Have you ever fantasized about being interviewed? What clever pearls would fall from your lips, what savage witticisms would cause both your interviewer and the guy holding the boom to guffaw?

I'd like to think that insight and humor would flow effortlessly from me but more likely I would probably say "um" and "like" a lot, especially if the host was Elanor Wachatel* or James Lipton, two of the greatest interviewers of all time.

So, here in the cozy confines of my cluttered office I'll use the Inside the Actors Studio questions to conduct my own, private, self-aggrandized interview.

What is your favorite word?

I have a fetish for bacterial nomenclature and love saying things like "Campylobacter jejuni" "aeruginosa" and "Bordetella" but they are not easy to casually drop into everyday conversation.  I'll say my current favorite word is "somnolent" since it captures how I feel most days.

What is your least favorite word?

"Irregardless". Which is arguably not a word, so if I had to choose a real word: "ethicsapproval". Ok, also not a word. How about, "chinos"? I've never been able to figure out what it means, all I know is it has something to do with male clothing.

What turns you on?

My mother reads this blog so I'll keep it PG, literally. It's a tie between "aha!" moments and adrenaline.

What turns you off?

The bluegrass album of Beatles songs, "Beatle Country" by the Charles River Boys. Actually happened.

What sound do you love?

My current cure for insomnia from Sounds of Nature White Noise: Tibetan Chakra Meditation. Which sounds like a mighty thunderstorm with rain falling on a raging river. That soothes me to sleep? Yes, because it reminds me of when I was a young. My mom used to wrap me up in a blanket during thunderstorms, and take me out to our covered porch to watch the lightening and listen to the rain. Something that was supposed to be scary was morphed into feeling safe, warm, loved.

What sound do I hate?

The standard Nokia ring tone. GAWD I HATE THAT RING TONE!!!!! Partially because it was the ring tone of the on-call phone when I worked in Whistler (i.e the sound that would wake me up from a deep slumber and require me to trundle down to the ED) and partly because it went off (for ages!) during a recent Irish Chamber Orchestra's performance of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Seriously, you need to change it RIGHT NOW if that is your ring tone. Do you know what that ring tone says about you? It is ring code for, "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO CHANGE THE SETTINGS ON MY PHONE".

What is your favorite curse word? 

I must admit to a potty mouth since moving to Ireland. I know, I know, it is sooo low brow to cuss. I can't help myself; there are no screens on my windows and I am living on a line of credit--I should be allowed to drop an F-bomb when I want. One curse word that is growing on me these days is feck. Not quite 'f*ck' and better than 'dammit'.

What other profession other than yours would you like to attempt? 

Musician. I did attempt that, actually (my favorite song off our album). Or radio personality. Or writer. As long as I could be dazzling at it and not 'useless flaky hack' at it. You know the types, the ones that drink too much white wine at parties and corner you to discuss the esoteric novel they are working on.

What profession would you not like to do?

Anything to do with banks, money, life insurance, taxes, numbers, computers.

If heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? 

Well done, here's your Champagne, your family and friends have been waiting for you.  


If you've read this far you deserve some more detailed information about who I am. I am a prairie girl whose heart is in the mountains.

After a fairly weak showing during my first two years of college, I decided to take a year off and travel through South East Asia. My pre requisite grades had not been what I had aspired to and I remember feeling that the medical dream was slipping out of my grasp.

I returned from Asia and started a BSc. in Nursing as per the advice of the Dean of Medicine at the University of Alberta. He was encouraging students interested in medicine to pursue medically related undergraduate degrees.

It was, hands down, the best professional advice I've received to date.

I graduated from nursing and jumped in with both feet, starting in tertiary care emergency departments in Alberta and BC. I moved to Yellowknife for a summer and completed an Introduction of Nurse Practitioner which provided me with extra training in skills like suturing and pelvic exams. This training allowed me to work throughout Nunavut and the NWT in First Nations communities and Inuit settlements in the Canadian Arctic.

I was enjoying my mountain town living and arctic nursing. Making good money and slowly improving my back country skiing and cross country mountain biking.

Then I decided to turn everything upside down.

I cashed my RRSP's and enrolled full time in the science courses needed to apply for medical school.
I wrote the MCAT in 2008 and applied to the University of Calgary and all of the medical schools in Ontario. I didn't get an interview anywhere. Not even a waiting list. Ouch.

The second time I applied in Canada, I also applied in Ireland and was offered a seat at the University of Limerick. I couldn't defer my place and apply in Canada the following year so I decided to make the leap, starting medical school in 2009.

In 2013 I completed medical school in the top centile of my class. I matched in Rural Family Medicine and graduated in 2015. I went on to a PGY3 year in Enhanced Surgical Skills, which trains residents in basic general surgical procedures and advanced obstetrical interventions. With my training I can perform endoscopy, cesarean sections, carpal tunnel releases, appendectomies, diagnostic laparoscopy, tubal ligations...to name a few.

I am done my post graduate training, for now. I am now an attending in a rural and remote Canadian community where I maintain a varied and broad practice, from O.R to E.R and everything in between. 

Welcome to Asystole.


*I actually sent Elanor Wachtel's producer some fan mail once and got a personal reply from Ms. Wachtel herself! My one brush with 'obscure CBC interviewer' fame.  Oh and there was that time I sat next to Rick Mercer in the pre-boarding lounge at Yellowknife airport. Hang on...AND...being told by Kent Hoffman (the producer of White Coat Black Art) that he reads my blog regularly! How many cool points do I get for that?? Um...Lots.

"Health care gets me...right here."