AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties
Mark Rowand, MD, and Ralph L. Wall, MD

Mark Rowand, MD, pictured with Ralph L. Wall, Jr., MD, hospitalist, while completing the Rural Hospital Rotation at FirstHealth Montgomery.

Montgomery County | Greensboro AHEC

Rural Hospital Rotation at FirstHealth Montgomery

Greensboro Area Health Education Center and FirstHealth Montgomery Hospital located in Troy, North Carolina have collaborated to create a Rural Hospital Rotation. This collaboration was funded through a grant by the Office of Rural Health and Community Care. FirstHealth Montgomery Hospital is one of 1,284 hospitals in the United States designated as a Critical Access Hospital. Regardless of whether residents will practice in a rural or urban setting it is likely they will directly care for a patient in or transferred from a Critical Access Hospital.

The Rural Hospital Rotation is a five-day elective rotation with curriculum that has been designed to offer first-hand experiences in many important facets of care in this rural community. Hospital administrators, board members, community physicians, hospitalists, ED physicians, and hospital staff work with the residents during the rotation. Residents are asked to complete a free, two-hour online course, Critical Access Hospitals: Challenges and Opportunities, located at www.aheconnect.com to prepare for the experience. Residents are provided room and meals during this elective at the Blair House Bed and Breakfast, where they experience the best of rural living and true southern hospitality.

Over the past year, four residents from the Moses Cone Family Medicine and Internal Medicine Teaching Programs have participated in the Rural Hospital Rotation. “My experience in Troy was outstanding,” says Mark Rowand, MD, Sports Medicine Fellow and recent graduate of the Family Medicine Teaching Program. “I truly enjoyed feeling part of a close knit community. The rotation also demonstrated how important it is to have primary care providers in an area and the challenges that an area can face if there is a shortage of primary care providers.” To learn more about this rotation please visit www.gahec.org/CAH.