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Paynesville Press - Nov.6, 2002

Medical student studies at PAHCS

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

Kyla Rice, a third year medical student at the University of Minnesota, will spend the next nine months studying and working with Dr. Tim Malling and with other doctors and staff at the Paynesville Area Health Care System.

Kyla Rice Rice is participating in the Rural Physician Associate Physician program that places medical students in rural health care facilities in communities throughout Minnesota. Some of Rice's duties include: making hospital rounds, assisting with surgery, delivering babies, emergency room care, and clinic and nursing home duties.

Rice has been in Paynesville for a only couple of weeks, but she is impressed with the health care system. She said she never expected to find such state-of-the-art facilities in a rural setting. "Rural medicine doesn't have to mean a lower quality of care," she said. "The standard of care here is phenomenal."

Rice, from St. Paul, doesn't know yet if she wants to practice medicine in a rural area. She said she's only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what it's like to be a health care provider, but she likes the idea of being a family practitioner in a small community. She thinks it's nice to develop relationships with patients and feels that rural health care providers spend more time practicing medicine instead of making referrals.

So far, Rice hasn't had a lot of spare time, when she's not at work she is studying. However, if she would like to do some biking and hiking while she's in the area.

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