may sound strange to you, but it really has. It wasn't easy going from an arsenal of specialists I could call at any time with my private insurance to learning how MSP works. It took even longer for me to accept that my family doctor is going to check more than my throat, and that he will probably deliver our future babies. Being able to trust that I am in good hands was not easy. But reading these blogs have taught me that my reliance on US healthcare (in its most privileged form) wasn't as important and vital as I thought it was. My words aren't exactly coming out right, but what I'm trying to say is that these Canadian medical blogs have helped me accept that this is my home now, and that I can learn to trust and appreciate the medical community here. And who knows? Maybe I'll even appreciate the way my worldview, values, and beliefs about what really matter are changing because of my new home. People think the States and Canada are so similar, but I beg to differ. Canada offers so much richness I'm finding. Thanks for writing. You've helped my perspective become one of gratitude instead of complaint, trust instead of trepidation. Blessings on your adventure in the North.

Doctor S. said...

Sounds like great exercise! I'm glad I found your blog. It will be fun to trade back and forth stories about living in the far north! Check out mine:

goodeda1122 said...