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Emanuel to become teaching hospital
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Starting in July, patients at Emanuel Medical Center will notice a new aspect to their hospital care. Emanuel Medical Center has transitioned to a teaching hospital, and it will host 15 medical students for the next year.

“The addition of students means that another pair of eyes will review the case,” said Dr. David Canton, vice president of medical affairs for Emanuel.

These students will review medical cases, observe procedures, and interact with patients under the supervision of physicians at Emanuel Medical Center. Students are assigned to physicians who will guide them through rotations in internal medicine, general surgery, family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and psychiatry.

Canton said that one of the benefits of Emanuel becoming a teaching hospital is that medical students have more one-on-one time to spend with patients. They also ask questions of nurses and doctors, and this insures that physicians are keeping up to date on the latest medical information.

“Students usually keep on top of the latest journal articles; they are constantly studying the newest medical information,” Canton said.

They will use some of that medical knowledge to occasionally give presentations about complicated medical cases to doctors and other students. In addition to these research projects and presentations, students will continue taking university classes online.

The new additions to Emanuel Medical Center are all third year medical students from Midwestern University's Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale, Ariz. and from Touro University California's College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo. They will all live in Turlock for a year, and like any other student they are responsible for their own housing. They will shop in Turlock, learn in Turlock, and become part of the community.

“Our hope is that they will stay on as local physicians,” Canton said.

Some day Emanuel hopes to add a residency program to entice doctors back to the Turlock area after medical school. Canton said that up to 75 percent of doctors practice within 100 miles of where they completed their residency. For now, residency programs are offered in Modesto and Merced, and that may be close enough to bring new doctors to Turlock.

“There's a tremendous demand for health care in Stanislaus County. I think this will make a significant impact in the availability of health care,” Canton said of Emanuel Medical Center's transition to a teaching hospital.

This is not Emanuel Medical Center's first foray into the teaching realm. Several students have studied under physicians at the hospital, including one from Midwestern University's Arizona campus last year.

“That student had such a fabulous experience that we are getting five more students from the same school,” Canton said.

All 15 of the medical students will arrive at Emanuel Medical Center in the next few weeks for what Canton hopes is an experience that will convince them to come back to Turlock some day as physicians and members of the community.

To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.