Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pics from Pangnirtung

Usually I am the only doctor providing support to the nursing station in Pangnirtung. It can be a big job, the population there is now 1350, which would be a pretty normal size for an urban family practice. Here in the north a community that size is cared for mainly by a nursing station, and with a doctor a phone call away for support. I visit the community about every 6 weeks for a 3 to 5 day visit where I see patients in clinic, do small procedures, review charts and make care plans for complex patients. I don't really get any other devoted time for community care, and manage phone calls, emails, x-rays, lab reports, prescription renewals and more of the side of my desk while I'm working in emerg. catching babies, or whatever duties I'm assigned to here at the hospital on any given day. Over the past couple of months we've been fairly short staffed (again) here at the hospital and a pretty substantial list of patients to be seen had built up in Pangnirtung. Luckily this month they were able to send up both Dr. H. and I to see almost all of the waiting patients.

We spent the week in Pang. and in addition to a few days of medical clinics managed to walk around town, out on the ice and generally enjoy the beautiful spring weather that has finally arrived (that's about a balmy -10C for those who've never been here). Here are a few pictures from the trip.

A family heads out to enjoy the spring day.


The Pangnirtung pass...


Dr. H and I with the pass in the background.


Sunset.


This is one of the old houses the govt. built to house Inuit families as they moved in off the land. It's now uninhabited, but you can imagine a large family living in that small cabin. It would have been a very different life. The housing sitation here remains grim, and though the houses are usually a little bigger than this now, they are still very overcrowded in many cases.