April 2, 2019
A Passion for Teaching in Lethbridge: Interview with Dr. Michael Auld
Why did you choose to practice in Lethbridge?
I came to Lethbridge in 2016 to work in anesthesiology and serve as a medical director at the Chinook Regional Hospital. I had previously worked there after finishing my training in 1995 and found that there is a great sense of community and ability to develop a well-rounded medical practice. I spent some time in Edmonton, but missed practicing in a rural community because it’s rewarding, and allows for things to happen in a simpler kind of way. There is a tight-knit community of physicians in Lethbridge; we can discuss common issues with each other and develop collaborative solutions. It is a myth that you need to be in a big city to have a thriving medical career. There is so much opportunity for research, precepting, and developing a skillset by being affiliated with the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.
"It is a myth that you need to be in a big city to have a thriving medical career. There is so much opportunity for research, precepting, and developing a skillset by being affiliated with the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta."
What do you think makes Lethbridge a great place to learn?
We do the greatest amount of teaching for U of C students per capita. But it is about more than just quantity; our students come here for many of the previously mentioned reasons. We can give them experience in a community hospital, offer a huge range of specialized services to patients, and all the unique learning opportunities that go along with that. Students will be provided with practical, hands-on experience, and have less competition to gain that experience. Rural areas have a strong sense of community. Medical learners will be able to get to know their preceptor and health care team on a personal level.
What kind of hospital and health care system will Lethbridge have 10 years from now?
We are putting a lot of focus on supporting the physicians and medical leaders. We want to grow as the community grows and accommodate that need. We can meet health care’s challenges by supporting people our people through their personal, wellness, and professional goals. We put together an Initiative called ‘Our Medical Staff CARES,’ focusing on all medical staff as team members and concentrating on inclusivity. Creating a great environment for staff creates great care for patients.
What would you tell a resident who is thinking of coming to Lethbridge for a rotation?
There are so many opportunities. They will find dynamic preceptors with a broad set of skills and a unique experience to witness the continuum of care.
What teaching tip would you give to a new physician teacher?
We encourage all of our preceptors to achieve an academic appointment with the Cumming School of Medicine. The appointment is more than just a credential; physicians receive a lot of support from the U of C. There are opportunities to participate in leadership and faculty development, chances to learn to be a better teacher, and training to become the best possible physician. It is very rewarding to be a preceptor. I encourage that passion and experience for our physicians.