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Med School’s Rural Medicine Program Expands

Mar 01, 2015 06:44PM ● By MED Magazine

The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has announced its third group of students to participate in the school’s Frontier and Rural Medicine (FARM) program. The school also announced new FARM communities – Vermillion, Pierre and Spearfish – joining other hosting communities across the state.

Each student selected for the FARM program will receive nine months of intense and hands-on clinical training in a single, rural location that will help them understand the opportunities and rewards of practicing medicine in a small-town setting. Selected students are in their third year of medical training.

Dr. Susan Anderson, MD, director of the FARM program, said the program introduces students to rural healthcare, and encourages students to practice in South Dakota’s non-urban locations.

“Providing South Dakota with physicians who will practice medicine in in our smaller communities is an important mission of the medical school,” said Anderson. “The FARM program is a useful tool to help us accomplish that.”

FARM students are supervised by practicing physicians in clinical, hospital and other healthcare environments in host communities.

The first group of FARM students launched the program in the Fall of 2014. That group included six students and five hospitals in five rural South Dakota communities. The third group includes seven students and hospitals in six locations. The program’s original host communities were Milbank, Mobridge, Parkston, Platte and Winner. Those communities will continue to host FARM students. New FARM communities hosting FARM students in the future are Vermillion, starting in February 2016, and Pierre and Spearfish, beginning in February 2017.