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Medicine in the Back of Beyond describes the early and serendipitous opportunities that led to the birth of the MEDEX Program at the University of North Dakota, and how the und Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant Program grew from it. Part autobiography, part history lesson, Dr. Robert C. Eelkema tells the stories of those who went on to make an essential difference in health care services throughout the nation. Dr. Eelkema looks at his roots and shares the wisdom that comes only from introspection later in life.
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Dr. Robert Eelkema's dedication to improving public health began early in his career. After completing his medical training, he joined the Epidemiological Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control, the organization credited with stamping out small pox as a worldwide disease. He participated in the EIS efforts to understand and eradicate polio which posed a serious threat to public health in the 1960s.
In 1964, Dr. Eelkema accepted his first academic appointment in the Department of Physiology at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and served as physician in the UND Student Health Service. Four years later, he was appointed chairman of the newly created Department of Community Medicine at the UND medical school.
During his nearly 40-year career at UND, he was a key leader in transforming the then-two-year basic sciences program into a full, four-year, MD degree-granting medical school. He served as chairman of school s Medical Affairs Committee, working with the state s physicians and national granting agencies to build political and fiscal support for the four-year medical school. After the medical education program was approved by the North Dakota legislature in 1973, Dr. Eelkema served as chairman of the Medical Operations Committee at UND.
In addition to his leadership in initiating the medex and Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner programs at UND, he was instrumental in developing the Indians into Medicine (inmed) Program to attract American Indians to the field of health care.
Dr. Eelkema is also known for spearheading the state s effort to deinstitutionalize the developmentally-delayed residents of the Grafton State School in Grafton, ND, and a similar state-sponsored facility at Dunseith, ND a process that proved to be both controversial and contentious.Review:
Bob Eelkema was one of the first champions of an idea that at the time was considered radical in the field of medicine: training a new type of professional to address the lack of health care services in rural and underserved areas. His vision and his tenacity in making that vision a reality, exemplifies the spirit of creativity and innovation that has always moved America forward. --DICK SMITH, MD, MPH Father of the MEDEX Program Retired Professor, University of Hawaii School of Public Health, Honolulu, HI
As a doctoral student studying American Indian values in ND, I was privileged to observe a small window of this history during 1970-73.
Reading 'Medicine in the Back of Beyond' by Bob Eelkema brought to life the history of UND Medical School and the innovative development of the UND Indians in Medicine; (INMED) program.
But I never knew the whole story and the path that this story took over four decades. The back-story of people in this process was fascinating to me. Humor spiced the history. The strategies were as intriguing as a good detective story.
This is a story that you didn't have to be there to re-live. As ND Contributing Editor of Norwegian American Weekly, first person stories by those, like Dr. Eelkema, that detail history with the faces of those that made it happen are my favorite.
I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it to others. --DR. LARRIE WANBERG, Curator, Dakota Heritage Institute
This book recounts the leadership of Dr. Eelkema in responding to two serious health care needs of the time: The shortage of primary health care workers and the so-called maldistribution of the health care services. It represents an important milestone in the history of medicine in North Dakota and in the U.S. --DOUGLAS FENDERSON, Ph.D. Former Director, Office of Special Programs Bureau of Health Manpower Education, Washington, D.C.
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Book Description Dr. Robert C. Eelkema, 2012. Condition: New. Arlene Feist (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0985473401