Posts Tagged ‘Irish medical license’

Canada, rainbow’s end, and pheasant glass

May 12, 2015

In the evening I dove east in the rain
With a rainbow out over the plain
No matter what you’ve been told
At the end, there’s no gold,
But in fall, we just might have grain.

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, travelled 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 am back having adventures in temporary positions until they have an Electronic Medical Record System (EMR) I can get along with. Just back from Nome, Alaska, I’m now in Grundy Center, Iowa.
I drove with the sun at my back, eastwards, from Sioux City towards Grundy Center, across flat farmland dotted with wind turbines. The dramatic clouds in front of me contrasted with the sunshine behind me, clarity against darkness. Bit by bit, a rainbow emerged against the backdrop, first at the north end, then at the south, and finally arched right across the sky.

I could not help but remember our train trip south across New Zealand, between assignments. Seven rainbows graced the skies that rainy day.

I picked New Zealand over Ireland in 2011 because of the medical licensure application. Ireland’s 84-page form brimmed with dense prose, indefinite antecedents and esoteric usage despite nominal English, after a week spent on the first 10 pages I gave it up as a bad bit of work, added it to recycling, and picked up New Zealand’s four-pager, which I completed in an under an hour.

Right now I’m working on a Canadian license. The paperwork so far has been reasonable to the point of unbelievability. In fact, I don’t believe it and I’m waiting for the full weight of bureaucracy to fall across my electronic desktop.

Trish, my recruiter, has guided me with patience and kindness. We mostly talk on her days working at home. In the US, recruiters work for agencies to place physicians where needed; the doc works as an independent contractor. The agency guarantees transportation, professional liability insurance, and housing. I can’t generalize for all Canada, but my recruiter puts doctors together with institutions in need. The professional then negotiates with the employer about rate, insurance, lodging, and transportation. In the end, the Canadian recruiter takes a much smaller piece of the pie. And doctors do their own negotiations.

In the beginning, I had no particular geographic aspirations. I even considered working in Quebec because I speak French (acquired, with Rosetta Stone, last year). Later I realized that the French spelling system with its archaic silent letters would threaten sanity maintenance in a medical environment.

Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario slipped out of consideration, one by one, for different reasons.
So over the course of the last two months, my recruiter has helped narrow my focus from all of Canada to British Columbia, and I have entered the weird world of international licensure. Each province has its own license authority, just as every state in the Union does, but they have a degree of reciprocity.
Why Canada? Not chasing rainbows. I want to work in the Canadian system, which American doctors love to revile without understanding it. I don’t understand it either; I want to experience it first hand, and write about it. In all fairness, I’ve worked the American system for 33 years and I don’t understand it.

And I have all the rainbows I want, anywhere I go. I came over the crest of a hill, and the north end of the rainbow, always retreating at a fixed distance, shone against the brown and green of the Iowa fields germinating corn in the spring. No pot of gold, no leprechauns, just gleaming yellow, and a moment later, for a thrilling second, the south end of the rainbow popped up out of a gulley.

Then, WHAM, a hen pheasant died on my windshield.


Teaching a ten-year-old archery while deer threaten

September 6, 2010

We took out the arrows and bow,

In the afternoon late summer glow.

    There was nothing to fear

    By the whitetail deer.

The waddling dog was too slow.

After I worked on my application for an Irish medical license for an hour this afternoon I went downstairs and assembled my deer-shaped Styrofoam archery target and set it up in the back yard.  I brought out my compound bow and started to hammer the vital area.  I would have like to have arched longer but I’m still in the first three weeks of my program and to avoid tendonitis I have to go slow early on.

When I was done, my next-door neighbor’s ten-year-old grandson came out and said, “Can I try?”

I’ve been teaching children projectile weapons and hunting for twenty-five years; I taught archery at summer camp.  Of course I said yes, and we got out the kid-friendly bow, arrows, and target.  I determined that Jaime is left-eye dominant, and though he’s right-handed he’ll need to shoot left-handed. 

I started archery at day camp when I was twelve and the bug bit me right then.  I promised myself that when I grew up I would live in a place where I could do archery in my own back yard.  I did target archery for twenty years before I ever went hunting.  As a consequence of pulling a bow back for most of my life I have very heavy clavicles.

When it comes to archery, I like to show the kid the basics, then stand back and let them figure out the details.  Twelve arrows into the lesson Jaime started hitting the target solidly.

His grandfather, Kent, came out.  Like many in his  family, he shoots very well with little practice.  He did archery in college but declined his grandson’s invitation to join in, and sat down to talk and watch.

After a while he said, “Well, would you look at that.”  We turned around, looking northwest onto the golf course.  Standing in the clear sunlight with a dark, dramatically foreboding sky in the background, just off the sixth hole, was a good-sized, glossy-coated doe.  We chuckled and talked about having venison for dinner tomorrow night and made Bambi jokes.  Jaime was more interested in target shooting. 

Then Kent said, “Well, here come two more,” and, sure enough, two smaller does followed the larger doe into the patch of woods twenty paces behind us.  We kept on arching.

Then a spotted fawn trotted across the same opening to join the three others.

I told Jaime that, most likely, the group was a mother with her daughters and the fawn was her grandchild. 

Jaime kept shooting arrows at the target.

About five minutes later we heard commotion in the patch of woods where the deer were browsing.  I turned around to see the spotted fawn trotting through the trees, right towards us.  When she was fifteen yards away I said, “I beg your pardon,” but I had to say it twice before she changed her course.  Just then the other three deer came running out of the pocket of trees, back the direction they’d come, jumping with their white tails held high in the air. 

Thirty seconds later, a fat black-and-white Pekingese size dog came out of the woods, waddling disappointed towards the fleeing deer.

 I have never seen a fawn have spots this late in the season; winter will be very difficult.