In June 2021, Laura McDowell, MD became the first graduate of the first rural ob-gyn residency program in the country when she finished her residency training in the UW Department of Ob-Gyn. Following graduation, McDowell moved to Willmar, Minnesota to join a general ob-gyn practice.
Her experience as a rural ob-gyn physician is highlighted in this story from KSTP in Minneapolis:
“McDowell is the first graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology rural track program, a first of its kind in the nation. For six months of her four years of residency, she spent time in rural communities across Wisconsin.
“What stood out to me was, well, certainly there are providers out in these locations but some of them were only one provider and not necessarily by choice,” she said. “Just the storage of having OB-GYN physicians in these locations was a concern.””
In the story, UW Ob-Gyn Residency Program Director Ryan Spencer, MD also discusses the shortages in ob-gyn physicians in Wisconsin and beyond that make rural training programs so crucial.
Watch the whole story here!