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I knew I had certain skills that if I put them towards a certain purpose, a good purpose that I would make a contribution, that I would have an effect and so the decision was where did I want to maximize my effect as opposed to where did I want to have the biggest name or the most prestigious, or the nicest resume and so, so the choice there was do I put my skills towards helping a specific problem, helping a community of people and that is the choice I ended up making.
One of the challenges of especially being in a medical school is that so much of your work and your salary depends on grants, and of course you are on a tenure clock, trying to get tenure, which means you are on constant pressure to publish. And to write more grants and there doesn’t really seem to be an upper limit, there doesn’t seem to be too much you can do in order to maintain security because you are always worried about losing your funding.
I now work for First Nations Inuit Health branch and it deals with health services for aboriginal communities across the country in 600+ reserves.
There is a variety in what you do which is generally interesting. One day I can be working on mental health. Another day I can be working on diabetes, on another day I could be working on northern health. You learn a lot more working in this kind of broader atmosphere.
There is definitely an appeal to knowing you will be dealing directly with people you are helping there is nothing like getting first hand knowledge and first hand experience with the situation you are trying to help, the situation you are trying to improve.
You start to realize that this isn’t just a job, you know, at the end of the day there are lives that are being affected that will be improved. And what you do will affect that, will make that impact and that kind of brings home why you are there and why you are trying to help.