City Home Page: https://whitevillenc.gov/
Population: 5,348 (US Census 2020)
Locum Assignment: Pediatric/Newborn Hospitalist (September 2022, for a lovely Labor Day Weekend), ~4-500 deliveries per year
Restaurants/Things to Do: The Chef and The Frog, Farmacy on Main, Lake Waccamaw
*AMERICAN IDOL APPEARANCE (I just thought this was endearing for such a small town): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kkmj1sVlsCI*
Nestled in southern North Carolina, about 1 hour away from Myrtle Beach in the South, Fayetteville in the North, and Wilmington in the East, the quaint town of Whiteville enjoys a small town life as the largest town in Columbus County, NC. When I got the call for this locum tenens job, to over Labor Day weekend, I didn’t actually have a North Carolina Medical License in hand. Thanks to a persistent recruiter and nice people at the Medical Board, we were able to request an expedited license renewal along with a transfer of my DEA from another state only 5 days prior to the job! Easily one of the most daring feats on rushing a medical license for emergent credentialing that I’ve ever heard of, as well as my seasoned recruiter.
One of the most southern counties of North Carolina, home to Waccamaw Siouan Native Americans (“People of the Fallen Star”), Columbus County has an estimated population of 55,000 people. An old tobacco town on the way west from the coast, Whiteville, NC was founded in 1811 and is home to Columbus Regional Healthcare System which is interestingly a ROBOTIC CENTER OF EXCELLENCE – super cool and wild to find such a place in such a small town.
For myself, as a Pediatrician, this doesn’t influence me much… But it was fascinating to be at my first hospital with NO in-house pharmacist, no life-saving Alprostadil for congenital heart disease in newborns, no Surfactant for premature infants with respiratory failure and no central monitoring for… Anyone. I could barely understand any of the accents as I would sit in the unit checking patient charts, but they were the sweetest people I’ve met in a very long time. The town surprisingly had the feels of a town 4 or 5 times its size and i had some of the BEST pork belly i’ve ever had in my life at The Chef and The Frog! I didn’t take THAT many pictures to be fair, since I was mainly sleeping a lot after my late late phone calls…
Where I Stayed: THE MADISON HOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST
Run by the sweetest elderly woman who refuses to have an online presence, The Madison House was a comfortable, old, huge, plantation-esque home with a few centuries of history; albeit, a tiny bit creepy in the dark… I met a nice couple from Raleigh that insisted we took a picture and then they also emailed me through this blog to send some pictures along!!! So cool!!! The guy also gets to travel to put out forest fires like a badass.
The largest “Carolina Bay” it’s rumored that this lake was carved out of the earth by a giant meteorite. The visitors center has the fossilized skull of a baleen whale – I took pictures but didn’t post them so you had something exciting to see when you go in person. I would make a detour through NC specifically to check it out, but next time i’m going to go swimming and have a picnic.