Family Doctor

Rachel, 28, is a family doctor in the Kingston, Ontario area. She completed most of her B.Sc. at McGill University before being accepted to medical school at Queen's University. Including time as a resident, she was in university for nine years to become a family doctor.

Stephanie: What made you decide to become a family doctor?
I really wanted to be a novelist, but I didn't think I could make a good living at it, unless I got lucky. I went into sciences since there seemed to be very few jobs for English majors. I applied to medical school because it seemed the thing to do. Family medicine drew my attention specifically due to the prospect of getting to know people and trying to help them in the best way that I possibly can.

Stephanie: What do you like about your job?
I like getting to know people and helping them.

Stephanie: What is your least favourite part of the job?
Gastroenteritis. (Patients with vomiting and diarrhea).

Stephanie: What advice do you have for someone considering becoming a family doctor?
Do it because you love it, not for the money.

Stephanie: What kind of an education did you get to be a family doctor?
I did three years of a four-year B.Sc. in physiology. I never got that degree, since I got into medical school before it was complete. I had to pass the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) to get into medical school. I was in medical school for four years, followed by my residency. The family practice residency is two years long. I did eight months of family practice and then several one- or two-month rotations in other disciplines including surgery, internal medicine, palliative care (medical care for the terminally ill), obstetrics, psychiatry, pediatrics and emergency medicine.

Stephanie: What's your favourite colour?
To wear? Brick red. To decorate a room? Soft mauves with eggplant accents. To look at? Pure primary red.

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