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Front line: A Dalhousie med student's trial by fire

Posted by Sarah Fraser | Herald Opinions on November 15, 2017 in News
Neil MacLean enrolled in Dalhousie's Medical School in 1914, and volunteered in the First World War.
Neil MacLean enrolled in Dalhousie's Medical School in 1914, and volunteered in the First World War.


A Dartmouth family doctor and Dal Medical School alum, Dr. Sarah Fraser takes us back in time by 100 years, comparing the life of a med student then and now. 

Neil MacLean and I have several things in common. We both come from Pictou County. I grew up in Merigomish and he on Big Island. Although our homes are 15 kilometres apart, we are neighbours by rural standards. We were both born in January, and like him, I chose to pursue a career in medicine at Dalhousie University.

When I was in first year medical school, I was learning how to take a clinical history and perform a physical exam. I was feeling that green anxiety of a new medical student: “Am I doing it right?” Neil’s concerns would have been different: “When will this war be over? Will we win? Will I die?”

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Sarah Fraser is a family doctor/author who lives in Dartmouth. Her blog is available on her website: www.sarahfrasermd.com