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30th - Aug

Nipawin makes an impression on Roadmap tour participants

University of Saskatchewan medical students sped around town, toured the local hospital and hit the water and beach last Saturday.

Almost 50 students and residents embarked on an SMA Roadmap Program tour of Nipawin.

After learning the fine art of suturing and cast making (and removal with a saw) at the Nipawin Hospital, the group scattered for an Amazing Race game, stopping at sites all over Nipawin and area, including a local grocery store, bar, campground, school playground and museum.

After the race, the tour bus headed to nearby Tobin Lake for a sun-drenched afternoon of swimming and boating, before returning to Saskatoon.

The SMA asked some of the participants to share their thoughts on the trip:


Masooma Bhatti, first-year student

“I didn’t know what I was expecting when I came in the morning, but it’s been really great so far going through all the stations - suturing, casting. This was really great exposure that we got so early because it’s only been two weeks since we started. I’m looking forward to the rest of the day.”

On practising medicine in a rural community: “After getting the tour of the hospital and learning how many facilities are here and the different physicians, general physicians and surgeons and all the services that are available here, it is definitely really appealing.”


Sandi Yao, first-year student

“I’m really happy that the SMA is doing this. I learned a lot today particularly what it’s like for health-care practitioners practising in a rural area such as Nipawin. It was really nice to get a tour of the hospital and to practise suturing and casting.”

On practising medicine in a rural community: "Previous to this experience in Nipawin, I had not considered practising rural medicine, mainly due to reservations about working conditions and quality of life outside of work. This trip opened my eyes to the close family and community connections that a physician can develop as a result of providing for a smaller population. Though the patient workload does seem heavy, playing such a huge role in the health outcomes of the community would be rewarding. While rural medicine is not my first choice, it no longer feels implausible, and I look forward to learning more about it. 


Adam Neufeld, second-year student

“The SMA puts on these tours and I thought it would be a great opportunity to bond with my med school cohort and get to know some of the first years and make them feel a bit more welcome. But also it’s just to learn some skills and get to see Saskatchewan and meet some local docs here and see what it might be like to practise in a rural setting.”

On practising medicine in a rural community: “I’m not ruling it out, I haven’t really decided yet to be honest. Rural or urban it’s going to be what I’m interested in. I have an interest in family medicine but I haven’t been able to come on any SMA Roadmap tours until now so for me this is a new opportunity.”

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