Memorial Hospital has been honored to have Victoria (Tori) Costello, currently a 4th year medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford (Class of 2020), and member of the Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program mentoring under Dr. James Krieg these past couple months. The RMED Program was developed to train and support physicians in rural Illinois. RMED students participate in a curriculum, which focuses on developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of rural health professionals. In the fourth year, students participate in a 16-week rural community preceptorship. Tori’s preceptorship began September 17th, 2019 and will commence on January 4th, 2020. She will be spending a total of 16 weeks with physicians at the hospital, Chester Clinic and Steeleville Family Practice, with Dr. James Krieg as her primary preceptor.
During her time in the preceptorship she has seen patients with Dr. Krieg as well as other providers at Memorial Hospital in Chester. During her months of observation she has been able to shadow under other providers as well so she is constantly seeing new things and working with new people. She has had the opportunity to work with specialty providers in cardiology, orthopedics, podiatry, radiology, urology, and oncology. “Every member of the healthcare team has been so open to having me work with them and taking the time out of their busy schedules to teach me anything they can. I have loved seeing different aspects of a patients’ care through different specialties.”, said Tori. When asked what her favorite part of the experience was, she replied, “My favorite part has been the hospitality from all the patients and healthcare team in Chester. I have loved getting to know all the people and learn from them.”
The RMED Program is a smaller part of the Rural Health Professions (RHP) Program of the National Center for Rural Health Professions. The RHP interprofessional add-on curriculum allows students the unique opportunity to engage directly with rural communities in Illinois during all four years of their training. RHP students learn about key issues in rural health that prepare them to serve as rural health leaders. The RMED Program employs a “grow-your-own” model by recruiting students from rural Illinois communities who express a desire to return to a rural Illinois community to practice medicine. Tori is a 2012 graduate of Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, IL and in 2016, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Minor in Psychology. The RMED program was a perfect fit for her since she originated from the Southern Illinois area. “It is a great feeling when a patient or their family member remembers me from prior interactions I had with them while following a different physician [in the RMED Program]. This reiterates to me the depth of relationships patients and the physicians have in rural areas,” stated Tori.