The following comments are taken from essays written after students' experiences in the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP)
"Overall, my experience in Aitkin was a wonderful one. I really felt like a rural physician, seeing my patients more than two or three times, delivering babies and following-up with well-child checks. it truly was an amazing experience. And with the unopposed education (no other students), you will have the opportunity to learn as much as you set to in your mind."
- RPAP student in Aitkin
"The part of RPAP I loved the most was the continuity of care. I have delivered babies and watched them grow to be 9 months old. I have watched individuals go through the scariest, hardest medical problems and have a breakthrough. I've seen cancer be diagnosed, and cured. I can't be more thankful for what I have been able to be part of."
- RPAP student in Buffalo
"During elective time I tried to really get out and do things I knew I wouldn't have the opportunity to do when I went back to the cities. We went down to the lab and spent time with the pathologists. They have a two-headed microscope and love to teach. They also do autopsies and I was able to see one to review my anatomy. Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Grand Rapids truly became my home and I will miss all the friends I've made here. I learned a lot, and had fun while doing it. I also gained confidence in myself and my skills, and will be able to go back to campus feeling prepared for my fourth year of medical school."
- RPAP student in Grand Rapids
"I loved RPAP and I loved Moose Lake. Everyone was eager to teach and excited to have a student. It was great having everyone know I was the RPAP student and understand what I could and could not do. If I needed help, there was always someone around. The nurses were Great! It is going to be bard to leave and start over. I know, however, that nothing could have prepared me for fourth year as well as my preceptor and my RPAP experiences have. I have learned to be a functioning part of the team instead of "just the med student." I am hoping I can maintain that mentality once I return to campus."
- RPAP student in Moose Lake
"RPAP allows for a great deal of self-directed learning. It is necessary to correlate what is seen in the clinic with book study. It takes a great deal of discipline to keep on track but makes the learning experience that much more fulfilling. I enjoyed the opportunity to explore specific avenues of medicine like public health, hospice and community health. Clinic time was my favorite and consumed the majority of my primary care clerkship. I saw between 10-15 patients a day, becoming adept at time management, presentation skills and assessment and plan."
- RPAP student in Willmar