My month-long elective rotation at the Baraboo Rural Training Track in Baraboo, WI was a great experience! The variety of experiences available as a medical student in this rotation was very impressive. I was able to scrub in on multiple c-sections and help perform numerous office procedures. Additionally, I spent time in the emergency department after clinic for a few shifts. There I was able to suture lacerations, perform a lumbar puncture, and work up a few patients with an acute abdomen, among other things. One my favorite experiences was overnight call with one of the third-year residents and a hospitalist. We had a very busy evening and admitted seven patients. Included among these patients were an acute COPD exacerbation, recurrent falls in a patient with a genetic disease, and a cough syrup overdose.
Quality residents physician leaders make good teachers
Every Wednesday morning I had the chance to participate in a didactic conference in either Madison or Baraboo. One of the more unique experiences was spending a day with a Home Health United nurse. The experience of seeing a home health nurse in action, and the difficulties they face going into sometimes less than ideal environments, gave me a whole new perspective on that part of medicine. It was also great to be able to work with the residents and get a feel for what life would be like as a resident in the Baraboo program. I thought that the residents were great teachers and actively helped me seek out learning opportunities in both the clinic and the hospital. I would strongly recommend that future students take full advantage of all of the aforementioned opportunities and the knowledge that the residents bring to the table.
The Baraboo RTT provides an amazing learning environment with great residents and attending physicians who are eager to teach students and get them involved. I would highly recommend this rotation to any fourth-year medical student that is interested in practicing rural family medicine or is interested in finding out what residency may be like at a rural training track. The program director, Dr. Stu Hannah, was heavily involved in making sure that I received a variety of clinical experiences and interested in feedback on anything that he could do to enhance my learning experience while in Baraboo.
There was not much I felt could have been changed to enhance my experience. I found all of the staff to be helpful and welcoming, which added further enjoyment to the experience. I enjoyed a wonderful four weeks and hope to travel back to Baraboo for the opportunity to interview for a residency position. Knowing all that Baraboo has to offer, I implore future medical students, both within and outside of the state of Wisconsin, to spend four weeks there. It will be an experience that you will not soon forget!