Highlighting the importance of healthcare in rural communities, McKenzie Health System staff recently hosted a group of 17 first through fourth year medical students from Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Rural Medicine Interest Group. The afternoon of discussions and tours afforded the students the opportunity to see rural and family healthcare in action and to help clarify their future career plans.
Several students noted a renewed interest in rural medicine, sharing comments such as “I liked being able to hear from a variety of people how different specialties really work together” in the rural setting, and “the visit definitely impacted my view of rural medicine. I hadn’t considered it before but was very impressed by the personal and team-based nature of rural medicine. I will definitely consider rural practice.”
During the visit, the students enjoyed meeting with President and CEO Steve Barnett, EMS Manager Tammy Katt, Pharmacist Gina Patterson, Dr. Forrest Robart, Dr. Michael Merkler and Chief of Staff Dr. James L. Sams, who all explained their roles and responsibilities within the system. Central Michigan University 3rd year medical student Soham Parikh discussed his experiences on rotation at McKenzie Health System. Dr. Mark Hamed, Medical Director of the Departments of Emergency and Hospitalist Medicine at McKenzie Health System, who organized and coordinated the visit, also provided the students with additional information about practicing in a rural setting and gave them a behind-the-scenes tour of the hospital and a family healthcare clinic.
“I gave a lecture to Wayne State University’s Medical School in December and I later received word that there was a group of medical students interested in taking a trip to visit us in Sandusky. It was an honor to showcase the amazing teamwork and services provided by McKenzie Health System and to connect with the next generation of healthcare practitioners,” said Dr. Hamed. “We appreciated their curiosity and attention, and we are pleased to have sparked some new interest in rural medicine.”
“We truly appreciate all of the efforts that went into the planning and execution of the event. I know students had a great time and learned a great deal,” said Rachel Ruddock, Recruitment and Retention Services Manager for the Michigan Center for Rural Health. “All of the speakers provided valuable information and showed that it really is a team effort to provide care.”