College of Human Medicine launches rural health program with Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital

Posted at 9:28 AM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 09:28:00-04

Leaders from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital have announced a new Rural Community Health Program site aimed at preparing future physicians with the skills necessary to practice rural medicine.

“We believe this collaborative effort with Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital will strengthen the area’s rural health care in Mason, Lake and Oceana Counties,” said Aron Sousa, interim dean, MSU College of Human Medicine.

Once selected for the Rural Community Health Program, MSU’s medical students will spend up to six months at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. Here students will learn clinical skills and also gain experience with the varied roles of a rural physician, from treating medical needs to providing leadership in public health and community health care.

“Helping to prepare and place new physicians in small rural communities is critical to ensuring quality health care throughout our system and the entire state,” said Ludington internist Mary O’Callaghan, division chief, NW region for the Spectrum Health Medical Group. “We’re fortunate to have these capable students rotate through our various medical practices to gain valuable experience and assist with the care of our patients.”

Andrea Wendling a rural family physician and associate professor at the College of Human Medicine is director of the program

“We have two medical students in the Rural Community Health Program here at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital and they are already connected to the community,” Wendling said. “We are hopeful this program shapes rewarding careers in rural medicine for these future physicians.”

The new partnership brings MSU’s total number of Rural Community Health Program hospitals to six northern and mid-Michigan hospitals.