Huda Afaneh-- Class of 2016 Flint Campus
As a student that has almost always experienced the medical world in an urban setting, attending Wayne State University and volunteering, completing my clinical years in Flint, I knew I had to experience rural medicine before I graduated. I always felt like it was a big part of MSU College of Human Medicine yet a huge mystery to me the past four years. I was ready to get out of my comfort zone.
Though her choice of medical school took her to the heart of Detroit, Jill Kalcich always knew she would set up practice somewhere a little less crowded.
That's how the 2002 graduate of the Wayne State University School of Medicine wound up in the Upper Peninsula's remote Keweenaw Peninsula, where she is the only physician at Keweenaw Holistic Family Medicine. Her clinic office is just a few miles on country roads from where she grew up. In the winter, that can be an adventure.
For more than 40 years, would-be physicians have learned first-hand what it means to practice medicine in the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula.
The 12 students admitted each year to Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine Rural Physician Program get a stiff dose of the challenges, spending all of their third and fourth year of medical school in the U.P.
At the end of their third year, they are assigned eight weeks in a rural community, often splitting time between two family practice physicians. Students shadow the doctors in their office, hospital, at nursing homes or on home visits.