A native of Anoka, Fenna started her hands-on experience at the clinic on Nov. 3. She will be working in the clinic seeing patients and doing hospital rounds with the doctors, emergency room care, as well as clinic and nursing home duties, and working with the St. Cloud surgeons on Wednesdays.
Fenna is here through the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP). She and 35 other medical students will experience the daily activities of physicians in communities throughout Minnesota.
ďMy goal is to go back to the cities confident in my skills,Ē Fenna said. ďIím here to learn what area of medicine I like best. I like the challenge of sciences and donít think I would want to do medicine without being able to help people. That is what makes it all worthwhile,Ē she added.
Fenna graduated magna cum laude from the College of St. Benedict in 1995 with a bachelorís degree in natural science. While in college, she participated in the Doctors Ought to Care Program (talking to kids on topics relating to medicine), Healthy Moms and Healthy Babies, the Knowledge Co-op and was the third author on a paper, which was published in the Journal of Eating Disorders.
RPAP begins its 27th year as an optional educational experience for third-year medical students at the University of Minnesota. Since 1971, over 850 students have participated in over 100 communities around the state. Paynesville has hosted two other students. Most RPAP students are interested in primary care medicine and return to practice in Minnesota after completing their training. There is one former RPAP student in practice in Paynesville, Dr. Tim Malling.
Each student clinic is provided a computer work station connected to the other 35 RPAP communities and the Fairview-University Medical Center. The computers are equipped with both closed network and Internet access to allow students to obtain resource and reference materials from places such as Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Mass., and the University Biomedical Library. All students gain practical medical knowledge as they learn the physicianís role on the health care team and in the community.
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