PDQ Blog


Welcome to PDQ, Practical Doc’s quick and sometimes quirky look at rural medicine. We’d like your take on it too, so comments and contributions to PDQ are welcome.


Weak and Dizzy

Posted by on December 10th, 2014

Everyone’s favourite office visit…but occasionally it is true vertigo, and most often BPPV. I’ve given up on therapeutic Epley manoeuvres in the clinic – too much furniture rearrangement and too little time to hold the positions. Instead I send the patient off with a prescription for Youtube +/- Wikipedia. But…

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Physicians and rural healthcare professionals: Register early for Emergency Medicine for Rural Hospitals

Posted by on December 3rd, 2014

Registration is now open for the 31st Annual Emergency Medicine for Rural Hospitals taking place January 23-25, 2015 in Banff, AB. The vision of this course is to provide clinical topics relevant to physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals practicing in rural communities. Through a combination of plenary lectures, small…

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Register early for the Endoscopy Skills Day

Posted by on November 12th, 2014

The Alberta Society of Endoscopic Practice, Alberta Health Services and RPAP | Health Workforce for Alberta are pleased to announce the 5th Annual Endoscopy Skills Day for Practicing Endoscopists conference to be held at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff January 24-25, 2015. As in previous years, there are fantastic…

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Minimally disruptive medicine – thanks to Queen and The Eagles

Posted by on March 28th, 2014

Our hospital uses a Medication Reconciliation Record (MRR) to ensure that we know what medication patients are on at home. Twenty years ago this could be done by the doc asking the patient about the two or three meds they might be taking; over the years guideline – inspired  and…

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New Year’s Peeves

Posted by on January 20th, 2014

It’s close to the end of January so all my New Year Resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. My New Year’s Peeves are proving to be much more enduring. Here they are: Inexplicable shortages of common drugs. In the last year we have run out of ketamine, prochlorperazine, probenecid,…

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The Eyes Have It

Posted by on December 12th, 2013

Just reviewed a couple of interesting procedural articles in recent issues of the Canadian Family Physician and Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine. In the CJRM, Gordon Brock and Vydas Gureykas, who sadly has recently passed away, remove a rust ring with an Alger Brush. Great demo, although personally I prefer…

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An Orthopedic Awakening

Posted by on November 24th, 2013

I’m recently back from the Family Medicine Forum in Vancouver. Nice to get out of the Alberta snowbanks and into lotus-land. Great CME with CASTED put on by Arun Sayal and his team from North York.  One day covers pretty much all the orthopedics needed to work in a rural…

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Endangered Species Heading for Alberta

Posted by on October 20th, 2013

Cutting edge CME. No need to wait until the 2015 arrival of pandas at Calgary zoo to spot a vanishing breed in the Rockies. Banff will be hosting CME for GP surgeons January 24th. Learn how these shy and elusive creatures juggle C-sections, plastics repairs and general surgery in remote…

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Informed Consent and Shared Decision Making

Posted by on October 6th, 2013

I’m a big fan of shared decision making and informed consent but it seems like the bigger the decision the less likely consent can truly be informed. I struggle with talking to  patients or families about lytics for stroke. Most neurologists are firm believers in the benefits for selected stroke…

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Rural docs and the Twitterverse

Posted by on May 4th, 2013

Although @Practical Doc exists, Twitter is not yet part of my life. I barely have enough time during the day to reply to text from family, let alone follow innumerable twitter feeds. It may be a generational  issue; at another level it is amazing that this boomer has even learnt…

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