New RPAP medical student at Riverwood

Tom Hansen, RPAP medical student at Riverwood Healthcare, October 2012-June 2013

Riverwood Healthcare Center is pleased to welcome Tom “Dutch” Hansen, a third-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School –Duluthwho 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, Hansen began an 8-week rotation 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, Hansen will also learn about obstetrics and gynecology care and spend time observing surgical care from local surgeons. He will see patients in clinic, hospital, emergency room, nursing homes, hospice and within the community.

A native ofDawson,Minn., Hansen completed his undergraduate studies atSt. John’sUniversitywith a BS degree in biology. During his undergrad studies, he worked as a personal care assistant for a person with cerebral palsy and onSt. John’svolunteer emergency medical technician (EMT) squad. He’s also played varsity tennis and participated in service trips toNew OrleansandCosta Rica.

Hansen explains his interest in the field of medicine:  “My family played a large role in my choice to pursue a career in medicine. My dad is a small-town dentist and watching him take care of patients over the years made me want to help people in a similar way. Growing up I had two brothers with type 1 diabetes, which also increased my interest in medicine. I found I enjoyed learning about their disease and trying to help them manage it.”

Hansen is looking forward to developing relationships with his mentors and patients in the months ahead and to exploringAitkinCounty.

He adds: “I wanted an experience that would provide lots of direct patient contact and hands-on training that can be hard to get in the Twin Cities. I am very impressed by the size and quality of the Riverwood facilities for this small rural community. With all the recent renovations, the facilities are very attractive and up to date. “

Hansen will be living in Aitkin and working at Riverwood through the end of June.  Outside of work, he enjoys playing basketball, tennis, running, biking and canoeing.