Hello, my name is Sara Goulet and I am ‘just a Metis family doctor’.
My days at work are never the same, always flexible and extremely interesting. Although being a ‘generalist’ has historically been portrayed in a negative connotation, I have come to realize it is a powerful place from which to advocate for systemic change. Working in a broad range of environments, that include primary and tertiary care, has provided me with a greater comprehension of how to navigate through the provincial medical system.
I feel privileged to have worked for more than 10 years as a ‘fly-in physician’ with the Northern Medical Unit in Garden Hill, Manitoba and in Whale Cove, Nunavut. I am proud to be ‘Dr. Sara’ to my patients in the North because we have shared so many wonderful, tragic and life changing experiences together, as partners in creating change. Elders taught me that the quality and relevance of my work comes from listening to my patients’ stories.
I feel that I am also making a meaningful difference as an advocate for improvements in health care for urban and rural First Nations, Inuit and Metis populations. Disparities in health care services and related outcomes are a direct result of the ‘Indian act’, colonization, assimilation and racism, the determinants of health for Indigenous populations. I am most familiar with advocating for the standard of care we expect for all patients for medication, hospitalization and transportation. More recently, in an academic position, I am learning how research and teaching furthers advocacy at population levels.
Two years ago I returned to Health Science Center (HSC) to work as a House Medical Officer (HMO) and hospitalist. I am proud to be ‘Dr. Goulet’ to my patients in this tertiary care setting. Moving into these roles after working in northern Health Centres has challenged me to face gaps in my knowledge and has made me a much better clinician and medical expert. Working directly with my specialist colleagues providing tertiary care has been at times overwhelming and humbling but also hugely satisfying. My diverse experiences as a ‘generalist’ provide me intimate knowledge of the medical system, beginning with a patient’s initial presentation through their stay in SICU and discharge to return home.