May 24, 2017
Thirteen osteopathic medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and dental medicine students from the University of New England are currently performing a weeklong rural health immersion in the Midcoast Maine area, the third such one by UNE in the last year.
The students are visiting local hospitals and health centers throughout the week. On Tuesday, they provided health education at two Waldo County elementary schools and will make visits to two local YMCAs in Knox County on Thursday. Earlier in the week, the students toured athenahealth in Belfast, where they also received clinical skills training in opioid addiction treatment; Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast; and PenBay Hospital and Mount Pleasant Dental Care in Rockport. They will also visit Seaport Health Center in Belfast and Knox Free Clinic and Jensens pharmacy in Rockland.
“Given the shortage of health providers in rural areas, it is important to expose students early and often to the opportunities in rural areas,” said UNE’s Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Director of the Center for Excellence in Health Innovation Dora Anne Mills, M.D., M.P.H. “These are students early in their education who have expressed strong interests in rural health, and through this immersion, they are able to decide whether to take the next step, such as spend time in a rural area during their clinical training.
“The other emphasis in this immersion,” Mills added, “is building skills for interprofessional team practice, through medical, nursing, dental, and pharmacy students learning from, with, and about each other. Team-based care is especially important in rural areas.”