UNM Medical Students Serving Española Community
Preceptorship Program Supports Rural Clinics; Requires Community Project
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – UNM School of Medicine students Sarah Miller and Jennifer Johnston are completing their first year in medical school this summer by helping Espa ñ ola residents with their health and wellness through next week at El Centro Family Health and Española Family Care.
Nearly 100 first-year UNM medical students began their six-week rural rotation this month in 29 communities throughout New Mexico, from Las Vegas to Las Cruces. As part of their nationally recognized curriculum, the students are talking with patients, conducting physical examinations with their preceptors, and performing a community project designed to address specific community health care and/or educational needs.
Through the UNM School of Medicine’s Practical Immersion Experience (PIE), medical students are placed in outlying primary care practices – predominantly family medicine practices, but also internal medicine practices and occasionally rural emergency rooms – to experience medical practice in New Mexico’s rural communities.
“The PIE is an invaluable, unique component of medical education here at UNM, teaching students about varying cultures, patient empathy and the general health care system, while having a significant impact on where students consider practicing once they’re out of school,” offers Daniel L. Stulberg, M.D., professor with the Department of Family and Community Medicine and PIE director. “They can quickly become attached to their patients and the communities in which they work. They also each participate in community projects like Project Heart Start, the Childhood Obesity Zip Code Project, the Vision Project providing free eye exams, and other innovative programs benefit local citizens.”
The University of New Mexico’s program for rural medicine has enjoyed top-10 national rankings by U.S. News and World Report over several years, and ranked second in the U.S. in 2012. UNM’s School of Medicine PIE Program is a six-week clinical experience at the end of the first year in medical school. During PIE, students work in rural communities caring for patients and evaluating their problems as a springboard for studying the sciences basic to medicine. Students also have the opportunity to view medicine from a community perspective and to experience the lifestyle of the community physician.For more information on UNM’s PIE Program, call 505/272-4590.
Contact: Luke Frank, 272-3322