By the end of the academic year, 20 medical students from the University
of Pittsburgh will have spent one of their clinical rotations in Bradford
thanks to a five-year grant to introduce medical students to rural medicine.
$1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is
administered by the Center for Rural Health Practice at the University of
Pittsburgh at Bradford.
in their third year of medical school spend a year exploring different kinds of
medicine in a clinical setting, explained Alana Gilman, a third-year student
currently studying in Bradford with Dr. Jill Owens.
throughout the country will experience the same specialties in their rotations,
but most will be in the urban or suburban settings surrounding teaching
hospitals, she said.
said she has looked forward to undertaking her family medicine rotation in a
rural setting because she gets to see a more continuous patient-physician
interaction than in an urban or suburban setting, where hospitals often employ
special doctors, called hospitalists, who take over a patient’s care when they
are in the hospital.
said this has been a unique opportunity for her to work with Owens and see a
patient in the office, admitted to the hospital and after release. “It really
gives that continuity-of-care perspective, which you don’t see a lot anymore,”
she said. She will even be able to conduct a home visit.
cited other benefits to the rural rotation, such as having access to the same
physician as a mentor for several weeks. During other rotations, she said, she
is often supervised by different resident medical students, and each one must
start over assessing her abilities. In Bradford, she will work with Owens each
day, and will be able to learn more about conditions and symptoms each time she
sees them instead of covering the same basic material.
is more like an old-style apprenticeship,” she said.
Chapman, coordinator of the pre-doctoral clerkships, said that students also
appreciate getting to see the small business side of a medical practice.
addition to working and studying, students have a bit of time to explore the
area. Gilman, who grew up in a small town in Colorado, plans to check out
nearby skiing. Other students, Chapman said, have also taken advantage of the
region’s outdoor offerings, including fly-fishing, hiking and camping. They
have also enjoyed visiting Niagara Falls and Toronto in Canada, Kinzua Bridge
State Park and the Chautauqua Institution in New York.
medical students have also had a chance to give back to their host community by
meeting with Pitt-Bradford undergraduate students interested in medical school.
grant – and medical student rotations – will continue through 2015.
more information on the pre-doctoral clerkship program, contact Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org