August 21, 2017

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Medical Students on What They’ve Learned on Rotation at ACMC

Medical students Allison Homstad and Libby Feist are finishing up their rotations at ACMC in Willmar before heading back to medical school to complete their fourth year of education. Both reflected on everything they’ve learned in their time working with the healthcare team at ACMC

Allison Homstad, Des Moines University

Allison HomstadI’ve spent my third year of medical school completing rotations in various specialties at the ACMC clinics in Marshall and Willmar. Growing up in urban Duluth, Minn., this exposure to rural medicine has proven to be a completely different experience than anything I had ever encountered in the past.

As a student starting a new rotation each month, I felt like I had a “first day on the job” every month. Each provider and staff member has greeted me warmly and made me feel at home no matter where I was. I have greatly appreciated the providers’ willingness to teach me everything they know in each of my rotations. Each provider I worked with made sure that all my questions were answered and that I fully understood their plan with each patient. They have also been willing to give me the hands-on experience that I need in order to learn the skills necessary to be a great physician in the future.

The biggest thing I will take away from my experience here at ACMC is what it means to be a compassionate provider. Everyone I have worked with strives to develop close relationships with their patients. The’ve shown me how you can improve the quality of patient care greatly because of the mutual trust and respect that both parties have for one another. That caring atmosphere is something I will make sure I take with me in my own future practice.

Libby Feist, University of Minnesota

Libby FeistMy time at ACMC was everything I expected and more. I enjoyed getting to know my patients and spending time everywhere from pediatrics to surgery to family medicine. Every physician, provider and my preceptors have been so willing to teach me everything I want to learn, getting me as involved as I can possibly be.

I have learned so much from my preceptors. They have all been great teachers; not only sharing their wisdom and experience with me, but pushing me to become the best physician I can be. Dr. Nicklawsky has also been a great example of how important it is to value time with family and how important and necessary it is to maintain a balanced lifestyle. He has not only taught me numerous clinical skills and countless pieces of knowledge, but he has also taught me how to live as a physician and run a successful practice. The individual attention I’ve received has given me the chance to learn how each of them practices medicine. Everyone is a little different, and it’s teaching me what kind of doctor I want to be.

My favorite thing about my rotations here was the continuity of patient care, following patients from my first day on rotation to my very last. I would not have this opportunity if I completed my rotations in the Twin Cities. Having grown up in New Prague, I knew that I want to eventually live and work in a rural community and my experience here has cemented that idea for me. There is something special about being part of a small town community. I wanted to gain clinical experience in the environment that I plan to practice in one day and that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do. I cannot imagine completing my rotations anywhere else!