Health Meets Harvest: Empowering Mayo Med Students in Ag Medicine

Health Meets Harvest: Empowering Mayo Med Students in Ag Medicine

MAY 2024

In an exciting collaboration, the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH), the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, and the Zumbro Valley Medical Society teamed up to create an innovative agricultural and rural medicine elective course for medical students. Hosted in Rochester, MN, at the Mayo Clinic in April 2024, the launch of this new initiative aims to help equip future physicians with a nuanced understanding of healthcare and medicine in agricultural settings.

Led by UMASH Medical Advisor and AgriSafe Network Medical Director, Dr. Steven Kirkhorn, and Associate Professor of Medicine and Clinical Director of the UMN Mobile Health Initiative, Dr. Jonathan Kirsch, this course explored the multifaceted aspects of rural healthcare. Dr. Kirkhorn offered an in-depth look at agricultural medicine, highlighting the unique health challenges encountered by farming communities. Meanwhile, Dr. Kirsch addressed pressing issues surrounding migrant and immigrant worker health, emphasizing the importance of cultural competency in medical care.

A highlight of the course was an engaging tour led by Dr. Kirsch, showcasing the University of Minnesota Mobile Health Initiative. This firsthand experience offered students a glimpse into the realities of healthcare delivery in remote agricultural regions, fostering a deeper appreciation for the intersection of healthcare and agriculture.

By bridging the gap between medicine and agriculture, this collaborative effort not only empowers medical students but also holds the promise of improving healthcare outcomes in rural communities. As this course sets a model for future projects, it represents a shared commitment to advancing health equity and innovation in the Upper Midwest and beyond.

Bridging the gap