As the “new doc on the block”, I have been getting to know the enthusiastic and varied staff at Wiscasset Family Medicine. Mary Rafter, Nurse Practitioner is one of the clinicians in our practice currently open to new patients. When I heard that she grew up in this town, I was excited to learn more about her. I’ve subjected her to the questions below:
Dr. Linville: What is one of your favorite memories of growing up in Wiscasset?
Mary: My thoughts immediately leap to memories of sledding down Tucker Hill. When I was younger, the town used to close the bottom half of Lee Street in the winter, and allow it to become a sledding hill for the community. We would trudge down the snowy sidewalks with our runner sleds and spend hours chasing each other up and down the hill. The embankment at the base of Bradbury street was a great bank turn that would often catapult us down towards the water. It was always a goal to sled all the way to Whites Island. We never made it that far- but that didn’t stop us from trying.
Dr. Linville: What drew you to train to become a Nurse Practitioner and what are some things you enjoy about your career now?
Mary: As a sailing instructor for Outward Bound I found myself fascinated by the medicinal qualities of native plants of the coast of Maine. I began to study herbalism and to spend a lot of time thinking about concepts of health education and food as medicine. I gradually began to see the role of the Nurse Practitioner as being a teacher- helping people to explore their concepts of well being. Optimizing health is unique to each of us- and I really enjoy exploring people’s priorities and then creating a plan to help them reach their goals.
Dr. Linville: If you could live anywhere other than Maine, where would it be and why?
Mary: I’d probably be exploring the world from aboard a sailboat. I love the freedom of capturing the wind to reach new horizons. I’ve often wanted to sail across the North Atlantic and see the Scandinavian coastline, so that’s where the journey would likely start. I’d have to wait and see where the winds and currents would take me from there.
Dr. Linville: Do you have any advice for patients for when they come in to an appointment?
Mary: I think that it’s helpful to come prepared with general goals of the visit in mind. Knowing your aspirations and questions at the beginning of a visit helps me to structure our time together in a way that feels effective and supportive.
Dr. Linville: We are coming in to another winter, what is your favorite Maine Winter adventure?
Mary: I always look forward to putting some miles on my cross country skis between. I love being deep in the woods amidst deep snow and brisk air.
Thank you, Mary!