Locums for a Small World Blog

Saralynn White

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The locum guide to architecture, iconic watering holes & the best damn pancakes in California

Posted by Saralynn White

pancakes-and-syrup-california-united-statesmartini-united-states

Our doctors work all over the Land of Milk and Honey and they say there’s no better way to connect with it than by exploring it one step (and bite) at a time. Even native Californians are surprised when they take to the sidewalks and boardwalks on foot.

Step out in golden-gate-bridge-california-united-statesHollywood and you'll also take a step back in time. Sunset Tower, designed in 1929, is an elaborate apartment building from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Its elegant Art Deco styling and dramatic setting on the Sunset Strip—together with its proximity to famous restaurants and nightclubs of the 1930s & ’40s—made it a landmark from the get-go. The likes of Katharine Hepburn, Howard Hughes, John Wayne and Bugsy Siegel once lived here giving it even more commemorative clout.

carbor-with-boats-united-statesAbout 1,000 steps away, you’ll find one of the most spectacular buildings in West Hollywood—The Granville Towers. Built in 1930, this historic French Normandy-style classic is only seven stories high, but the view from the penthouse spans the San Gabriel Mountains, LA's downtown skyline, and even reaches as far as Catalina Island. The spot has hosted an A-list of celebrity residents like Marilyn Monroe and, more recently, Joe Jonas (don't tell your daughters!).

grillled-meat-united-statesI recently read a book that featured characters waxing rhapsodic about flannel cakes (not funnel cakes, flannel cakes). Coincidentally, Musso & Frank's—where the flannel cakes are as legendary as the imbibers who used to hang out here—is just down W Sunset. The renowned back room where iconic L.A. literary figures used to dine is no longer open, but it's still easy to picture William Faulkner or Dorothy Parker here. And while places everywhere claim that poet and author Charles Bukowski drank there, he really did drink at Musso and Frank's. No word on whether he ate the flannel cakes, but the place has been in the same spot since 1934 and it's been in business since 1919.

hotel-at-dawn-florida-united-statesWorking near San Diego? The Gaslamp Quarter is one of the most architecturally significant historic districts in the country. It takes in a walkable 16 ½ city blocks, and over 90 of its buildings are on the National Register of Historic Buildings. You’ll discover buildings by renowned architects like Irving Gill, William Templeton Johnson and the Reid Brothers (who also designed the famous Hotel del Coronado just across the bridge), and eclectic architectural styles ranging from Classical Revival to Spanish to Baroque.

city-skyline-with-flowers-united-statesSan Diego may feel urban, but the crashing waves of the Pacific nearby create a vibe that's quintessential American beach. Hit the boardwalk at Pacific Beach and soak up the three-and-a-half-mile stretch to South Mission Beach. Step off the boardwalk for the best damn pancakes—banana blackberry, strawberry granola and more—at The Mission Restaurant. Or satisfy the inner surfer in you with a rite of passage popular in these parts—a massive breakfast burrito washed down with a mocha (made with real Mexican chocolate) at Kono's Surf Club. The line often snakes out the door and around the corner, but it moves fast and it has the top three elements we look for in a joint: location, location, location.

If you're looking for a California locum tenens assignment, look no further than right here.

Topics: Sunset Tower, Hollywood, The Granville Towers, San Diego, Hotel del Coronado, Musso & Franks, Musso & FranksCalifornia, California

For those about to camp...we salute you

Posted by Saralynn White

elk-sunset-united-states


We do a lot of storytelling about creatures from down under—echidnas, koalas, cassowaries, kiwi birds, penguins, kea parrots...they’re a fascinating lot. Perhaps it’s because some of them, like the Tasmanian devil, are in danger of disappearing. As much as we love Australia (and New Zealand), I’m gratified that we have spectacular creatures living right on our home soil. And since we’re heading into camping season in the Northern Hemisphere (‘tis the season for visiting U.S. National Parks) I think it’s time we covered critters right here. This is, after all, "where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play."

bison-plains-americaA Mountain Goat in Glacier

Yellowstone National Park is known as the American Serengeti and when you see the sprawling landscape and rich wildlife—you’ll know why. This 2.2-million-acre national park has the largest concentration of mammal species in the lower 48 states (nearly 70). Wildlife aficionado and contributor to National Geographic's The 10 Best of Everything National Parks book, Bob Howells, says the wildlife in Yellowstone on his first visit “blew him away...the national parks are the envy of the world."

At Glacier National Park in Montana everything is bigger—even the sky. The Blackfeet Native Americans call it the “Backbone of the World”, and its glacier-carved mountains, 200 lakes, and pristine forests are a testament to the moniker. One of North America's largest grizzly populations makes its home here, along with mountain lions, lynx, moose, mountain goats, white-tailed deer, and more than 270 species of birds, including bald and golden eagles.

quail-in-grass-united-statesBlack Bears in Great Smoky Mountain National Park


Head south to Saguaro National Park in Arizona (named after the giant cacti that symbolize the American West) and you’ll see Darwinism at its finest. Here, only the fittest (and strangest) survive. Flora and fauna have had to adapt to the wildly swinging temperatures and incessant drought. Jackrabbits here cool off through their huge ears. And javelinas can eat prickly pear cacti without the prick. Saguaro is also a reptilian paradise: desert tortoises and regal horned lizards roam freely alongside Gila monsters and Sonoran mountain king snakes, and they all live in harmony with roadrunners, American kestrels, and Gambel’s quail.

Farther east you’ll find “them thar bears” in Tennessee, at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spot some of the park’s famed 1,500 resident black bears; it’s also one of the few refuges for elk and white-tailed deer east of the Mississippi River. There are a lot of smaller residents, too, like the hundreds of thousands of synchronous fireflies that put on an incredible display.

whale-jumping-united-statesA Red Fox


For animals beyond the four-legged variety, go to Acadia National Park. This Maine-coast archipelago covers nearly 50,000 acres from mountains to foothills that meet the sea. Red foxes, beavers and long-tailed weasels call the forest home; porpoises, seals and humpback whales inhabit the surrounding waters. There are also nearly 350 species of birds in Acadia: American kestrels, broad-winged hawks and Peregrine falcons (among others) all pass by Cadillac Mountain every season.

Of course, there are 53 other U.S. National Parks where the wild things are, too. These vast swaths of pristine nature have afforded protected habitats for creatures to live in since President Ulysses S. Grant signed Yellowstone (the first national park) into law in 1872. Today, U.S. national parkland comprises 52 million acres and is home to some 5,399 species of vertebrates. If you haven’t seen the PBS/Ken Burns documentary series, The National Park “America’s Best Idea”, it’s a great start—“You'd be hard pressed to find something that was a purer expression of the democratic impulse, in setting aside land, not for the privileged, not for the kings and nobility, but for everybody. For all time.”

deer-in-forrest-united-statesbig-horned-sheep-cliff-united-states


Oh, and do I have to say it? National parks aren’t zoos, so be sure to follow park guidelines for viewing animals! Ask park rangers for the latest information and brush up on your wildlife viewing skills before you go. To catch a glimpse, consult literature and rangers for the best spots, and use telephoto lenses, binoculars, or spotting scopes. Last: plan your park visits around prime viewing hours—dawn, dusk, and after dark.

Who's heading to a U.S. National Park this summer? We'd love to hear all about it.


Topics: U.S. National Parks, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Acadia National Park, America, United States

Barefoot and dangling a string of rotten meat, or this ain’t your mama’s seafood!

Posted by Saralynn White

dining-on-crayfishplate-of-crayfish

Ah, yabbies. These lovely freshwater crustaceans (you might call them crawfish or mudbugs) are as much a part of Australian culture as the didjeridu and the akubra. Derived from the Webma Aboriginal word “yabij”, yabbies have a lobster-like flavor that's uniquely delicious.

The humble art of “yabbying”—or hunting yabbies—is also a long-standing pastime. Hunting (which is really just a game of coaxing the critters out) harkens back to ancient times and usually entails sitting on the edge of a dam (pond) with a small piece of rotten meat tied to the end of string. Some of the yabbies caught might make it home, but most are boiled right then and there in a tin over a campfire.

red-lobsterGenerations of Aussies reflect on childhood memories of tramping through creek beds, turning logs and rocks over, and digging tunnels with sticks in pursuit of yabbies. Good yabbying is conducted in bare feet so getting nipped on the toes (and fingers) is likely. Real yabbiers claim they dive into creeks and catch them with their teeth! Others prefer the “pumpin’ yabbies” method, which you can watch right here.

Yabbies can be found in water holes, ponds, swamps, creeks and (of course) billabongs all over Australia. You'll even find yabbies far inland in Narembeen, Western Australia—thanks to a farmer who brought some in from Victoria and gave the yabbies a home in his farm dams. It was a long shot, but they not only survived, they thrived on the muddy water and warm water temperature. Now people who live hundreds of kilometers from the coast can enjoy the novelty of catching their own seafood.

Haven't discovered the delights of yabbies yet? The delicate, sweet flavor and firm texture has earned lavish praise from foodies, chefs and yabbie fans everywhere. While you’re in Oz, treat yourself to a local farm stay and have yabbies around the campfire. Or hunt them yourself with a string and rotten meat. Or if dangling dead carcass isn’t your thing, snatch some up at a local fish market. You can learn how to cook them right here or visit the yabbie dabbie doo yabbie farm (seriously) and check out some recipes. You can even buy a pet yabbie!

lobster-tail-and-forkJust like Bubba Gump’s beloved "fruit of the sea” (the almighty shrimp) you can prepare yabbies in a myriad of ways including barbecue, boil, broil, bake and sauté. That’s right, there’s yabby kebabs, yabby Creole, yabby gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There's pineapple yabby and lemon yabby, coconut yabby, pepper yabby, yabby soup, yabby stew, yabby salad, yabby and potatoes, yabby burger, yabby sandwich...and Steamed Red Claw Yabbies with Ginger and Shallots from Hamish Ingham of the Sydney Four Seasons Hotel...and that's about it.

Topics: yabbies/yabbying, Southern Yabby Farms, yabby stew, Jimmy Watson's, pumpin' yabbies video

If it feels as if you've been here before, it was probably in your dreams

Posted by Saralynn White

Sherwick Head, Newfoundlandgroup-of-puffins-canada

 

 

 







How about a pilgrimage to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, eh

The famously friendly locals here are fast-talkers who speak with a decidedly Irish twist (likely the strongest brogue you’ll hear west of Galway). Their Irish, English, French and Aboriginal backgrounds mean they also speak a multitude of dialects and have a lot of home-grown sayings (there’s even a dictionary). Speaking "Newfinese" or "Newfie Slang" isn’t a requirement when you come here, but the slanguage is guaranteed to entertain you.
Now pass me the jim, over dere on the slang (pass me that, it's on the counter).

St. John's is the capital of this province and it's the perfect combination of big-city luxury and small-town charm
(think smaller, yet earthier San Francisco). As the oldest and most easterly city in North America you'll find everything from dug-up sod houses of the Vikings to George Street, where you can get "jiggy" with the most pubs per square foot in North America. It's truly where heritage meets modern day.

St. John's in NewfoundlandCape Bona Vista, Newfoundland










The fine fare has an accent all its own, too; despite a ban on fishing cod in the 90s, the white fish still reigns supreme in cuisine. Make a meal of baked cod au gratin or cod fish and chips; try some cod tongues with scrunchions (small pieces of pork rind or fatback fried until crispy); and don’t forget a grand finale of cloudberry pie — it's as Newfoundland as it gets.

Out and about, or should we say “aboot”, you’ll discover Signal Hill with its crowning Cabot Tower. This castle-like structure sits next to the spot where Guglielmo Marconi received the first trans-Atlantic wireless message in 1901. Outside of town, follow the path of Vikings who sailed here centuries ago, leaving stories and ancient artifacts at L’Anse aux Meadows (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The winding road from L'Anse-au-Clair to Red Bay takes you past dwarf conifers and salmon-rich rivers, aboriginal burial mounds and hulking boulders. 

An orca in full breachPuffins Newfoundland resized 600

 




 

 

 

For decades, people have journeyed to this coast to witness its bounty of whales, dolphins and seabirds including hundreds of thousands of puffins. Then there are the icebergs that float down from Greenland. In fact, the frozen behemoths have earned this stretch of the Atlantic the moniker, Iceberg Alley. And yes, it was 350 miles/563 kilometers off the coast of Newfoundland where the infamous Titanic sank.

The fantastical shapes of the bergs are the result of the force of waves, wind and the melt. Huge portions of the ice "calve" or break away at the water’s edge with a booming crash and range from flat, stadium-sized slabs to “growlers” (named for the sound they make spinning in the water), which are about the size of a grand piano. Edgar Allan Poe described them as "...stupendous ramparts of ice, towering away into the sky, and looking like the walls of the universe." There's an incredible video of icebergs on their site - don't miss it.

You may not wax poetic about the bergs or the place when you visit this province, but we’re pretty certain you’ll be happy just going with the “floe.” Watch this excellent tourism ad and see for yourself.




Topics: Canada, Newfoundland, Labrador, Iceberg Alley, St. John's Canada

Tallebudgera: A Midsummer Oz Dream

Posted by Saralynn White

Surfs up at Tallabudgera

Australia’s beaches are beautiful, but the really good ones have stories to tell and a lot of things to do when you’re done “sun baking.” That’s where Tallebudgera (tal-uh-budge-er-a) Beach comes in.

Recently voted Australia’s Cleanest Beach by Keep Australia Beautiful, Tallebudgera is truly a Gold Coast gem. And it owes this feather in its cap to the locals: They are the keepers of this pristine piece of paradise in Queensland. They love Tallebudgera, so they care for it. 

A famed family spot, this uber-clean beach offers crystal-clear ocean swimming, peak surfing and the waters of Tallebudgera Creek. It also links the mountainous hinterland with the Pacific Ocean, rocky outcrops, sandy shores, mangroves and dunes. What more could you ask for?

How aboTallebudgera Beach Schoolut fish? In the Aboriginal dialect, Tallebudgera means “good fish” and anglers who come from all over to discover its well-guarded contents agree. Boat and bank anglers will find bream and flathead at the Creek, while fly fishermen can target tarpon and giant herring in the upper reaches and canals.


Summer school is in session at Tallebudgera, too. Since 1966, children from all over  Queensland have lived the dream of attending summer school at Tallebudgera—the region’s premier education camp. It’s the best aquatic adventure site in Australia and the largest Surf Education School.


Tallebudgera Beach is also the proud home of the world’s first all-female surf and swim patrol. Since 1928, the Neptune Royal Life Saving Club has performed volunteerbeach patrols. Ask anyone here and they’ll tell you this life-saving beach fixture (men are allowed these days) is yet another reason to enjoy clean, safe Tallebudgera.


Because video is the next best thing to being there, we leave you with this piece featuring Australia's Cleanest Beach and starring the locals who truly love her:


Topics: Keep Australia Beautiful, Tallebudgera Beach Outdoor Education School, Neptune Royal Life Saving Club, Fishing in Australia, Tallebudgera Beach, Australia's Cleanest Beach

Bing Crosby wasn't thinking of beaches and barbies but we are...

Posted by Saralynn White

australia beach front 123rf

santa-hat-in-surf

We're counting the time until December 25th in sleeps now—just the way our Aussie and Kiwi friends do (five sleeps until the holiday...four sleeps until the holiday...) We love an old fashioned holiday with a little Bing Crosby music and a Charles Dickens tale, but we're on the cutting edge of cool when it comes to finding hot spots for the Yuletide.

There are those among us who still love the quintessential snowy holiday; but the appeal of a warm one with sun and sand is undeniable, too. The hustle and bustle of the holiday hordes get some of us in the spirit; then again, some of us prefer to look for it on a deserted sandy beach. So here are three of our favorite locum locales—one for every holiday disposition—beginning with the Big Apple.

city-christmas-tree-new-york

winter-street-new-york-trees

It doesn’t take a miracle on 34th street to understand why New York City tops every holiday destination list. There's the 74-foot Norway spruce illuminated by five miles of lights at the Rock, but that's just the beginning of the trees you'll find in NYC. Head up Fifth Avenue towards Central Park and you’ll pass such famous stores as Harry Winston and Tiffany, then Bergdorf Goodman and FAO Schwarz. The window displays alone are worth the trip. Uptown, you’ll find the Peace Tree decorated with origami paper cranes at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

christmas-ornaments-new-yorkchristmas-lights-on-trees-new-york

The Holiday spirit isn’t limited to Manhattan, either. The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is best-known for its Holiday Train Show and the garden hosts a display of lighted fir trees, some nearly 25 feet high. At the other end of the city, homeowners in the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn are known for their over-the-top holiday decorations—where else could you take a Christmas Lights & Cannoli Tour? When you’ve had your fill of tinsel and Sicilian pastry, head back to Central Park for some ice skating and a ride in a one-horse open sleigh. 

If you prefer sand and sun over snow, how does ice-cold beer on a beach sound? The holiday season comes during the height of summer Down Under, when the cicadas are buzzing, the cherries are ripening, and everyone’s working on their tan.

In reality, Australia has all glitter, tinsel and razzmatazz of a Christmas in New York, except the holiday is generally celebrated with beach and backyard barbecues. Especially at Bondi Beach (pronounced Bon-DIE). Every year, this popular suburb of Sydney attracts holiday goers from all over the world for the silly season. Snowmen take a backseat to sand castles, snowboots are replaced by flip-flops, and sleds are swapped for surfboards. While a few things still ring true here to the season—like sharing time for rellies (relatives) and mates and lots of Christmas edibles—the thousands of red stocking caps that dot the shoreline and a feast of steak and prawns from the barbie are bound to shake up your traditions a bit.

If you're a die-hard contrarian looking for the very antithesis of Northern Hemisphere holiday clichés, we present New Zealand. Specifically, the Kaikoura Peninsula—one of the most biodiverse marine environments on the planet. December is a great time to be hiking through the rainforest of the Kaikoura mountain range or exploring the waters of Kaikoura Bay. You won’t find any reindeer, but it’s the summer home of fur seals, dusky dolphins, pilot whales, and sperm whales; and all it takes to commune with them is a boat or kayak and a bit of perseverance. There are even helicopter tours for watching it all from above. When you've worn yourself out, you can catch some Yuletide rays on the beach and pop open a tin from from the chilly bin.

Topics: Bondi Beach, New York City, Dyker Heights, The Rock

Two turtle doves and one well-traveled doctor: Guess who’s back at the Top End?

Posted by Saralynn White
Hello again from Australia,

It is wonderful to be back living and working at the Top End of Australia–our tropical paradise. Despite the daily humidity and temperatures reaching the high 90s, we feel “at home” slipping easily back into our routine of work and play (the customs officers were skeptical about Kathy's work visa when they explored her bag and found snorkeling equipment, a bike helmet, multiple swimsuits and several pairs of walking shoes!)

We are enjoying the same condo, the same lovely oceanfront swimming pool, and wonderful young doctors eager to learn and care for their patients. The mix of Asian/Australian influence is what makes this place unique from our prior Australian experiences. Here, Kathy cares for patients from East Timor, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines Islands, Sri Lanka, China, India and refugees from as far as Iran–to name a few. In fact, one in eight Australians now speak an Asian language. This exposure to other cultures has piqued our interest to travel to these regions in the future.

Weather and natural phenomena continues to be a “hot topic”. Nightly spectacular lightning shows that are leading us to the eventual wet season dominate.

Our native Australian Aborigines will now enter the 21st century with their own television station. Going mainstream introduces their culture to a wider audience and breaks down multiple barriers. We eagerly await this chance to learn more about the first people of Australia and hope that sometime in the future the Constitution of Australia is ratified to recognize them.

The Northern Territory outlawed the use of plastic shopping bags last year and one year later, it is nice to see everyone parading into the stores with reusable bags in tow. It shows that it can and should be done. Molly even takes an “esky” (cooler) when she shops for things that need refrigeration.

Rafting the ColoradoAussie friends

 




 

 




Our time back in the USA brought a visit from Australian friends who spent part of their 77-day U.S. holiday with us. We caught up with them in the Grand Canyon after we spent five days rafting down the Colorado River, sleeping under the stars and hiking the nine miles out. The grand finale of their holiday was five days with Kathy’s brother in New Jersey during Hurricane Sandy....with no electricity.

In the spirit of the holiday season, two turtle doves have built a nest in a palm tree just outside our window. What makes it unique is that this same couple attempted a nest here last year but it was blown apart by a typhoon. Hopefully, they will have better luck this year. To ring in the New Year we’re sailing Sydney Harbour aboard the
James Craig–a tall ship built in 1874. The Sydney fireworks spectacular is world-renowned so watch for us on your television news!

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!
Kathy and Molly

Dr. Kathy Starkey (far right) is an OB/GYN from Buffalo, New York who gave up a practice in the Finger Lakes region in 2007 to take her first locum assignment with us in New Zealand. She’s now on her 8th assignment–at the Top End of Australia in the Northern Territory (for the 2nd time) where they just arrived. Dr. Starkey says she’s sticking with locum work because she get to practice medicine–which she loves–versus working so hard at the “business” of medicine. Her partner in life and crime, Molly Evans (second from right) has been with her from the beginning and the pair’s locum adventures–which we tell often–have also taken them to New Zealand's North and South Islands, the Cayman Islands, Western Australia, and the Australian island state of Tasmania.



Topics: Dr. Kathryn Starkey, Molly Evans, Northern Territory, Top End of Australia, Sydney Harbour New Year's Eve

Doc Abbott rides again, part 2

Posted by Saralynn White

William Richard "Rick" Abbott, MD, is an ER doctor who loves a challenge. He met his wife, Jean, on his first day of medical school—when he was assigned to a cadaver with her—and 42 years later they're still colleagues, friends and lovers (TMI?). He's a clinical professor at the University of Colorado where, if our social media is anything to go by, he's very popular. He went to Tasmania on a locum tenens assignment for us and we've written about him in our newsletter. He put this experience into his own words:

Doc Rick AbbottWhen we last left Dr. Rick Abbott, he was telling us about participating as the “doc” on a charity bike ride through California and the fundraising efforts by the participants...

The charity facility - Velindre - has three cancer care “centres” at Cardiff in the south of Wales. Funded by Britain's National Health Service, it also has a fundraising arm. The charitable donations to Velindre have built a new hospital wing, funded research and provided niceties for patients—especially those without family support. It has also helped fund outreach programs for those living some distance from the centre, like remote chemotherapy infusion locations.  

The required contribution to ride in this event was about $7,000 USD and as we rode along, I heard the stories of what people did to raise money: golf tournaments, music festivals, garage sales, auction off the kids to clean your house or weed your gardens, etc. Schools raised money by selling "no uniform days" for a British pound per day. One rider's wife is a professional opera singer and they "busked" (the term for what’s basically a street performance). In this case, the couple dressed up and did a funny show while she and her voice students sang—
a long way from her other gigs at the Met and La Scala.

describe the imageCardiff in Wales

 







 


One poker tournament with 1,000 pound purse raised 8,000 pounds and went until 4 a.m. There was a lot more, but what impressed me so much was that not one person I talked to came in anywhere near the required minimum $7,000 USD for the trip contributions—they all beat it!

Some of the participants were connected to the centre because family and friends had been treated there; some were employees of the centre; some were just there to do some good. We had Olympians and even a few Para-Olympians. Some of the riders were experienced cyclists; some had never ridden any real distances; and all reported this event was the hardest thing they'd ever done.

The Wales countrysideCyling for charity through central California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here's what struck me about all of this: There's a tendency for Americans to think of a National Health System as purely a governmental entitlement. In the UK, anyone can walk into a hospital or medical office and get care. No paperwork, no cost, no payments, no fighting with the insurance companies—just sit back and let them take care of you. But, this gang of Welsh riders taught me about a part of the NHS that had only previously been hinted at: There really is more.

The volunteers, contributors and other folks make a huge effort to do something for an important institution, and ultimately they make the institution far better: more user-friendly and up-to-date than it would be without the help. I liken it to a street that is installed by a city government: the neighbors plants flower beds, spruce it up with sculptures and even add some nice benches—all to make the basics better.

I was impressed by the whole concept and even more impressed by the individuals who made the effort (including the community back home who supported them). Oh, yeah, the scenery and the cycling were great, too.

Monterey Coast in CaliforniaTwilight at the Golden Gate Bridge


Topics: Dr. Rick Abbott, San Francisco

From stuffies & gaggers to lobstah & chowdah: 5 stateside spots for food-loving locums

Posted by Saralynn White

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then the way to the heart of a new city is through its cuisine. And if a locavore is the term for someone who’s avid about eating food that is locally produced, then a locumvore is our new term for a locum who has a passion for eating great grub. 

We began the hunt for great U.S. locumvore spots based on recommendations from our doctors, who proved to us that fine fare doesn't always come with a Michelin star or Zagat rating. These restaurateurs aren't required to tend their own goats and make artisanal cheese or have a celebrity chef in the house. These are just places that prepare fresh, mostly local food you won't want to miss when you're in town. Ready?

Providence, Rhode Island

Al Forno's in Providence, Rhode Island


1. Providence, Rhode Island

Our first stop is Providence, Rhode Island, where foodies have a “slanguage” all their own. Here, you'll enjoy things like “stuffies” (hard-shell quahog clams) and New York System “gaggers” (thin veal and pork franks topped with spicy sauce). The food and wine culture in Providence is a natural, given it's the hometown of Johnson & Wales University, which is renowned for its College of Culinary Arts. For restaurants, the city's many popular spots include Madiera (Portuguese) and Al Forno. The International Herald Tribune calls Al Forno the "number one casual dining restaurant in the world.”

Kansas City, Missouri

A lotta BBQ in Kansas City, MO


2. Kansas City, Missouri

We head to the midwest now—to Kansas City—because we couldn't ignore a city with a nonprofit Barbecue Society (it's one of the largest groups of its kind worldwide). It's also the reason you'll find eateries like Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, Oklahoma Joes, LC’s, BB’s and more than 100 other joints. But it’s not all about the BBQ in KC. The city is home to one of the last traditional pan-fried chicken restaurants in America: Stroud’s. Declared the place “Where Men Eat,” by Esquire Magazine, the review reads: The fried-chicken dinners are cooked to order in a black skillet, served with hot cinnamon rolls so good you’ll steal from your kid’s plate. Stroud’s was also featured on an episode of Man v. Food with Adam Richman who declared: “Today, KC stands for Killer Chicken.”

Boulder, ColoradoRockyRolls Sushi in Boulder, Colorado


3. Boulder, Colorado

Leaving the land of high cholesterol behind, we head to the Rocky Mountains for the kind of high you only find in Colorado—Boulder, specifically—where the folks have found a tasty way to bridge the gap between food that’s good and food that's good for you. The town's brand of health-conscious eating has garnished the numerous foodie town titles, including "Best Small City for Great Meals" by the Wall Street Journal. The emphasis here is on seasonal, local ingredients, and Boulder’s farmers' markets consistently take top spots. There's always something to wash it down with in Boulder, too. The Denver Beer Triangle (a.k.a. the "Napa Valley of Beer") takes in the area between Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins, and Boulder is often called the "the Happiest (and Hoppiest) City in America."

Eugene, OregonFine fare to accompany your Willamette Valley wine


4. Eugene, Oregon

If you prefer to sip versus chug, gear up for Eugene, Oregon. You know Willamette Valley is the state's leading wine region, but do you know the food you pair with the vino is just as delightful? The place is an organic food-lovers paradise with restaurants like Marché, where the chefs believe that "seasonal and local are where it’s at" when it comes to food sourcing. Executive Chef Rocky Maselli of Ox and Fin says, “I live in a chef’s playground.”

Portland, Maine

Maine Mussels


5. Portland, Maine

Last it's on to Portland...not that Portland, the other Portland...the one we love in Maine. Here, you’ll find “lobstah” and “chowdah” and at least 15 farmers' markets foisting lamb, scallops, potatoes and more onto food-loving New Englanders. In fact, fine food and drink is of such interest here that Rabelais books stocks tomes exclusively on that topic. From the mind to stomach, stop at the eatery known as Emilitsa for cuisine from every region of Greece. Standard Baking Company is heaven for bread-lovers where feather-light croissants, luxurious little pain au chocolat, biscotti, brioches and more arise from aromatic ovens. And local seasonal specialties are the highlight at the Back Bay Grill, where we recommend the Bangs Island Mussels followed by Spiced Rhubarb Crumble. Yum.
 
What's for lunch locumvores?

Topics: Locumvore, Providence RI, Kansas City MO, Man v. Food, Adam Richman, Boulder CO, Eugene OR, Portland ME, Foodie cities for locums, Stroud's Restaurant

"Doc" Rick Abbott rides again (part 1)

Posted by Saralynn White

describe the imageWilliam Richard "Rick" Abbott, MD, is an ER doctor who loves a challenge. He met his wife, Jean, on his first day of medical school—when he was assigned to a cadaver with her—and 42 years later they're still colleagues, friends and lovers (TMI?). He's a clinical professor at the University of Colorado where, if our social media is anything to go by, he's very popular. He went to Tasmania on a locum tenens assignment for us and we've written about him in our newsletter. He put this experience into his own words:


I've had some great experiences doing things that came out of nowhere and were unplanned (and probably should have been thought out better). A couple of years ago, I took a "cold call" directed to my wife asking if she might be interested in a job in Australia. I said she wouldn't, but I might. About eight months later I was just north of Antarctica, working in Launceston—a former penal colony in Tasmania—at what is their finest hospital (in my opinion).

Then about a month ago Global Medical (the same folks who sent me to Australia) contacted me with a request: would I be willing to volunteer as a medic on a week-long bicycle ride for charity. Scott Wilson, the recruiter, knew I was an avid cyclist so a few calls and emails later I was ensconced as the "Doc" on the ride.  

We rode from beautiful Yosemite Valley, through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, across the windy flats of the San Joaquin Delta, out to the California coast, and then south to the highlight of the trip—across the Golden Gate Bridge. The scenery was incredible, the camping was delightful, the food was good...yada, yada, yada.

San Juaquin Delta in CaliforniaYosemite Valley








But wait! There's more...

There actually was some medical stuff to do. One rider used her face to do an imitation of a broom sweeping up the road and got rather colorful set of facial abrasions and bruises. One rider had a fractured radius and rode in a cast. And one who was three weeks out from a pelvis fracture and had to use crutches to get to the bicycle but rode for at least part of each day. By the way, the charity supplied a kit (which they use for all of their fundraising "expeditions) that included stuff for high altitude sickness and even a pregnancy test!

In California's Central ValleyMade it to the bridge!

 

 

 

 





But wait! There's more...

Did I mention the group was from Wales? It’s one of the reasons that I was interested in this "job". My family emigrated from there in 1906 and it turns out one cyclist lives on the outskirts of the town where my family came from. Many of the riders knew the town well, explaining it recently underwent a “rehab” and is no longer a pile of run down old mines and slag heaps, but "green" and pleasant. I even learned how to say "Hi" in Welsh - though since I can't gargle well enough to speak Welsh words, the pronunciation of "shwmai" is a mystery to me. 


The finish line The iconic Golden Gate Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

But wait! There's more...

I knew basically nothing about the charity the ride was for—Velindre, a cancer care center (or "centre" as it were) at Cardiff in the south of Wales (much smaller in population and area than my home state of Colorado). Google helped me and the group helped even more, but that’s another story for another day. I will tell you this: the required contribution to ride in this event was about $7,000 USD and fundraising efforts covered the gamut...

Topics: Dr. Rick Abbott, San Francisco

Locums for a Small World Blog

Twice a month, our inquisitive locum tenens community asks us to tackle topics ranging from cuisine and culture to recreation and entertainment. We also include great storytelling from our doctors. Have a topic you’d like to read about? Let us know.

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