LUCOM student-doctors encouraged to look into Rural Medicine
Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) – Rural Medicine Interest Group (RMIG) hosted a special presentation led by Lauri Ann Maitland, DO, MPH, associate professor of Family Medicine, on Monday, Oct. 23.
Dr. Maitland spoke to student-doctors about her education and medical background, as well as, highlighting her work in the rural setting of Maine following her residency.
She graduated from Eastern Nazarene College with her Bachelor of Arts (BA), with the intent to get her Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Physiology, but then realized that she didn’t want a PhD, and enrolled in Boston University School of Public Health. It was there that she met a physician who said that she would make a great doctor. After she obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH), she received a National Service Corps Scholarship to the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine where she received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). With a desire to work in Rural Family Medicine in New England, she completed a residency in Family Medicine.
The National Service Corps Scholarship (NSCS) is a government program, that pays for a student-doctor’s tuition and academic fees, while also providing a living stipend. The scholarship is awarded in return for a commitment to work a two-year minimum at an approved NSCS sites which are located in medically underserved communities. “The experience was actually pretty amazing,” said Dr. Maitland. “When you go into a rural setting, you are it and that means not having someone at your beckon call.” As an encouragement, she also reminded the students of the importance of being familiar with scholarships, the scholarship process, and knowing all of the details involved.
Dr. Maitland also emphasized to choose a residency that has a rural component. “Train in a place that has a sort of rural medicine mindset, because the training is vital,” she said. “You will need to go out and get a lot of experience, because it is not going to be handed to you. You can talk about rural medicine, but it is really about serving the underserved.”
After three years of rural medicine in Maine, Dr. Maitland made the decision to move on. “When I was finished there, I felt like a could do anything,” she added.