Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan
Health
Workforce
for Alberta

July 27, 2017 • Written in Practicing Physicians Allied Health Community Support 0 Comments

• Written by Bobby Jones

“Drumheller made me realize why I went into medicine and that’s really the rural aspect,” says Dr. Rithesh Ram, Co-Founder Riverside Medical.

“I never thought I’d live in a rural community, I’ve always been very much a city girl,” says Dr. Veronique Ram, Dr. in Residency and Co-Founder Riverside Medical.

The married couple recently opened a new medical clinic in Drumheller, AB.  It is based on a “patient medical home model” and uses a multidisciplinary approach.

The "World's Largest Dinosaur" is the name of a model Tyrannosaurus Rex located in Drumheller.  This is the view of it from one of the patient rooms at Riverside Medical. 

Veronique says, “This is the best place to practise medicine.  Rural medicine is real medicine.  You get to see the patients for more than just one issue.  You get to build long term relationships that you just don’t get to build in the city because a rural town is a community.  You are going to see them at dance shows.  You’re going to see them at school, and you really get to know your patients.”

Rithesh was born and raised in Camrose, AB and went on to university in Edmonton and Calgary. “I don’t miss two hours of traffic every day, going to pick up kids in one spot and going around and doing everything else.”

He did part of his residency in Drumheller and enjoyed it so much he came back.  “There is everything we would want our kids to do and experience here,” says Rithesh.

Drumheller is located in the "Badlands" of Alberta, where many dinosaur remains have been found by archaeologists. Photo courtesy Tourism Alberta. 

Veronique loves the opportunity to provide care for a family over a lifetime.  “To be able to deliver someone’s baby and then in 20 years deliver their baby and their grandbaby and have that kind of long term care,” says Veronique.

Dr Veronique Ram (l) and Dr. Rithesh Ram (r) pose for a picture with Keira Treller, who designed the Riverside Medical logo.

Rithesh believes finding work/life balance is more achievable by using a multidisciplinary approach at his clinic and by living in a smaller centre.

“You can have balance, meaning you can have a practice like this that’s patient centred, that is team based, where we cover each other’s patients, which includes here (Riverside Medical) as well as the hospital.  You get your time off.  And seeing your patient out in the community, and interacting with them in that way, is special.  It’s not a negative.  “It’s a great thing to be part of the community in that way,” says Rithesh.


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