As you know, I’ve been on a bit of a quest this year, looking for a country town to settle down and call home. I haven’t found it yet, but I’ve been a pretty good girl this year so maybe you can help me to pick a place which has everything on my wish list.
Ideally, this place would have a job for me with enough general practice so that I can develop meaningful doctor-patient relationships and enough obstetrics to satisfy my inner adrenaline junkie. I’d like to be able to learn some new skills by doing a bit of emergency and inpatient management. Aboriginal health is another area I’d like to improve on so perhaps that could be incorporated, too. I really enjoy teaching, so this place needs to be somewhere that trains medical students, junior doctors or registrars.
I want to make sure that this place is somewhere where I’m actually needed, rather than somewhere that already has an oversupply of doctors. At this stage of my life, I feel like I should take this opportunity to really make a significant contribution to a needy community. However, I know that young, female doctors and those working in rural and remote areas are particularly vulnerable to burn-out, depression and mental health problems so it’s important for me to be able to achieve a reasonable work-life balance. And plus I still want to have plenty of time to keep tweeting, blogging, contributing to online education and fulfilling my various committee obligation to the best of my ability.
The town itself should be small enough to have a close sense of community but big enough to have all the essential facilities. In particular, it would be great if it had at a few decent cafes and restaurants, gym classes, a social netball or volleyball competition, some kind of fruit and veg market and a pleasant running track. I do love to sing, so would it be pushing my luck to ask for a local choir, too? It would be particularly awesome if it’s by the ocean, has beautiful scenery and a local gourmet food and/or wine industry.
I’d like for this place to have an abundance of sociable people with whom I can grab a drink on a Friday night, share a mid-week meal or go camping with. I hope that it’ll have like-minded folk who will eventually become friends and help me to feel at home in my new town.
Oh, and by the way, it has to be in Western Australia. I’m hoping to be going back to visit Albany and Kununurra and also checking out Esperance, Broome and Port Hedland in the next few months, so maybe one of those will fit the bill.
A very Merry Christmas to you, Santa. I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings!
PS. A handsome, witty, kind-hearted single man in reasonable geographic proximity to this place would be a nice addition, too. Just sayin’.