Riverwood Healthcare Center has recently welcomed Joel Madson, a third-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth, who is participating in the Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP).

Through the RPAP program, a third-year medical student lives in a rural community for nine months and participates in rotations of hospital and clinic care of patients under the supervision of local physicians. In October, Madson began seeing patients with Dr. Don Hughes, Riverwood Family Practice physician who acts as the primary mentor and trainer for resident physicians and medical students at Riverwood.

In the months ahead, Madson will also learn about obstetrics and gynecology care and spend time observing surgical care from local surgeons. He will see patients in clinic, hospital, emergency room, nursing homes, hospice and within the community.

Madson completed his undergraduate degree in biomedical science at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

“I was familiar with Riverwood and the Aitkin County area as I grew up in Isle,” Madson said. “Right out of high school I worked for a local auto body shop, but I always had an interest in rural medicine. My wife and I then made a decision that I would go back to school to pursue my passion for family practice. I am so impressed with the services offered at Riverwood and the beautiful facilities; I’m grateful to be here.”

Joel Madson will work at Riverwood through the end of June 2022. He and his wife, Tricia, have five children ages 3 through 14. He enjoys hunting small game and fishing for walleye and panfish on Mille Lacs Lake.

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