Medical students from both the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine were honored as Rural Health Scholars at this month’s annual Michigan Rural Health Conference in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
Twenty-eight students received a scholarship to attend the conference on May 4 and 5, offering opportunities to network with rural health practitioners, hospital and clinic leadership, presenters, exhibitors and fellow attendees.
“The Michigan Rural Health Conference is a great chance for medical students to learn from and connect with others in rural medicine,” said Rachel Ruddock, recruitment and retention services manager, Michigan Center for Rural Health. “An introduction made at this conference may change a student’s course of training and future employment possibilities.”
Many of the medical students grew up in rural communities in Michigan, citing experiences that highlighted their commitment to rural health care.
“I had the pleasure to grow up in rural northern Michigan,” said Derek Pyne, a College of Osteopathic Medicine student. “Shadowing in a small, free clinic in Boyne City gave me an interest in rural medicine. It forced the doctor to have many skills in a variety of medical fields. I am confident rural medicine is for me.”
In addition to Pyne, other College of Osteopathic Medicine students included Timothy Bennett, Steven Embry, Kiara Dillard, Jerod Gardner, Joshua Kroll, David Kuo, Ryan McCabe, Sarah Milbocker, Jacob Monestersky, Cooper Nickels, Nicole Rye, Jenny Song, John Stein and Samantha Tauscher.
“I was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula and experienced many long trips to physicians’ offices for my mother's specialty medical care,” said Tarajo Reinhart, a College of Human Medicine student. “I understand the obstacles primary care doctors face practicing in a rural area, from large patient loads to limited specialty resources and sometimes long travel between clinics and hospitals. I hope to practice in a health professional shortage area after residency.”
Reinhart was joined by College of Human Medicine students Vanessa Amthor-LaRouche, Paige Chapman, Dan Drake, Haleigh Edgar, Andrea Kubicki, Katie Lindauer, Shelby Owens, Ashley Parent, Whitney Siemen, Valerie Taglione, David Tindle and Lizzie Tuma.
“The rural medicine interest that I’ve experienced from MSU medical students from both medical colleges over the course of this past year has been very positive and exciting,” Ruddock said. “We hope one day they will want to practice in a rural area of Michigan.”