It was 1 a.m., and
Jesse Coil couldn’t
sleep. His emergency
residency in Pennsylvania
was nearly
complete, and he
couldn’t stop thinking
about returning
to his native Montana.
“My wife Eileen had
suggested I check
in with Dr. Daniels,
because then we
could live in Big
Sky. I was up wondering how I might
approach him for a job.”
Coil got up, pulled up the Big Sky
Medical clinic’s website, “and lo and
behold, I saw the advertisement that
he was looking for a new doctor.”
Coil had done a month-long rotation
in Daniels’ clinic as a fourth-year med
student in 2007, and had volunteered
there in winter of 2001/2002 after
graduating from MSU.
That February, when the couple came
to Big Sky for their annual week of
skiing, they “met with Daniels and
his wife, and he agreed to hire me
starting this summer.” So, Coil jokes,
Eileen likes to take the credit for landing
them in Big Sky.
Since returning in June, the 33-year-old
Bozeman native has “been taking
advantage of the things I took for
granted when I used to live here… I
went to Ousel Falls for the first time
two weeks ago, we hiked Lava Lake,
and the North Fork, and mountain
biked Porcupine. I’ve been kayaking
the Gallatin pretty much every day.”
Dr. Coil starts in the Big Sky clinic
July 18.
Did you ski at Big Sky or Bridger
as a kid?

I grew up ski racing with Bridger Ski
Foundation, so I was diehard Bridger
and only came to Big Sky for races.
One of my earliest memories of skiing
at Big Sky was when [we were
12], we tried to dismantle the safety
feature on the door of the gondola
and hang out as it was traveling.
Have you lived in Big Sky before?
When I was 16 I started spending
summers in Big Sky to work. I
started out taking photos for Faith
Malpelli [for the Big Sky Weekly]
of the rafts for Yellowstone Raft
Company. I did that three summers,
[then] I guided for seven summers
for the raft company.
The first winter after college I got my
EMT certification at the Big Sky Fire
Department, then did volunteer ski
patrol at Big Sky and volunteered in
Daniels’ clinic. I was interested in
med school and was checking it out,
seeing if I wanted to jump in. I got to
talk to all the students he had there,
which really helped. That was the
first place I met a D.O. (Doctor of
Osteopathy), and that led me to go to
D.O. school.
What was it like working in big
hospitals in Pennsylvania?

Busy, stressful – any residency is like
that though. Long hours and stress
and pressure because you’re [learning]
how to be a physician. I figured
out during those four years working
in a big ER is not really what I wanted.
I like the idea of being in a small
town or small clinic environment.
One surprising thing about emergency
medicine is it’s a lot of people
with multiple medical conditions
that need to be in the hospital but end
up coming through the ER. It’s not
all exciting trauma and [life]saving
experiences. I enjoyed the orthopedic
stuff, which is one of the things I’m
looking forward to [in Big Sky].
How was the skiing there?
We skied at Blue Mountain. It’s the
largest vertical drop in the state of
Pennsylvania, at 600 feet. The snow
tubing side of their business is probably
bigger than their skiing business.
Their double black diamond runs are
groomed and about like Silverknife.
How do you like being back in Big
Sky so far?

It’s been phenomenal, already better
than we’d hoped. We went to a concert
last night and ran into [friends]
I knew from [raft company] days.
Everyone was very welcoming.