Riverwood welcomes new RPAP medical student

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Marlee Novak, RPAP medical student, 2017-18

Riverwood Healthcare Center is pleased to welcome Marlee Novak, a third-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth, who is participating in the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP).

Through the RPAP program, a third-year medical student lives in a rural community for nine months and participates in rotations of hospital and clinic care of patients under the supervision of local physicians. In October, Novak began seeing patients with Dr. Don Hughes, Riverwood Family Practice physician who acts as the primary mentor and trainer for resident physicians and medical students at Riverwood.

In the months ahead, Novak will also learn about obstetrics and gynecology care and spend time observing surgical care from local surgeons. She will see patients in clinic, hospital, emergency room, and within the community.

A native of Perham, Minn., Novak completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Dakota, earning a bachelor of science degree in biology. Her interest in practicing medicine grew out of her experience working as a nursing assistant for four years while in high school and college.

“I’m passionate about practicing in a rural area because of the opportunity to be involved in the community and make a difference beyond the health care setting,” Novak said. “Growing up on a lake in northern Minnesota, I feel right at home in the Aitkin area.”

Marlee Novak, whose RPAP experience will continue through June 2018, will live in the Aitkin area with her husband, Jordan Novak, who works as a construction contractor. For hobbies, she enjoys spending time on the water, reading and crafts such as macramé.

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