Western Maine Health President and CEO Timothy Churchill, announced recently that Stephens Memorial Hospital (SMH) was pleased to welcome back three medical students from the Maine Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine (MMC.TUSM) Rural Medicine Clerkship Program.
The three medical students, Bobby Parisien, Chris Anderson, and Chad Szylvian, all Maine natives, will be studying at the hospital one day a week through the end of May. In August, they begin a 9 month rotation with more time spent in the Oxford Hills. During this time, the students will be immersed in various practices affiliated with Stephens Memorial Hospital and learning from precepting physicians.
One of the students, Bobby Parisien, recently took the time to tell us about his first year in the program. Parisien is a Biddeford native, who went to Brown University to major in Pre-med, however, due to sports commitments he switched his major to Economics; Bobby graduated and worked in the business field in Los Angeles and India for several years. He then decided he wanted to get back to his original dream, of medicine.
It was sports injuries through the years and Bobby's close contact with orthopaedic physicians that had initially peaked his interest in medicine. He has spent some time at New York University (NYU) doing
orthopaedic research, and during time off from Tufts this summer, will be working with an orthopaedic hand surgeon at Brown University. Orthopaedics may be in the running for his future specialty, but he says, it is too soon to tell at this point, there is so much yet to learn.
Bobby shares that the first year at Tufts was very interactive, and the rural medicine program is excellent, "because it allows you to work hands on and closely with physicians in a smaller setting. It's been very busy but it is exciting. Tufts is a great medical school, and things coming together for the rural clerkship program, right here in my home state, have helped me to be certain that I made the right decision."
Gregory Hardy, M.D., community hospital coordinator, stated "It is a great honor and an awesome responsibility to be selected as the rural pilot site. For our medical staff, hospital and community to be involved with teaching the doctors of the future is more than exciting. It is vital to improving health care in the great state of Maine. We will strive to make this a model for success that others may follow."
The MMC.TUSM class of 36 students is almost full. Students studying in Maine will receive preference for 20 of the 36 seats, seats that are especially attractive because it is anticipated that students will receive a 50 percent reduction in tuition. Considering that most physicians come out of residency programs with more than $250,000 in medical school loans, the tuition reduction will likely be a strong incentive for students.