Cary participates in partnership program to bring medical students to rural Maine
Cary Medical Center and Pines Health Services were selected in 2016 to participate in a special program to bring 3rd Year Medical Students to Aroostook County. In partnership with Maine Medical Center (MMC) in Portland Maine, Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) offers a Maine Track for applicants who are interested in a unique, innovative curriculum that offers clinical training experiences in Maine and exposes medical students to the unique aspects of rural practice as well as training in a major tertiary medical center. Kris Doody, RN, Cary and Pines CEO, said that the opportunity for both organizations to participate in the program has multiple advantages for both students and the hospital.
“We believe we offer a very unique culture here at Cary”, said Doody. “We offer a very supportive environment, a family atmosphere, and a variety of clinical scenarios that will present the students with a dynamic setting. We hope that by exposing the students to such an engaging rural practice of medicine that it will encourage them to consider establishing their practice here in Maine”.
In order to participate in the program Cary and Pines has to offer a wide range of clinical programs. The core programs include Pediatrics, General Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Medicine and Internal Medicine. Regen Gallagher, D.O., Chief Medical Officer at Cary, said that the fact that the hospital and physician practice offers this wide range of clinical specialties and a rural setting was the key in Cary and Pines being selected for the program.
“It is very unique that Cary Medical Center and Pines Health Services (a Federally Qualified Health Center) have established such a collaborative relationship where we can work together to build a very impressive clinical experience for these students”, said Gallagher who provides administrative support for the program. “We have had four amazing students here the past two years as part of the clerkship program, and hope to continue providing the training indefinitely.”
The majority of students who participate in the clerkship program take an innovative nine-month Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) during their third year. Based in many rural sites and in Portland, the LIC provides a strong educational approach and allows for excellent career exploration and close faculty mentoring. Students are assigned to third year options based on a lottery where student choices are taken into consideration regarding participation in the rural LIC, the Portland-based urban LIC or the traditional block clerkship.
The Tufts University School of Medicine – Maine Medical Center Program (TUSM-MMC) 3rd year Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) began placing Maine Track students at urban and rural hospital sites within Maine in May of 2011. LIC students participate in the comprehensive care of patients over time, thus developing continuing learning relationships with these patients’ clinicians, and meeting the majority of the year’s core clinical competencies across multiple disciplines simultaneously.