Believe it or not, employment opportunities in rural Virginia are not always plentiful, and are not always attractive. I knew I wanted to work in a rural site, but my wife and I had no particular interest in working in southwest Virginia--too far from the people and places we knew. We had always planned on working somewhere on the Northern Neck--the long peninsula in Virginia between the Potomac and the Rappahannock Rivers. Unfortunately, once we started looking there, no positions were available.
This was especially frustrating to me, because I had hoped to practice in a community health center (CHC) after graduation. CHC's are established to provide health care to all, even those who lack health insurance. This is done by means of receiving federal financial support and then offering a sliding fee scale to uninsured patients. The Northern Neck had a CHC that I hoped to work in, but it never fell into place. I interviewed at a second CHC near Charlottesville, Virginia and thought that this position would work out. Again, things just never settled in.
I had interviewd at a private practice in December of 2002. Satori Medical Center is an independent family practice in Keysville, Virginia--at the upper end of Charlotte County. This was deeper in southside than I had intended, but it was evident by then that my earlier preferences for employment had not developed as I had hoped they would. I negotiated and signed a contract at Satori to start work August 2003, and was immediately made welcome by the physician owner of the practice (Dr. Teresa Moore), the office's nurse practitioner (Margo Potts) and all the nurses and staff of the practice. This began 4 years of practice in this rural community--4 key formative years to my current career path.
(to be continued...)