The reason I chose to go to Dillon was to have the opportunity to experience what it is really like to be a small town rural doctor who does it all, and that is exactly what I found. I worked mainly with Dr. Sandra Mcintyre who is a smart, dedicated, charismatic graduate from the UW program who is deeply loved by her patients. Our days were spent going between clinic and the hospital to check on our inpatients. On Monday afternoons we would do stress testing, and on many mornings she performs her own endoscopies. One of the most rewarding parts of the month was seeing patients who I took care on in the hospital back in clinic after their discharge. There were patients I saw 4-5 times during the month, true continuity! Of course, you cant beat the location, so close to yellowstone, world class fly fishing, and miles of open beautiful prarie. If you go in September you will also get to experience the big rodeo that comes through town…this is one of the truest cowboy towns in the country and a must see!
I spent December and a portion of January in Jackson, Wyoming working with Dennis Butcher. It was an incredible experience. The clinic staff were warm and welcoming. We saw a range of patients, including my first horse wreck. The hospital is small, but friendly. The strength of this site is the preceptors and the patients. It’s a glimpse into real primary care. The town of Jackson itself is fun and full of activities. I skied, did some ice-climbing and learned how to two-step. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Missoula was my second WWAMI month and quite different from the first. Missoula is a university town and significantly bigger than Livingston. There are multiple hospitals, plenty of subspecialists, and even some UW students running around; it has less of the “small town doctor” feel. That said it’s quite different from Seattle, and the exceedingly well-connected Dr. Schlesinger is eager to customize the rotation – I did two weeks of sports medicine and two weeks at a Community Health Center. But one gets the sense Dr. S could arrange anything from the ICU to podiatry, probably with someone not used to having a resident and excited to do some teaching. Go to Missoula to get away, see a different place, do some hiking/skiing, and all of that, but also take advantage of the opportunity to learn whatever you want.
As someone who was uncertain in what field of medicine to enter, I decided to take advantage of the WWAMI experience. The reason I picked Dillon was based on a chance conversation that I had with my clinic preceptor who had went out to Dillon and still reminiscing Mrs. Loge’s cherry pie and the beautiful Montana landscape. Being in a small town for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect. Everyone whom I met were warm, helpful and extremely friendly. The patients were real “salt of the earth” especially the ranchers. The experience is unique in that we follow patients in all aspects of their care–from the clinic to the ER to the inpatient side and to the procedure room. Because of the limited access to specialists, Drs. Loge and McIntyre perform most of the procedures that we routinely fill out a requisition or refer to specialists. They perform bone marrow biopsy, thyroid biopsy, EGD, colonoscopy, treadmills and all routine primary care procedures. Both Drs. Loge and McIntyre were amazing preceptors and clinicians. On the weekend off, Dr. Loge invited me to his beautiful cabin and spend time cross country skiing and finding then chopping down a Christmas tree. It was the first time for me to do both. Lastly, Mrs. Loge’s cherry pie was as good as it was rumored to be and certainly worth the drive to Dillon.