June 25, 2017

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Two ACMC Physicians honored with RPAP Preceptor Award

RPAP Award Honors Dr. Daniel Fuglestad and Dr. Michael NicklawskyACMC family medicine physicians Dr. Daniel Fuglestad and Dr. Michael Nicklawsky were recently honored with the University of Minnesota’s Rural Physician Associate Program Preceptor Achievement Award for the 2013-2014 program year.  Both have enjoyed working with many medical students throughout the years, dedicating time to teach these students and help them grow in their medical education.

Criteria for this award includes providing outstanding medical teaching, serving as a strong role model for family medicine and modeling the life of a rural physician through family and community involvement.

At the award’s ceremony, Dr. Kathleen Brooks, director of the RPAP program, shared why these doctors were so deserving of this award.

Dr. Daniel Fuglestad

Dr. Fuglestad was nominated by his third-year medical student Melissa Pavek. Here is an excerpt from her nomination letter.

Dr. Daniel Fuglestad with Melissa Pavek“From the beginning Dr. Fuglestad demonstrated an intense passion and commitment to student education. He was an excellent motivator, frequently

reminding me that some of his patients were my patients.  He was incredibly supportive of my clinical interests while encouraging me to see a broad range of patients and conditions.  He consistently assessed my performance, reinforced my strengths and probed for and addressed weaknesses.

One truly distinct and exceptional quality Dr. Fuglestad exudes is his commitment to his community.  He has been committed to learning, respecting and teaching about the large Hispanic/Latino community in Willmar.  His love for learning about people, other cultures and languages is so widely known in the clinic and his practice that interpreters and patients frequently teach him new words and phrases.

Perhaps the most meaningful influence Dr. Fuglestad has had on me and my career has simply been his presence as my preceptor, role model and mentor over the RPAP year.  From day one he impressed upon me the joy of caring for patients and families in his family medicine practice.  I could not have completed this incredible journey without him.  His enthusiasm for the coordination, continuity and advocacy he provides for his patients and the community of Willmar have made him an excellent preceptor.”

Dr. Michael Nicklawsky

Dr. Michael Nicklawsky was also recognized by his third-year medical student Matthew Cabrera-Svensen. Here are comments from Matthew’s nomination letter.

Dr. Michael Nicklawsky with Matthew Cabrera-Svedsen“I was fortunate to learn so much from Dr. Nicklawsky and his patients over the last year.  I appreciate the many lessons he demonstrated in how to practice family medicine (the best kind there is).  We managed diverse and complex patients throughout the year in the hospital, ranging from common complaints of heart failure exacerbations, pneumonia and appendicitis to some wacky cases like hepatic encephalopathy and tetanus.  Throughout these cases, I am grateful for Dr. Nicklawsky’s trust in me to get the history, present my understanding of the story and make an attempt at devising a treatment regimen.

Dr. Nicklawsky has the spirit of a small-town family physician that the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine seeks to cultivate.  He has a sincere approach to health, practicing what he preaches.  One patient told me he’s the type of country doctor who would accept a chicken rather than get paid for what he does.

The most important lesson any student will learn from Mike is the sacredness of time at home with family.  He prides himself in working close to his kids’ school so he could step out from the office and his kids would see their dad in the stands.  He makes the time to go home every day for lunch with his wife.  Not everyone works like that, but Mike teaches us that we can.”

Congratulations to Dr. Fuglestad and Dr. Nicklawsky on recognition well-deserved!

About the University of Minnesota’s Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP)

RPAP is a unique opportunity in clinical training wherein third-year medical students live and train for nine months in non-metropolitan communities under the supervision of preceptors who are family physicians. These preceptors mentor students in the professional and personal aspects of being a physician. RPAP was established in 1971 to encourage students to practice in rural areas throughout Minnesota. Over 1,300 students have participated in the program, and two out of three former students practice in Minnesota, to out of three practices in rural locations, and four out of five are in primary care.