PMC Immersion Week Underway in Lamar



Prowers Medical Center is hosting 14 health professional students and two faculty members from the University of Colorado Denver the week of June 16.  The students will learn about various aspects of living in a rural community, as they have expressed an interest in future rural practice locations once they’ve completed their initial medical training.  The weeklong visit will answer questions the students may have about rural life and associated issues before they make a career choice.

Prowers Medical Center has outlined a schedule of events for the visit, as well as a number of community leaders who will speak to certain elements inherent with life in Lamar.  At the end of the week, the students will provide the community with the insights they have gained from their visit to the Lamar community as well as other areas of interest.

Some free time has been set aside for the students, many of whom are in their early to mid twenties, so they can explore the area on their own.  A swimming pool and pizza party and a BBQ at the Emick Ranch as well as a tour of Camp Amache are a part of the free time activities that have been made available.  An orientation will begin the program early Monday afternoon.  Tours have been set up for area industry and farming and ranching.  Several speakers have been lined up to provide some specific insight into a rural quality of life including: Dr. Hilton Ray, Mayor Roger Stagner, City Administrator John Sutherland, Lamar Police Chief Gary McCrea, Lamar Community College President John Marrin, Lance Benninghoff PCDI Executive Director, Kevin Mahan from the Division of Parks & Wildlife and Kelli Spitzer from Tempel Grain.

As will most other rural hospitals, Prowers Medical Center conducts an on-going search to recruit physicians for employment.  Employment agencies that specialize in physician recruitment can charge fees that run into the low five-figure range.  The immersion program is a long-range approach as students in this group’s level of education still has about seven years left before they attain a medical degree.  Earlier this spring, PMC Chief Executive Officer, Craig Loveless, and members of the hospital board of directors, visited the CSU campus to meet with officials to plan the week long visit.

By Russ Baldwin

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