Field Memorial sets good example

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2003

As Field Memorial Community Hospital celebrates 75 years this year, it continues to set an example for rural medicine.

The hospital has just wrapped up another training session for Tulane medical students. Will Cronenwett and Salina Poon spent two months learning from Dr. R.J. &uot;Dick&uot; Field Jr. and his son, Dr. R.J. &uot;Rich&uot; Field III, surgeons at FMCH.

The students got hands-on experience in the kind of care Field Memorial provides to patients &045; from the initial diagnosis to surgery to follow-up.

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Both students said it is the kind of training they would not get at Tulane.

Rural hospitals like Field Memorial have survived a number of financial ills over the years, from the cutbacks born from the Balanced Budget Act to increased malpractice insurance premiums brought on by high verdicts in tort cases.

But when you look at the success of the family medicine training program undertaken by Cronenwett and Poon &045; the latest of an estimated 300 students who have come through Field Memorial over the years &045; you can see one of the reasons it is important to support rural hospitals.

And this is one of the reasons we will continue to push for support of tort reform efforts.

Even though the state Legislature passed measures last year aimed at reducing the insurance burden on doctors and hospitals, it remains to be seen how effective it will be and whether it will survive any challenges.

So congratulations to Field Memorial on its anniversary &045; and we hope you will enjoy many more.