Medical students completing clinical rotations in Logansport

Last Updated on July 12, 2016 by cassnetwork

ahecA partnership between the IU School of Medicine (IUSM), the North Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and Logansport Memorial Hospital (LMH) is bringing medical students to Logansport for clinical rotations. IUSM students started arriving in Logansport for rotations back in February. More recently, Cass County native Bryce Fawcett came back to Logansport in June to spend time observing several Logansport providers including Dr. Craig Pawlowski, who comments “Bryce is a bright and engaging young man, with excellent and appropriate confidence in his high ability. I expect that he’ll pursue whatever career he wishes in medicine, with high achievement.”

AHEC will place twenty IUSM students in North Central Indiana over the next eighteen months in Cass, Clinton, Howard, Pulaski, and Tippecanoe Counties.

LMH Hospitalist, Dr. Ben Anderson sees tremendous value in bringing students to Logansport.

“In my opinion, for a small hospital like ours, it is critical to be able to allow students originally from the area to do rotations like this, so they get a true picture of what medicine is like in a rural hospital setting,” he says. “Hopefully, experiences like this give students the insight they need to decide where and how to specialize, so that one day, they may be interested in returning to practice here.”

AHEC is a national program funded largely in Indiana by the State Department of Health. There are eight Indiana AHEC districts. The North Central Indiana AHEC is housed by the Fulton Economic Development Corporation from where it oversees healthcare education programs in eleven counties. AHEC facilitates clinical rotations of healthcare students into rural and medically underserved communities. Roughly twenty six percent of the IUSM students placed by AHEC in rural communities decide to pursue careers in primary care and rural medicine.

North Central Indiana AHEC Executive Director Jeremy Ashcraft says Logansport is one of many small communities around the state to welcome students. “AHEC places approximately one third of the IUSM students for clinical rotations,” he notes. “Most of those rotations are third year family medicine clerkships.” Bryce Fawcett is currently a second year student but has expressed interest in coming back during his third year of medical school.

Fawcett also spent time in the Emergency Department with Director of Emergency Services, Renee Sholty.

“As staff, it gives us hope and a chance to show what the benefits are of working close to home, and why we value it so much.” Crystal Zinsmeister, Director of Care Coordination at LMH concurs with Sholty and represents Cass County on the regional AHEC advisory board.

AHEC also works to increase awareness of potential healthcare careers among high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Additionally, AHEC provides continuing education programs for healthcare professionals. Zinsmeister often provides guidance for AHEC programs.

SOURCE: News release from North Central Indiana Area Health Education Center

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