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The doctor is in

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Dec 22/06) - Dr. Mike Mulherin made a house call this past week to discuss his career with students as part of a new program offered at Samuel Hearne.

The program, aimed at informing students about possible career choices, was initiated by career development officer Brigitte Kay.
NNSL Photo/graphic

Dr. Mike Mulherin was at Samuel Hearne school recently, talking to students about what it takes to become a doctor. The visit was part of a new program to introduce young people to careers. - Dez Loreen/NNSL photo

Kay said that Mulherin's visit was one of many that are planned for the school.

"The goal is to bring in as many different occupations as possible," said Kay.

Outlining the different occupations and having the person describe what they do is only a part of the exercise.

"We encourage all our visitors to bring in a hands-on activity for the students," said Kay.

Mulherin brought some X-ray sheets, stethoscopes and many other tools from his house call doctor's bag.

"We split the group of students up into groups and each examined the different tools," said Mulherin.

Since he is a general practice doctor, Mulherin also provided outlines for what would be needed of someone who wanted to be a specialist.

"The main difference is that a general doctor does a bit of everything," said Mulherin.

"There is a great deal of commitment involved in becoming a doctor," he said.

The level of education really depends on what field you want to work in, Mulherin told the students.

"In Canada, the average time spent in schooling is about 10 years," he said.

"Specialists can have up to 12 or 15 years in school."

To get where he is today, Mulherin said he spent four years studying for his biology degree.

After that came four years at medical school and to top it off, two years working as a practising doctor in a hospital.

As a family doctor in the North, Mulherin said he spends time in the outlying communities, scheduling appointments.

"There is a lot for a general doctor here in town," said Mulherin.

"I deliver babies, go on medevacs and hold clinics in smaller communities."

Choosing Mulherin as a guest speaker was an idea that came from both the students and faculty at Samuel Hearne.

"I met with most of the teachers and asked what they wanted as part of the program," said Kay.

A survey is being made up for the upcoming year, to gauge the response of students in the school.

Marilyn MacInnes is the teacher of the class Mulherin visited.

"Even if this isn't the career that the students want, it is still interesting to see what is available," said MacInnes.

MacInnes said that an RCMP officer came in and spoke to the class earlier this year.