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GRHS hosting medical student

Third-year medical student Jacob Bermudez is gaining rural health care experience at Glencoe Regional Health Services (GRHS) through the University of Minnesota’s Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP).
Bermudez started his training at GRHS on Oct. 10, 2016, and will stay until June 23, 2017. The program allows medical students to work under the guidance of a seasoned family medicine physician while experiencing a variety of medical specialties, observing procedures and developing patient-communication skills.
“The RPAP program pushes you to expand your breadth of knowledge and allows you to have confidence in yourself,” Bermudez said.
Bermudez’s primary preceptor, GRHS family medicine physician Bryan Petersen, is a former RPAP student who also trained at GRHS.
“RPAP gives students a taste of what it’s like to be a primary care doctor in small-town or rural Minnesota,” Dr. Petersen said. “Many enjoy it more than they thought they would, and many eventually go into careers in rural or small-town settings.”
Born and raised in Chicago, Bermudez has lived in larger cities his entire life. His transition to Minneapolis for medical school brought him to the smallest city he’d lived in — that is, until he began his training in Glencoe. Bermudez now lives in Silver Lake.
Before moving to Minnesota, Bermudez worked as an engineer in Los Angeles.
“My father is a physician, so I kind of grew up in medicine. When I started working as an engineer, I missed the medical environment – gravity pulled me back,” he said.
According to Bermudez, one of his hopes for his future medical practice includes working in a rural area.
“The close-knit nature of a small town adds an aspect of transparency that I wasn’t anticipating,” Bermudez said. “You owe more to people when they are your neighbors.”
Bermudez would like to become an anesthesiologist. However, his time at GRHS has sparked a new interest in emergency medicine.
“I just love the emergency room,” Bermudez said. “It’s been so much fun. I’m starting to think about doing a residency that combines anesthesiology and emergency medicine.”
Bermudez is looking forward to continuing his experience at GRHS, and plans to return to Minnesota after he completes his residency.