Nevada schools of medicine require students to complete a four-week residency in a rural, small-town setting in order to graduate.
Jamie Anderson, director of the University of Reno’s Department of Interdisciplinary Medical Education, said these students must have somewhere to live during their residency programs. As such, the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine is seeking those willing to open up their homes in the Bishop area.
Anderson explained that living with a family makes for a far better learning experience as the student is immersed in the community, not just sitting in a hotel room at night, Anderson explained. She said living with a family allows the student to have an understanding of what the people and life are like in a small community.
The students are a mix of general practitioners and specialists. The students then work with private practice physicians as well as at the Rural Health Clinic of Northern Inyo Hospital and Toiyabe Health Center.
Anderson said the area and local hospital are perfect for the program. She said local health care professionals are “great role models” and that Northern Inyo Hospital is “a great example of what a hospital can be.”
Not only is the residency a requirement for graduation it is an essential component for practicing medicine in the mainly rural state of Nevada, Anderson said.
One member of the Class of 2012 has already started his or her four-week small community rotation requirement in Bishop, Anderson explained. Bishop is one of 27 rural communities the program works with.
The program is run by the school’s DIME, which relies on the goodwill and generosity of community members to help house students during their four-week rotation.
“We have placed students in the Bishop area for the past 15 years,” Anderson said. “Our students have truly loved learning about the Bishop community and working with the physicians there. It’s a wonderful teaching site.”
“The University of Nevada School of Medicine is committed to serving the health care needs of small communities which is why all medical students must complete a rotation in a smaller community prior to graduation,” a press release states.
Anderson explained that UNR is one of the last schools in the nation to require rural community residencies.
Those interested in providing housing to medical students completing their four-week rotation in Bishop may contact Anderson at (775) 682-7728. Residents providing students housing must offer them their own bedroom and bathroom as well as kitchen access. Rotations began in July and conclude in April 2012.