So I've been in town for a week now, and in that time I've seen many patients, 3 knee surgeries, 1 hip surgery, 1 lower-leg surgery, ... a bunch of other surgeries ... many XRays, a lot of people with abdominal discomfort, a C-Section, many very-soon-to-be mothers, a few broken bones courtesy of violence, and a lot of diabetes and heart disease. Perhaps of more import, I have found many fishing locations, and have managed absolutely no luck at any of them so far. My only consolation is that most other people were also similarly unlucky (I only saw one other person land a fish). Oh well, all I can really do is hold my head up and persevere.
As I expected, the faint appeal of family practise has grown considerably since I have seen what it can look like in a rural area. Not only do you see patients in the office, but you also see them in emergency, on the ward, and in surgery. You see people you know, as well as others you've never met before. You talk about things, order tests, do some tests yourself, interpret some of the results, help out or do the necessary procedures, and see the patients afterwards. You work with a very diverse team that is well traveled, and get to do this all in a very scenic environment. Did I mention that there's fishing here too? Everyone keeps saying it's good - I'll have to keep checking until I catch something big to believe them ;)
This doesn't mean that I've discovered a definate passion to go into family medicine - but of note, it has firmly placed it onto my list of options. I am still keenly interested in the idea of emergency medicine and surgery, and am sure many other areas will appeal to me over the next year. While dermatology, pathology and urology residencies may breathe a sigh of relief that I won't likely be soon haunting their hallways, there hasn't really been much other 'narrowing down' that has happened. While some items get exclamation marks beside them, very few have been fully removed from the list.
Perhaps because it's one of the more frequent type of procedures in the OR here, orthopedic surgery is catching my interest. The surgeon has graciously let me into the OR whenever I have time or see cases I'm interested in. Perhaps it's the tools. There are some pretty cool tools you get to use, and I feel this ... thrill? ... when I hear the [edited] start up and commit the course of action. From there on, it's all mechanical, and most of the patients are feeling much better quite quickly. Is it cherry-picking? I don't really know, but I know I like the idea.
Anyway, my day here is done, and now is the time to bide my time until heading to my preceptors cabin on the lake to have a BBQ. Life is tough here, but, hey, I'm willing to suffer for it.