On Call is the true story of a female rural surgeon. There aren’t very many rural surgeons around, so this is an uncommon story. It spans a thirty-year practice from 1981 to 2011, after her schooling and training. Dr. Lottmann explains the distinctive nature of a rural surgery practice and how it differs from an urban practice. She explains the scope of general surgery and how her particular surgical caseload changed over that thirty-year period. Surgery has changed a lot since she began her career either because of medical developments or new surgical apparatus.
For a rural surgeon, it has become a challenge to offer the most up-to-date procedures in a small rural hospital because of the cost of having the very latest equipment. In On Call, Dr. Lottman takes us through her training, her practice, some of her most memorable cases, her triumphs, and some of her many challenges. She also considers the challenges of being a wife and mother as well as being a surgeon—frequently, the only surgeon in town.
Dr. Lottmann hopes that her story will encourage medical students to pursue a career in rural surgery because there is a great need for them in this country.