My 5 week experience in Scotland was like no other experience I have had during my clinicals. As a PA student, we can use REHPs as one of or family medicine rotations. I was fortunate to go to Scotland for both of my family medicine rotations, however, my experience with the REHPS program looked very different that a typical clinical.
One difference was that I was paired with a partner from a different discipline, Michael. Michael was a medical laboratory student from SDSU who taught me the ins and outs of the lab. He taught me how to draw blood, run the analyzers and some of the basic maintenance the lab must do daily to meet quality control measures. It was very beneficial learning from another student as it was easy to ask questions. Additionally, we learned from other departments such as nursing, radiology, and physical therapy.
Another difference was our community involvement. During REHPS, we were able to help with the VFW fishing derby they put on yearly for the kids in the community. This experience allowed me to see the community in a different setting and not just the hospital. As a rural healthcare provider, the community you work in will often be the community you live in, so it is important that you mesh well. Getting to go to community events, helped me see the community in a different perspective.
The REHPs program was very beneficial for me. I was able to learn about other disciplines and get involved in the community. I was not able to do that in other rotations. If someone asked me if I would do the program again, I would not hesitate and I would encourage anyone else to give it a try. You might be surprised how a little small-town charm helps you grow.