Rural Physician Program Draws Support

Image Adam Fitzgerald University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine student and FARM program participant Adam Fitzgerald discovered that Platte, South Dakota, was a hospitable and beneficial place to learn medicine.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has received a generous pledge of support from the South Dakota Foundation of Medical Care for the medical school’s Frontier and Rural Medicine (FARM) program.

The South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC) has pledged $10,000 per year for five years for a total of $50,000 to aid medical school efforts through its FARM program to provide physicians to rural communities in South Dakota.

“The FARM program is an innovative way to ensure access to quality care in rural South Dakota communities,” said Dr. John Fritz, board president of SDFMC.

FARM was launched by the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine in July 2014 to expose medical students to rural communities in South Dakota and to encourage medical students to practice in the state’s rural settings. During their FARM experience, selected medical students spend nine months working under a physician’s supervision in a rural hospital or clinic.

“We think this program (FARM) will successfully increase the number of physicians practicing in rural communities across South Dakota,” said Dr. Susan Anderson, chair of family medicine and director of the FARM program at the school of medicine. “We are very appreciative of the support offered by the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care, and for their confidence in FARM.”

The FARM program has been successful on many fronts and continues to expand, as more students and more communities participate, and it has been nationally recognized as an effective tool to connect medical students with rural medical practice.

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USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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