June 25, 2017

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Third-Year Medical Student Gavin Maurer Experiences Life as a Small Town Physician

Gavin Maurer, Third-Year Medical StudentThird-year medical student Gavin Maurer pulls his ’78 Chevy pick-up up the driveway of his parent’s farm in Morgan, which is about 15 miles southeast of Redwood Falls. He’s just there for a visit, but he enjoys going back home again and wishes he had the time to jump back into the familiar routine of farm life.

It’s just one of many reasons Gavin is enjoying being so close to home for his third-year Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) medical school experience at ACMC-Redwood Falls.

“I don’t know if I realized how much I’d miss it until I couldn’t come home on weekends. Living on a farm is really ingrained in me—not only the farming, but the importance of family and being part of a larger community,” Gavin said.

As a Cedar Mountain High School graduate, it’s how he grew up and it’s how he and his wife—she’s from Cottonwood—want to raise their two-month-old daughter.

On the Road to Becoming a Family Medicine Physician

Though he loves farming, he’s always felt a true calling toward medicine. In fact, he’s hoping after completing medical school at the University of Minnesota in Duluth and residency that he’ll be able to return to the area, preferably as a family medicine physician at ACMC-Redwood Falls.

“Getting to experience medicine in a rural area, better yet near my hometown, is like a dream come true. I’m learning so much from the physicians I’m training with. I get to see and do so much in a full-scope practice like this—from caring for the youngest patients all the way up to the elderly and helping with everything from ear infections and sprains to stabilizing trauma patients and c-sections. Whenever one of the physicians has something they’ll think I can learn from, I get pulled in if the patient will let me,” he said.

Being an RPAP student is allowing Gavin to see first hand exactly what it’s like to be a small-town family medicine physician.  He enjoys the relationships Redwood Falls physicians and advanced practice providers seem to have with their patients.

“I love the wide range of medicine that a small-town doctor gets to offer and how involved they can be in their communities. That’s what I want,” Gavin said. “I want to deliver babies and be their doctor as they grow up. I want to be the doctor on the sidelines, cheering on the hometown football team, while taking care of the athletes in my practice.”

He also recognizes the importance of getting involved in the community whether it’s in the here and now as a medical student or one day down the road as a doctor. Right now Gavin is doing that by literally “getting active” in the community from assisting his former football team as a coach of sorts to playing basketball in a local league.

He notes, “Back here, people know my family and me. I’m not just someone they see in the clinic. I’m part of something much bigger, and I really like having that connection with my patients.”

For now Gavin will make the most of working as a medical student in Redwood Falls. And one day he hopes to return to the community he loves, white coat and all, as Dr. Gavin Maurer—a family medicine physician who is a country boy at heart.

Meet ACMC’s other 2015-2016 third-year medical students.