Marquette, Mich – Seven medical students from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Upper Peninsula Region will get a first-hand experience practicing rural family medicine when training alongside area physicians this spring. The eight-week Rural Physician Program (RPP) also affords the medical students the opportunity to reside in the community in order to get a flavor for small-town living.
While the MSU College of Human Medicine U.P. Region is one of seven campuses across the state providing clinical training for medical students, the RPP is unique to the U.P. campus. Each year, a handful of students are selected for the RPP, which offers enriched training to students who have an interest and passion for providing care to patients in rural, underserved areas. These students complete two years of coursework at MSU College of Human Medicine campuses in either Lansing or Grand Rapids before coming to Marquette General Hospital for their third and fourth years of training.
Brad Mattson and Joe Steele will be training with family medicine physicians Michael Keeker, M.D., at Cedar Hill Bayside-Gladstone, and Muhammad Koreshi, M.D., Sabeen Koreshi, M.D., and Al Romero, M.D., at Doctors Park Family Physicians.
Kahlie Hauser and Ryan Woods will be training with family medicine physicians David Kass, MD, Douglass McKenzie, MD, and Bruce Trusock, MD, of the Portage Medical Group.
Ivy Vachon will be in L’Anse, training with Scott Pynnonen, MD, and Todd Ingram, MD, at Bayview Family Practice.
Eddie Kreimier will be with Glenn Kauppila, DO, at the Aspirus Keweenaw-Lake Linden Clinic; Dawn Lee, DO, and Sharon Stoll, MD, at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital and Bonnie Hafeman, MD, at the Laurium Wellness Center.
Don Teed will be training with family medicine physicians Kristi Olson, M.D., and Katie Picucci, D.O., at the Marquette Medical Clinic – Kingsford.
“As a 2003 graduate of the Rural Physician Program, I know first-hand the importance of participating in the training of these medical students and I enjoy volunteering each year,” said Dr. Kristi Olson. “By sharing the unique experiences available to physicians practicing in rural locations, I can help to foster a love for this type of medicine and ensure that our rural populations will be cared for by quality physicians for generations to come.”
Medical students must apply to participate in the RPP while still completing their undergraduate studies; therefore, the anticipation for this extensive training has been building for nearly three years.
“They have been eagerly awaiting this rotation, as it gives them a chance to experience what it’s like to be a physician in a rural U.P. community,” said Patti Copley, MSU College of Human Medicine U.P. Region Community Administrator.
“But we couldn’t do what we do without the support of the rural physicians who serve as volunteer faculty. By sharing their time, wisdom and energy, they are investing in the future of healthcare in the Upper Peninsula, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of the key role these rural doctors play.”
With the ongoing shortage of physicians practicing in rural locations, the program takes on an even more important role. These RPP participants have all indicated an interest in practicing rural medicine and it is the hope that some choose to practice in the U.P. upon completion of their training. Forty-four MSU College of Human Medicine U.P. Region graduates have gone on to practice medicine in the Upper Peninsula.
The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine – Upper Peninsula Region (formerly the Upper Peninsula Health Education Corporation) works in conjunction with Marquette General Health System to coordinate the training of family medicine residents and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine medical students. Since its inception in 1978, 219 medical students and 156 resident physicians have graduated from the two programs.