March 21, 2018

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Medical Student Kristin Comstock Reflects on Rotations at ACMC-Granite Falls

RPAP Student Kristin Comstock with preceptor Dr. Arthur Rillo at ACMC-Granite FallsAs a third-year medical student, I am studying and working at ACMC-Granite Falls under Dr. Art Rillo. Originally from Roseau, Minn., I am studying medicine through the University of Minnesota.  I completed my first two years of medical school in Duluth.

The Rural Physicians Associates Program Led Me to ACMC in Granite Falls

Going into the nine-month Rural Physicians Associates Program (RPAP) program, I expected to learn a lot about medicine and even more about patient care. I didn’t realize how much I was going to learn in such a short time.

Everyone at ACMC in Granite Falls has been more than willing to give me the hands-on learning I most benefit from all while ensuring I am comfortable with doing whatever they have me doing for the day. In the beginning I didn’t realize just how lucky I was to get the rural experience. In speaking with classmates working in larger areas about their experiences verses mine, one of the most common replies I got was, “You get to do that?” I know that I am getting an experience that many students aren’t.  I am thankful everyday I chose to do RPAP and was placed here at ACMC.

For all other students considering doing a rural rotation, I only have one thing to say: do it!  That’s easy for me to say because I am a small town girl who appreciates small town living, and I’ve always had an interest in practicing medicine in a small town. But no matter where you are from, the experiences you gain on rural rotations are invaluable.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my patients and taking the time to learn their story. The medical side of patient care is easy to look up and study after hours, but I have found it is worth the time to know what is best for the individual. I’m also learning I need to take time for myself.  My education is important, but so is my health and family.

At this point, I plan to do my residency in family medicine before practicing in a small town. Who knows what the future may bring?  Maybe one day I’ll be right here seeing the same patients I saw during my nine-month RPAP rotations.