Jun 22, 2015

My week as a country doctor

Just got done with a week as camp doctor at a resident camp for children in Central California. I started volunteering as camp doc last summer, not just so I could clandestinely keep an eye on my own kids and take their pictures on the sly - but as a personal dare to see if I could do one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs in medicine, being a country doctor.

At camp, I focus on keeping children healthy, and provide basic medical care wherever campers and staff need it - at our infirmary, by the lake, at the ropes course, or at lunch tables. I triage who should go to the emergency room 40 minutes away, or who needs some extra TLC for homesickness. I work with a camp nurse who dispenses prescription and over-the-counter medications four times a day. The camp doctor has office hours twice a day at the infirmary for sick campers and staff.

Being out here in the foot hills of the Sierras with a tightly knit community of about 300 children and 150 counselors and staff reminds me of why I went into primary care pediatrics. I don’t