The Human Library with DLRI

 

October 6th & October 13th

7:00 pm, MDT

 

What kind of unique and enriching experiences are available to the rural doctor? Find out by getting up close & personal with a "book" at the Human Library!

What is a Human Library?

The Human Library is similar to a regular library with readers borrowing books, except that the books are human volunteers who are willing to share personal experiences. For this event, each of our books are rural physicians, volunteering their time to educate, inform and challenge medical professionals and learners. 

 

We will be hosting this library session virtually on 2 different nights this fall. The first night will be on Tuesday, October 6th at 7:00pm, and the second night will be hosted on Tuesday, October 13th at 7:00 pm. Each night will be formatted on the same time table, where each participant will have the opportunity to "check out" 5 of the different books for approximately 15 minutes each. 

 

For more details about what books are available to be checked out each night, be sure to keep scrolling!

Meet the Library!

Below you will find a summary of all of our different books for the Human Library, including the title of their discussions, a summary of what they will talk about and a little more information on who they are. See something you like? You can check out your favorite books by registering to attend on October 6th or October 13th!

October 6 & 13

Dr. Walsh

Providing Controversial Healthcare in Rural Areas

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) is a new end of life option for eligible Canadians since 2016.  Like abortion, MAID has been controversial among both the public and health care providers, with many groups and individuals strongly opposed due to moral and religious beliefs.  This can be particularly challenging to navigate for physicians in rural communities.  As one of the few MAID providers in Southern Alberta, and the one who has been the most public about my involvement, I’d like to share some of the challenges I’ve faced and describe some of the incredibly rewarding experiences that I’ve been a part of.

 

Biography:

 

Dr. Walsh is a family physician who practiced community based general practice in Lethbridge, AB prior to joining the Alberta Health Services South Zone - West Palliative Care team in 2016.  Since that time she has been involved in both Palliative Care and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) in Lethbridge and the surrounding rural communities of Southwestern Alberta, caring for patients with serious illness in hospital, hospice, facility, and in their homes.  She lives in Lethbridge with her family physician husband and their 9 year old daughter.  Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, spending time in the mountains, and being a soccer mom.

October 6 & 13

Dr. Konkin

A Long and Winding Road: The path of a rural generalist

Generalists in all fields are likely to have what appears to be an unusual path, and to take a bit longer to settle into their career(s). Our broad interests and scope allow for fascinating careers that can take many twists and turns. Join me as I share some of the experiences on my journey along the “winding road”: from my first degree in political science to the work world to medical school to comprehensive rural generalist practice to a Master’s degree while working full-time and then on to an academic career while still keeping a toe in rural generalist practice. Why would one choose anything else?

 

Biography:

Dr. Jill Konkin has worn many hats in her career, including rural generalist family physician, professor, locum, and Associate Dean of Community Engagement at the University of Alberta. She was a member of the senior leadership team that developed the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM). Jill has also developed and implemented medical education programs including the University of Alberta’s Rural Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC), and is the interim Coordinator of the program.

Dr. Konkin’s current clinical practice includes a regular week-long rotation in a remote fly-in Alberta community and as a locum for comprehensive family physicians in rural Alberta. As a person born and raised in rural Saskatchewan and her passion for rural generalist practice, it is ironic that she had to move to an urban setting for the opportunity to develop rural medical education programs.

Dr. Konkin’s work is informed by the principles of social justice and health equity. She has advocated for rural medicine and rural medical education for her entire career and is a recognized leader in this area, both in Canada and internationally. Her current research interests include rural medical education, professional identity formation, clinical courage and interprofessional education.

October 6

Dr. R Ram

Balance is for Cowards

“… you can do it … you know you want to ….”  he thought.  The infamous FOMO was peeking its head out from the shadows to taunt him.   “After all, this could complement the long list of achievements, goals, and jobs that I have underway already”, with ‘could’ being the knife’s edge in that logic.  “Besides, if I say ‘no’, then what?  It would fail under them and then if I say ‘yes’ in the future there would be so much more to do and clean up.  That settles it…”

Join Dr. Ram as he discusses his approach to taking risks and making choices, the challenges and rewards.

 

Biography:

Dr. Rithesh Ram has a varied and storied history (ask him about his application to be an astronaut!). Although he is still interested in going into space, his current career as a rural generalist in Drumheller, Alberta, is deeply satisfying. Aside from his MD, Dr. Ram has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Calgary. He is passionate about teaching with clinical appointments at both the U of C and the U of A.  He is also Director of the UCLIC Program and President of the Riverside Medical Clinic in Drumheller.   

With his busy schedule, Dr. Ram often doesn’t make it home early enough in the evening to eat dinner with his wife Veronique (also a busy family physician), two daughters, and son. However, he notes, “I make it a point to always be there with the family for breakfast.” Rithesh enjoys reading endless stories to his children, walking his dogs amongst the hoodoos, curling during the season, and keeping physically active on a daily basis.    

October 6 & 13

Dr. Boora

Why Not Here? Why Not Me?

My experience as a member of a visible minority growing up in a small prairie city, learning to find my place in the world, and deciding that a career in medicine wasn’t a way out, but a way to return home and show I belonged.

Join Dr. Boora as he discusses his experiences, and challenges you to self-reflect: “Why not here? Why not me?”

 

Biography:

Dr. Par Boora was born in Brooks, AB and grew up in Lethbridge, AB. After completing a BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge, he attended medical school at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Dr. Boora remained in Edmonton to complete his General Surgery residency. After passing the Royal College exam in 2010, he worked as a community general surgeon and continued to practice  in rural and regional centres in Alberta. In 2013, Dr. Boora secured a permanent position at the Chinook Regional Hospital in his home town of Lethbridge. He feels fortunate to have a full-spectrum General Surgery practice, and is also involved in educating medical students, family medicine residents, and general surgery residents. Dr. Boora is married with 3 kids, and tries to spend as much time as possible in the mountains.

October 6

Dr. Mannerfeldt

Same but Different: The Road Less Traveled

Growing up on a dairy farm in Central Alberta was foundational to developing skills of resilience, perseverance, and teamwork. Deciding to pursue medicine meant that the journey was filled with obstacles and unexpected disappointments.  Opportunities to experience different cultures have included gathering eggs on a chicken farm in Switzerland, teaching emergency obstetric skills to physicians and midwives in Iraq, and working with Doctors without Borders/MSF in Peshawar, Pakistan.  Each experience has given me connecting points for many patients in my practice today.   Much of the world is still rural and being able to understand the challenges faced by physicians in Tanzania and Laos has opened my eyes to how the world is more similar than different.  As the Thai T-shirt slogan states, “Same same, but different.”  Medicine is not a destination; it is a journey and the road less traveled may be the road to opportunities not anticipated.  My journey through medicine has been filled with different learnings because I have been willing to take the road less traveled. 

 

Biography:

Dr. Jaelene Mannerfeldt grew up on a small dairy farm in Central Alberta and was encouraged to study medicine as a High School student by a Chemistry teacher.  Upon achieving her MD she studied Family Medicine with an eye to returning to rural Alberta.  When the opportunity to study further to become an Obstetrician/Gynecologist her colleagues and family encouraged her to return to residency.  As part of her training, she included a year of Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology in Toronto.  Returning to Alberta she has continued to work in rural Alberta by providing consultative services to the community of High River.  Over the past 20 years, her work has included more Global health and she has taught in over 20 different countries and inspired groups of students who have joined her in rural Uganda for their pre-clerkship medical school electives.

October 6

Dr. Makhdoom

Journey from the Sun to the Rocky Mountains

My journey is that of an International Medical Graduate (IMG) who came with a dream and kept working hard to achieve the goal of practicing medicine in a new land which was exciting and unknown. My journey is about resiliency and patience and persistence. I invite you to join me as I share my story about reaching for the stars.

 

Biography:

Dr. Sarah Makhdoom is a Family Physician who has served the community of High River, Alberta for 17 years. She also has many other roles including: UCLIC site Director, co-founder of the High River Maternity Clinic, Director at RhPAP, Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Calgary, and Director at Charles Clark Health Clinic. Dr. Makhdoom notes that she has deep roots in High River, and is proud of the relationships she has built with community members over the years. Dr. Makhdoom and her family welcomed a new grand-daughter this year.

October 13

Dr. Kelly

From Clonakilty to Calgary

Removing fish-hooks, foreign bodies and delivering farm animals – some days it feels like a long way from Clonakilty to Calgary.  From my training in a small seaside village in Ireland, I now work on the 8th floor in a swanky clinic in the heart of downtown – where people wear cowboy boots, and not wellies! Fields are replaced by sky-scrapers; the accents may be different – but the essence of a home visit remains the same. Fish hooks are more problematic. So - how do you remove a fish hook and how can it help establish a career in academic medicine?  If only books could talk….

 

Biography:

Dr. Martina Kelly is a family physician and Associate Professor with the Department of Family Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine. Martina trained in Ireland and moved to Calgary in 2012. She trained in a rural program but was bitten by the research bug early in her career and spent the next 14 years working in an inner-city practice, whilst working in the University. Her interest in research was supplanted by her love of teaching and she has occupied a range of educational roles in family medicine.  Dr. Kelly’s present position allows her to combine her three passions of family medicine, teaching and research, which she uses to further the education of caring, skilled family doctors.

October 13

Dr. V Ram

Pick a Little, Talk a Little

Coming from a big city like Montreal, to small town rural Alberta, was without a doubt a culture shock. As a rural physician in a small community, it’s difficult to be anonymous. You inevitably become a celebrity of sorts and have to juggle the intersections between personal and professional life. The hardest part of rural medicine isn’t the broad-based practice, the longer days, and having to do a lot for patients with fewer resources. The challenge resides in building protective boundaries to keep you sane. In today’s internet savvy world, keyboard warriors are quick to judge and type without a second thought. How do you survive small town gossip and criticism, staying professionally distanced and healthy? This talk presents inflammatory online text-based discussion media with a bit of humour and a lot of heart in how to learn to let things go.  

 

Biography: 

Dr. Véronique Ram is a rural family physician. Prior to her medical career, Véronique studied literature at McGill. She completed a PhD in Canadian Fiction at the University of Calgary and is working on her first novel. She also conducts research in narrative medicine and writes a column “Dear Covid” for The Drumheller Mail. Véronique advocates for the simplicity of kindness and honest communication between patient and physician. When she isn't studying or writing, you can find her singing showtunes, running, or snuggled up with her husband and 3 wonders lost in the world of Disney.

October 13

Dr.Penner

Dreams Don’t Come True, They are Made

At a young age I decided I wanted to be a rural physician.  With two parents without university degrees and minimal family members in medicine, I worked hard through high school and university to achieve my childhood dream.  After 3 years in medicine, I realized I needed new dreams. This led to personal goals (related to trail running) and professional goals (to become a better medical educator and medical leader).  Come join me as I share strategies to develop your personal and professional goals so that you are never stagnant in medicine or life. 

 

Biography: 

Dr. Kristy Penner is a rural family physician from Crowsnest Pass and has been practicing medicine for over 10 years.  She is a graduate of the University of Calgary Rural Residency Program.  Her practice interests currently include medical education and medical leadership but she is always exploring the next challenge.  She spends her time off in her big back yard, trail-running, mountain biking and skiing.