Bear season: the people can fight back


Out here we’ve plenty of bear.

But we go out whenever we dare.

We won’t bring to ruin

An innocent bruin.

So we lock up our dumpsters with care. 

Synopsis: I’m a Family Practitioner from Sioux City, Iowa. In 2010 I danced back from the brink of burnout, and honoring a 1 year non-compete clause, traveled and worked in out-of-the-way places in Alaska, Nebraska, Iowa, and New Zealand. After three years working with a Community Health Center, I went back to traveling and adventures in temporary positions. Assignments in Alaska, rural Iowa, suburban Pennsylvania and western Nebraska have followed.  I finished my most recent assignment in Clarinda on May 18.  Right now I’m in northern British Columbia, about to get a first-hand look at the Canadian system. Any identifiable patient information has been included with permission.

Right now this part of British Columbia finds itself in the middle of bear season, meaning that for a few short weeks the people get to fight back. All the dumpsters in town have bear-resistant closures and signs that urge the lock up, because “A fed bear is a dead bear.”  I find no open trash barrels anywhere; those containers have a very clever opening system too small for a bear to get a paw into.

With as many of the bruins as inhabit the area, I would expect more conflicts with the people. Such, however, occur rarely.  The ecosystem also supports mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, moose, elk, and deer.  Though few people talk about hunting elk, many talk about moose and caribou and deer.  Surprisingly few talk about bear hunts.

I still don’t have everything I need to start seeing patients. I must obtain professional liability insurance, and to do that I must have a bank account for automatic withdrawal.  And none of the banks were opened today.  I got the form filled out, with the exception of that one number.

So tomorrow I’ll come in after 930AM, when the banks open.

I started learning the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system, my 15th in the last 30 months.  I enjoyed seeing Mickey Mouse appear as the test patient; he has played that role in a lot of EMRs that I’ve learned.  Some places have his correct birthdate, May 15 1928.  They list his spouse, Minnie, and some include his felinophobia (fear of cats) on the problem list.  His medication list has included citalopram (an anti-depressant) more consistently than any other medication.

I heard that a doctor put together this EMR, but I don’t know how to verify that assertion. If so, I can hope that it functions.

It will have to be very good to beat New Zealand’s MedTech32.

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