Idecided to sign up for a rural elective in family medicine in my third year. I imagined how grateful the citizens of the country would be if I decided to practise there because I had completed my education in a large teaching centre. It didn't take long before my illusions of being a big city doctor came crashing down all around me.
My mentor was a general practitioner who held clinics every day from 9 to 5 and then hit the mountain bike trails. Before clinic he went to the hospital to check any of his patients who were in hospital. This was a small hospital, with 60 beds, and all patients were admitted through the emergency department. Once admitted, the patient's management in hospital fell to his or her family doctor. I had to recall all my internal medicine just to manage patients on a family medicine rotation.