Local physicians serve as rural preceptors for medical students

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Physicians in Ascension Parish participated in the Primary Care Rural Preceptorship Program again this year to share valuable experience and expertise this summer with second year medical students from LSU Health New Orleans. Shown left to right are Felicia Venable, patient Loni Ortega and Dr.Sarah Wilks.

Physicians in Ascension Parish participated in the Primary Care Rural Preceptorship Program again this year to share valuable experience and expertise this summer with second year medical students from LSU Health New Orleans. Haroon Mujahid shadowed Dr. John Knapp; Tat Yau shadowed Dr. Michael Bodin; Felicia Venable shadowed Dr. Sarah Wiks; and Kyle Deville shadowed Dr. Paul Aguillard. These second year medical students were able to gain hands-on experience regarding medical care in a rural setting.

Kyle Deville graduated from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge. He received his B.S. degree from LSU in chemistry. He is the son of Danny and Karen Deville of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Haroon Mujahid graduated from Alfred Bonnabel High School. He received his B.S. degree from LSU in Biochemistry. He is the son of Ayesha Akhtar and Syed Mujahid Hussain, both of Kenner, Louisiana. Felicia Venable graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy. She received her B.S. degree from LSU in Biology and Psychology. She is the daughter of Vance and Kandis Venable of Gonzales, Louisiana. Tat Yau graduated from King’s College in Hong Kong. He received his B.S. degree from Loyola University in New Orleans in Biology. He received his M.S. degree from Tulane University in Neuroscience. He received his M.S. degree in Public Health from LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health. He is the son of Lap Yau and Ching Wong of Harvey.

The Preceptorship Program is designed to expose medical students to the professional, business and social aspects of a family medicine, pediatric or internal medicine practice in a rural and/or medically underserved setting. This program provides medical students the opportunity to practice skills and techniques learned in the medical school classroom.

Another goal of the program is to encourage Louisiana medical students to return to rural communities after completing medical school to begin their medical practice. Currently Louisiana has a shortage of family physicians, pediatricians and internal medicine physicians. Approximately 25 percent of the state’s population lives in rural area, however, less that 14 percent of the state’s physicians practice in rural and underserved areas.

Tat Yau stated that “I love this program! It provides me an insight of what my future would be. Many thanks to Dr. Bodin and the nurses!” Feliciana Venable said, “AHEC is an amazing program that has given me a great opportunity to finally be hands on and experience a taste of the world that I am working towards in the next few years.

Kyle Deville said, “AHEC has given me valuable practical experience in primary care and has taught me the importance of the doctor patient relationship.”

This opportunity for students to spend four weeks with a doctor in a rural or underserved urban area of central and south central Louisiana is made possible through the collaboration between Central Louisiana AHEC, LSU Health New Orleans, LSU Health Shreveport, local communities and physicians. These assignments have had an impact on the number of students choosing practices in family medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine in Louisiana.

Central Louisiana AHEC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist in bringing quality health care, health care education and resources to rural and/or underserved communities in 17 parishes in central and south central Louisiana.