Local Health Care Initiative Hosts Medical Students In Hopes Of Enticing Them To Work In Kawartha Lakes

KAWARTHA LAKES-42 University of Toronto medical students spent the day in Lindsay on Wednesday learning about the importance and the charm of rural medicine.

In the morning the first-and-second year medical students participated in a hands-on workshop in suturing, along with sessions regarding wound care and dermatology.The students also engaged in a question-and-answer session at the Pie Eyed Monk with a panel of local family physicians regarding living and working in the City of Kawartha Lakes in the afternoon. The panel consisted of Dr. Helt, Dr. Francis and Dr. Bothwell who have a combined 68 years of medical experience. The talked about the benefits of rural medicine, calling it the best of both worlds.

“The work is different, there’s the opportunity to see a lot of different things and you are forced to deal with them The experience and skills learned are amazing.” said Dr Francis. All three talked about how much they enjoyed the camaraderie between the doctors. Dr Helt told the students his daughter would babysit for Dr Bothwell.

First-year student Victoria Leung says she is intrigued by working in a rural community.

“It’s always been something that I’ve been pretty curious about. I guess growing up in a pretty urban area its something that I never really had exposure to but I do think there are really unique charms to it and considering the situation here I think that’s something I would want to consider,” she told Kawartha 411 News.

Fellow student Eileen Tang said the day opened her eyes to the possibilities when working in a smaller community.

“I haven’t really thought about it but I do like how much exposure you get up here and just how much you help out my being here versus just being another learner in Toronto where there’s a million other people who can do what you do.  Even if it’s a month you help a lot of people, there’s a lot of need that you are able to fill.” said Tang.

With a critical shortage of doctors locally and across the province, the Kawartha Lakes Health Care Initiative (KLHCI)hosted the one-day event hoping it would encourage students such as Leung and Tang to consider a future practice in CKL.

“KLHCI cannot coordinate an event such as this without strong support from the leadership and staff of the Ross Memorial Hospital, and the physicians who take part in the workshops and panel. We would like to thank Dr. Dawn Reid, Dr. Naomi Nicholson, Dr. Stuart Bothwell, Dr. Sara-Lynn Francis and Dr. Bruno Helt, along with Leanne Harding, RN for volunteering their expertise and passion for the day. Further thanks are extended to KLHCI board members and CKL community members who volunteered their time to guide the students throughout the day. Final thanks go to the Pie-Eyed Monk for providing a wonderful lunch,” says Andrew Veale, KLHCI President.

“On behalf of the medical students, we wish to express our appreciation to the University of Toronto Faculty Medical Society for the grant received to provide transportation and accommodations for the Rural Medicine Community Experience Day. We also wish to express our gratitude to KLHCI and the Ross Memorial Hospital for organizing this event” states Jeremy Penn and Samuel Murray, organizing committee of the UofT Rural Medicine Interest Group.

KLHCI is a non-profit, charitable organization whose mandate is to recruit and retain family doctors for the City of Kawartha Lakes.


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