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New Ulm Medical Center hosts dozens of students each year

NUMC prides itself on investing in the next generation of health care workers. Pictured here are some of the current nursing students learning health care at Allina Health in New Ulm.

New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) has always been a hub for care in the southwestern region of Minnesota. It may not be as well known that it is also a vital location for the education of future health care providers in a wide range of specialties and from several educational institutions.

“Providing educational opportunities has always been an important tenet of New Ulm Medical Center because, not only do we believe we have a lot to offer in terms of instruction overall, but also because it is crucial to provide these sorts of opportunities in a rural area, where the experience is much different than it would be in a large metro hospital or clinic,” said NUMC Human Resources Director Katie Slette. “It has also been beneficial for our patients as we often attract some of the best graduates to our facility after they have had a personal experience here.”

As just one example, seven physicians who came through NUMC as students of the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) through the University of Minnesota Medical School now practice at NUMC. Roger Lindholm, MD, a family medicine physician at NUMC, has been a preceptor for RPAP for more than 25 years. The program awarded him “Preceptor of the Year” in 2007. Lindholm was also awarded “Teacher of the Year” in 2013 from the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians.

“New Ulm is a great place for students to learn during the 9 month RPAP rotation, as we have many excellent teachers in a variety of specialties,” Lindholm said. “I enjoy watching the growth in each student’s abilities and character as they gain experience caring for our patients.”

RPAP is just one of several programs that ushers students through NUMC every year. NUMC offers extensive clinical training options including pharmacy residency, nursing, rehabilitation, mental health professionals, radiology technicians, and emergency medical technicians. In 2020, 57 such students completed clinicals at NUMC.

Student Jacob Gianuzzi (left) has had many rotations at NUMC with Dr. Herman Louters.

In 2020, residency students from United Family Practice Residency Program and Abbott Northwestern Internal Medicine Residency Program participated in rotations at NUMC. In addition, an Emergency Department resident and Mental Health resident were employed as moonlighting residents at NUMC. Each year, the inpatient (hospital) pharmacy hosts a pharmacy resident, which is a paid residency thanks to a grant awarded to NUMC.

Career advancement and education for current staff include a preceptor program for RNs which promotes a safe, healthy working environment for students and graduate nurses.

NUMC also believes in promoting health care careers before students even leave the region by partnering with ISD 88 (New Ulm Public Schools) on a Medical Careers and an Internship class. The Medical Careers class includes not only educational components from department leaders but on-campus, hands-on volunteer hours each week. (COVID-19 has forced NUMC to pause this program for now.)

Job shadowing is offered to both high school and college students who are interested in health care careers. This is also paused during COVID-19 but will likely begin again as soon as it is safe to do so.

To learn more about NUMC go to allinahealth.org/numc.

Keegan McCabe (left) is the RPAP student currently on rotation at NUMC. Dr. Roger Lindholm is his preceptor and has been an RPAP preceptor for 25+ years.

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