Physician Assistant Blogs About "Bush Medicine" in Alaska

From Medscape Pre-Rounds:

"An experienced physician assistant moved to the land of the Yupik Eskimo, in southwestern Alaska 7 years ago. Under the pen name "The Tundra PA," she writes about her experiences living and practicing medicine in this unique environment on her blog Tundra Medicine Dreams:

The culture here, the "flavor of life," if you will, is so very different from the lower 48. In many ways it is very like living in a Third World country, right here in the US of A. Non-Natives are definitely the minority; our ways of thinking and speaking, our perceptions of time, our attitudes about what is important and how things should be done are often at odds with Yupik culture. The biggest adjustment for me, and for most Westerners (ie, those raised in Western culture/civilization — lower 48 US states, Europe, etc), has to do with pace. The metronome of life ticks at a rate of about 120 for East Coasters (130 for New Yorkers!), perhaps 80 for Californians, and something like 40 for Yupik Eskimos. When you ask a Yupik a question, you better be prepared to wait 10 to 20 seconds for an answer, maybe longer. They think slowly, consider carefully, and answer slowly. Words are not wasted. The worst mistake Westerners make is to interpret that slowness as lack of intelligence; far from it. The most common Yupik criticism of us is that we talk too much and don't listen enough. There is a reason, they say, that we have 2 ears and only 1 mouth: We should listen twice as much as we talk."

Tundra Medicine Dreams hosts Grand Rounds, Vol. 2 No. 52.

Images source: Wikipedia, free documentation license and public domain.


  1. I would like to invite those interested in the PA profession in the Northwest region (Washington and Oregon) to explore your Northwest Physician Assistant STudent Resource at .
    We have discussion forums for MEDEX, OHSU, and Pacific University students in Didactic, Clinical, Marketplace, and more.

  2. Good website Desmond. I also stumbled upon this student blog which has some pretty good insight: