A legacy of teaching From Spotlight on Health - Winter 2013
Catherine Hansen, medical student in the Rural Physician Associate Program, spends time at CentraCare Health System – Long Prairie with
her mentor Rene Eldidy, MD, to learn more
it means to practice in a rural setting.
As a third-year medical student from the University of Minnesota Medical School in the Twin Cities, Catherine Hansen is hoping to learn lifelong lessons from her nine-month rotation at CentraCare Health System – Long Prairie.
“This experience broadens my perspective on caring for the family and the community,” Catherine said. “As a strong advocate of public health, I believe we need to address the culture and environment in which our patients live. This community is an ideal learning environment because I get the chance to know and understand the people.”
For more than 40 years, Long Prairie has been a teaching site for future health care providers. Through the Rural Physician Associate Program, medical students shadow providers to learn more about what it means to practice in a rural setting.
“The shortage of rural physicians is a huge problem,” said Toni Tebben, clinic site coordinator. “Teaching is our opportunity to influence the future professional life of medical students.”
Since 2004, CentraCare Health System – Long Prairie has trained more than 50 health care providers from all over the United States.
“Long Prairie is known for having excellent mentors,” Catherine said. “The physicians here love to teach and enjoy having students.”
CentraCare Health System hospitals in Long Prairie, Melrose and Sauk Centre also work closely with several other health-related training programs, including physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nursing assistants and registered nurses.