Physician assistant student trains at PAHCS

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 7/7/99.

Lillquist Dan Lillquist, a second year physician assistant (P.A.) student at Augsburg College, is in the midst of a four-month preceptorship at the Paynesville Area Health Care System.

The first year of P.A. school consisted of classes at Augsburg's Minneapolis campus. During the second year, which started in May, students will do eight rotations in the different disciplines of medicine.

Lillquist started in Paynesville on May 24 and will stay until the end of September.

For the first six weeks, he is completing a rotation on family medicine under the supervision of Dr. Allan Solum. "I see patients both with Dr. Solum and in conjunction with him," said Lillquist.

Dr. Solum's schedule brings Lillquist to the clinics in Paynesville and Richmond. One day a week, Lillquist works with Dr. Tom Sult, which also brings him to the system's clinic in Belgrade.

At night, Lillquist has been busy studying because at the end of each rotation the P.A. students will be tested on that discipline of medicine. "It's a pretty short time to learn what you need to know," he said. "It seems like I just got here, and I've got one weekend left to prepare for my test."

On July 5, Lillquist will start his next rotation, in pediatrics, under the supervision of Dr. Sult. In mid-August, that rotation will end, and his last rotation in Paynesville will begin. That one will be internal medicine with Dr. Randy Nelson.

Also in July, the summer session of the Rural Health School will start, and Lillquist will take part in that 12-week interdisciplinary program.

After Paynesville, Lillquist will complete the rest of his rotations. He will also complete a three-month internship before graduating in August of 2000.

Lillquist grew up on a family farm 20 miles south of Bemidji. He spent four years in the United States Army on active duty, as well as five years in the National Guard. He earned his undergraduate degrees from Bemidji State University, a bachelor of science in biology and a bachelor of arts in chemistry.

He has always been interested in medicine, and chose the physician's assistant path to becoming a health care provider because the time frame was more conducive to his plans.

Originally, he was planning to do his first rotations in Park Rapids, in order to be close to home. However, that didn't work out.

"The opportunity at Paynesville opened up through the rural health school, and I jumped at it," he said.

In March, Lillquist had spent a day in Paynesville working with Gene Beavers, P.A., a graduate of Augsburg's program. "I liked what I saw," recalled Lillquist.

He's pleased still. "The community (and) the hospital welcomed me with open arms," he said. "I've had a great time so far."

Lillquist is staying with the Steve and Brenda Stang family in Paynesville. He said he has already met more neighbors here than in the cities.

Lillquist is happily married to his high school sweetheart, Kelly, who is studying respiratory therapy. He likes to run and hunt and fish, but hasn't had much of a chance in Paynesville due to his work schedule and his studies.

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