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Thank you, physicians!

To the Editor:

We want to thank the excellent family physicians and their colleagues in Cloquet 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. Arne Vainio has been the primary mentor for Ms. Taryn Raschein over the past two years. (Editor’s note: Arne Vainio, M.D., is a Family Practice physician at the Min-No-Aya-Win Human Services Clinic on the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Reservation)

During this time, Dr. Vainio 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 who met with our students. You have helped to educate our students. In order to best train the next generation of young physicians for Cloquet, 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 Cloquet in the future.

Dr. Ray Christensen, M.D.

Associate Dean for Rural Health

Associate Director for Rural Physician Associate Program

Dr. James G. Boulger, Ph.D.

Director of Family Medicine Preceptorship Programs and Center for Rural Mental Health Studies

Dr. Emily Onello, M.D.