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Cedar Rapids Medical Education Foundation

I'm now in my 22nd year of practicing Family Medicine, and feeling its time for a change. So I'm taking my family (wife, youngest daughter) with me to New Zealand for 6 months, where I will be working in a small town medical clinic in the South of South Island.

Thought I'd fill in some details today. I've been overseas in a medical capacity once before. From about 1985 to '89 I served as medical advisor/board member to Adoption Services of WACAP. As part of my service, I traveled to South Korea and visited the Holt Adoption services center in Seoul. Our team met with the Korean doctors, and examined and gathered information on special needs children looking for families. It was a great experience, and got me interested in overseas medical work. However, my private practice as a rural doc in Quincy, WA (1982-1992) kept me really busy and offered no other real opportunities for this kind of work.

In 1992 I joined the Cedar Rapids Medical Education Foundation, a family practice residency in Cedar Rapids, IA. I remained interested in an overseas experience, but again time and resources and kids made it a low priority.

Then a variety of things happened. In the mid 90's l learned that I was becoming hard of hearing, and started wearing hearing aids. This restricted my options for overseas practice, i.e. ruled out any country where English was not spoken! It is hard enough to understand medical histories in English with hearing aids (especially when the housekeepers are running the vacuum cleaners just outside the door- but that's a rant for another day!). It became clear to me that I could never handle Spanish or another language, or even an interpreter with any facility.

In 2001, my oldest daughter Leah graduated from high school and went off to music school in Cleveland. 9/11 happened, ruling out about 1/2 the world for medical missionary work, from the point of safety. However, I attended the AAFP annual meeting and met some very nice people from Global Medical Staffing. These folks specialize in placing academic doctors like me in locum tenens spots in Australia, New Zealand, and a few other countries. I began talking about doing this with my wife, which led to the talk below with my youngest daughter, and here were are!

I'm now in my 22nd year of practicing Family Medicine, and feeling time for a change. So I'm taking my family (wife, youngest daughter) with me to New Zealand for 6 months, where I will be working in a small town medical clinic in the South of South Island.

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