Rural medicine has its share of “unique features.”
The patient demographic is different. The types of injuries are different (farm implements are dangerous). The infectious diseases are different (anthrax here does not mean bioterrorism).
Even getting to work is different. In the city I had a 35 minute bus ride or a 35 minute walk or an hour’s drive (if you count looking for parking).
Here, I have a 35 minute drive at 80 km/h.
And I have road hazards: foxes, who dart across the road. Skunks, who amble. Porcupines, who roll up into a ball and prepare to die. If you hit a porcupine, the spines destroy your car radiator. Decent revenge for such a harmless animal.
The animals I don’t understand are the deer. They see you coming. They look at your car. They are standing safely in the field on the left-hand side of the road, but as you approach they suddenly decide they must be in the other field, the one on the right-hand side. And so they run directly in front of the car, causing me to brake heavily enough that my bags slide off the passenger seat and hit the dashboard. Is suicidality a defining feature of deer?
This week’s near-miss count:
- foxes: 1
- deer: 1
- raccoons: 1