Today I visited NCRHP.
After I had breakfast at the school cafeteria with Dr. Hunsaker, Mr. Mark Meurer took me to the tour of NCRHP and met many people. Everyone has their own office each, so we knocked the door and saw them. Everyone told me what they were doing there. One does research to figure out how to deal with community problem, another gives students chance to see Mexican culture so that they can treat many things about Hispanics, not only medicine. Some teach health care people how to educate their Diabetes patients. There is also a person specific for publication or advertisement and there is even an Art Designer section for brochures or something. They have not only the person who put Rural Health System into practice but also the researcher to make their activity more effectively or reasonable and the press agent who advertise their activity and make it well known to many people.
UIC started the program called RMED(Rural Medical Educational Program) program in 1993 to provide apropriate health care to rural area or some underserved population. (About 12 million people lives in Illinois, almost the same population as Tokyo, though its area is 70 times bigger than Tokyo... You can easily see that there are many rual areas.) In 2000, Center for Rural Health Professions was built as a faculty of UIC-COM Rockford and it took over the RMED program. It became the National Center in 2003.
The Center have 4 main programs below:
1. RMED program
4. Interdisciplinary (inter-professional) preceptorship.
Today I heard about RMED program. Students who are in the Rural Area of Illinois can join RMED program. They study usual Medical course like other medical students in UIC-COM Rockford, but they have extra seminars or activities. When they are in 1st or 2nd year, they have a monthly seminar to discuss about topics on Rural Health or Community-oriented Primary Care. Until the end of the 2nd semester of their M3, they decide which County they will work in and they do 16-week rotation at their 4th year, building up Community-oriented Primary Care Project. Although they are busy, they have fun time. What is very intersting is the interview of students selection. The group of people called "Recruitment and Retention Committee" interviews applicants, not the Dean of NCRHP or other Directors. In the committee, there are health professionals, communit members, and even farmers!!
I'd like to see the researcher and hear about EXPORT, a program that aims to identify and solve problems specific for each community, develop health professions.
I'm afraid that my "super size me" diet started...