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Family Physicians Learn About Farm Safety

August 2019

By: Erin Stoesz, Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit

On August 29, 2019, the Parkland Family Medicine Residency program —led by unit director Dr. Scott Kish —ventured out to three farming operations in the Parkland area. The goal of traveling to farms is to teach rural family physicians about the day in the life of a farmer and the potential hazards that come along with the profession.

The group started their day by meeting with farmers Peter Prokopowich and Chris Morgan in Sifton.  The group toured a grain farm and observed a variety of farming equipment including two augers loading and dispensing grain, a swather, combine, and anhydrous ammonia applicator.  Protective and safety equipment were reviewed and discussed with the doctors.  Fertilizer, treated grain and genetically modified seeds were hot topics of discussion.  The farmers discussed the potential for injury on the farm, such as navigating large equipment around power lines, falls, and respiratory health. Chris Morgan reviewed his work as a cattle farmer and the risks of working with large animals, including the stressors faced by many farmers during a dry season.

The group continued on to Winnipegosis and met with pharmacist Trevor Shewfelt to review access to medication in a rural setting. The group also stopped by the Winnipegosis Hospital to meet with Dr. Alison Carleton and discuss life as a family practitioner in Winnipegosis.  The group ended their day at Lakeshore Fisheries in Winnipegosis to review local fishing practices.

Parkland Chief Resident Dr. Brook Ruffo notes: “Medicine is not a “one size fits all” discipline, but rather is highly specific to the needs of a given individual. Farm day provides an extraordinary opportunity for new physicians to gain insight into the lives of those they serve. The farming communities within rural Manitoba face a very unique set of challenges; including mechanical injuries, chemical exposure, burn-out and mental health stressors. We are extremely grateful to those families that participated in this year’s Farm Day and for helping to educate us on their industry.”

Farm Safety Day at the Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit began back in 2003, with visits up to the Cotton Farms near Swan River. The next Farm Safety Day will take place in August 2020.

Farm Day Group

Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit – Faculty, Staff, and farmers Chris Morgan and Peter Prokopowich.


Farm Day 2

Peter Prokopowich, Dr. Scott Kish, Unit Director and family medicine resident trainees.


Farm Day 1

Dr. Scott Kish, Unit Director – Parkland Family Medicine Residency Unit.