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Health Care Happenings: NUMC has a lot to offer health care providers

I am often asked, “How does New Ulm Medical Center continue to recruit talented physicians, when we keep hearing about a national shortage of providers?” (We are grateful to have added 17 physicians and providers across 13 specialties since 2018.) My response usually includes mention of our positive work culture (2019 Hospital Workplace of Year in MN); our commitment to safety, innovation, and growth (#1 Critical Access Hospital in U.S. for Value); a collaborative spirit; and the loyal support of the communities we serve.

However, I recently received a letter from Rae Hohle, a University of Minnesota Duluth Medical School Intern who spent time with us this summer as she prepares for her future career as a physician. Her words were a great reminder to me of just how special New Ulm Medical Center, and the team that provides care to our community, is. We are truly blessed, and as Rae’s letter demonstrates, it is noticed by those who spend time here:

“The two weeks I spent at the New Ulm Medical Center went above and beyond my expectations. This experience gave me insight and experience with numerous fields of medicine. I had some familiarity with New Ulm before being assigned to the location, as a lot of my significant other’s extended family lives in the area. I thought of the area as a small, rural community and expected the hospital and clinic to be small with few specialties. However, what I found out very quickly was that New Ulm has a much more expansive facility. My schedule has a different specialty every day and sometimes I would even bounce between two specialties in one day. I was able to look through CTs and X-rays with a radiologist one day and then scrub in with the surgeons the next.

“Having neurologists, endocrinologists, podiatrists and other specialties seemed to hugely benefit New Ulm and all the surrounding small towns. The patients did not need to travel all the way to the Twin Cities or other major cities to see specialists for problems they were experiencing. For some patients it was difficult enough to travel to New Ulm, and farther destinations would make good care even more inaccessible. The healthcare professionals were cognizant of their patients’ situations, including financial abilities.

“At times, physicians in the rural community had to take on additional responsibilities it seemed. Physicians would stay extra late or come in early because they knew they were the only person able to assist their community as there was only 1 or 2 of many specialties. It was also interesting to see how the patient referral process to larger facilities occurred. Healthcare professionals would work with patients to figure out what was best for their care including discussing transportation options.

“Even with my background of growing up in a small community in northern Idaho, I have not before thought that I would consider working in rural healthcare in the future. After attending college in a large metropolitan area, I thought I would most likely work in a similar setting. My Summer Internship in Medicine (SIM) in New Ulm showed me that I loved the rural setting. Each person that worked in the hospital knew each other, which made it a wonderful community to be a part of. All of the healthcare professionals I worked with were willing and eager to assist their colleagues. This SIM was an invaluable experience.”

As we approach the season of giving thanks, I am grateful for both our exceptional team, and the trust placed in us as we partner to improve the health of those we serve.

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