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Alexandria’s doctors and patients thanked for service to students

To the editor:

We want to thank the excellent family physicians and their colleagues in Alexandria who have graciously and effectively served as teachers for medical students from the University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth campus over the past year.

Dr. Scott Hegstad has been the primary mentor for Mr. Jarrod Tembreull over the past two years.

During this time, Dr. Hegstad has hosted our student for five separate weeklong visits. Each visit has been vital to our student’s education, giving them hands-on experience and exposing them to the joys and challenges of working in rural medicine.

We want to send a special thank you to all of the patients that met with our students. You have helped to educate our students. In order to best train the next generation of young physicians for Alexandria and the surrounding countryside, a partnership with you is crucial. These partnerships show our young professionals that your community has exceptional care and is an excellent place to live and work.

The University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth is renowned for its success in training physicians who select family medicine as their medical specialty. In total, 48 percent of Duluth alumni have chosen this as their specialty, compared to only 9 percent nationally.

Almost half, 44 percent, of our medical school graduates who begin their training in Duluth elect to practice in smaller communities such as yours. This is 11 times the national average, where approximately 4 percent enter small town practice.

Thank you from all of us at the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota Medical School. Our students are your students, and our successes will be yours as well. We look forward to our continued partnership and having many of our students practice in Alexandria in the future.