West Plains

West Plains

Ozarks Medical Center

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The Site

This is a wonderful teaching environment for medical students.  Students are provided a thorough orientation to Ozarks Medical Center, security access codes, free meals at the Medical Center, and access to all library services.  Thirty-five of the 75 medical staff members (approximately 46 percent of hospital physicians) serve as community preceptors hosting students for clinical rotations. The Ozarks Medical Center Medical Library offers four computer terminals with Internet, word processing, power point design, textbooks, and medical journals for students. Continuing Medical Education, as well as ACLS, PALS, etc., are also offered to medical students at no charge. In addition, access to article/journal research is available, as well as access to sites such as Up-to-Date.com. All services provided to students are complimentary. AHEC student housing is available for short term rotations.

Students at this site are also offered optional off-site training opportunities in Kennett, Farmington, Sikeston, and Poplar Bluff. These are not mandatory rotations and students who self-select for these experiences are provided free on-site AHEC housing during these rotations. For information on these sites, visit www.missouridelta.com, www.poplarbluffregional.com, www.twinriversregional.com.

Site Statistics

City Population - 10,866

Ozarks Medical Center
100 North Kentucky Street
West Plains, MO 65775
417.527.5998 (fax)
Medical Staff
Size of Hospital
ER Visits
Medical Coordinator
114 beds
Suzanne Smith

Student Rotations
All Core and Required rotations can be completed at this site.  Many sub-specialists are also available.

Internship - None

Residency Programs
This region does not currently have an active residency program in place, although plans are being explored to develop one. The nearest residencies to the region are in Carbondale, Illinois; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Springfield, Missouri.

Frequently Asked Questions

Describe didactics at your facility.
Preceptor lectures, CMEs, journal club, and student case conferences are provided. Student case conferences are monthly (except in summer months), and a schedule of lectures and CMEs is provided annually. Students do morning rounds with attendings and are often given reading assignments.

Describe didactics at your facility.
Preceptor lectures, CMEs, Journal Clubs, and Student Case Conferences are provided. CMEs are offered regularly both in West Plains and in nearby communities of the region. Students do morning rounds with attendings and are often given reading assignments by their preceptors.

How many students, interns, and residents are on a rotation?
Student census fluctuates from two to five at any given time. Interns and residents rotate through the facility on occasion. There is only one student on any rotation at a given time.

How often are students one-on-one with an attending or resident?
Students are always one-on-one with an attending physician. Residents only rotate at this site occasionally and do not get placed simultaneously with medical students completing clinical rotations with preceptors.

Are students offered/encouraged to actively participate in procedures?
This is one of the best parts of completing your clinical in a smaller community.  Students are allowed to participate in many procedures.  When students complete their Obstetrics/Gynecology rotations, they are actually allowed to deliver babies.  You are always first assist in surgeries as there are no interns/residents in front of you.

Is the hospital affiliated with other hospitals? What other medical school affiliations does your facility have?
This is a single hospital. Medical schools that send students to this site include: KCOM in Kirksville, KCUMB in Kansas City, University of Missouri – Columbia, UMKC in Kansas City, Saint Louis University, and Washington University in St. Louis.

What is the trauma level of your emergency department? If your emergency department is not a Level I trauma center, will students have an opportunity to rotate at a Level I trauma center?
There are no Level I trauma centers in this region. Students are able to train with ER physicians at Ozarks Medical Center who are always willing to have students on site.

What is the on-call policy for medical students?
Students are asked to follow preceptor call schedules during rotations. Depending on the clerkship, students may or may not have call because some preceptors do not take call and some do. Preceptors are very aware of student study needs and usually will not expect students to always follow their call schedules with them; however, it is left up to the preceptor to decide.

Is there 24-hour access to the library and Internet resources?
The hospital has four computer workstations available 24 hours a day to access internet resources. Students can also access MAHEC digital library resources from their own home computers via an assigned password system. The database contains over 100 full-text electronic resources and includes many EBM (Evidence-Based Medicine) resources, such as OVID, MD Consult, Pepid, and others.

Is charting done electronically?
Electronic charting is done in some areas of the hospital.

Is there a food allowance and how much?
Student meals are provided in the hospital cafeteria. Students can utilize their school issued name badges to receive meals.

Are pagers provided to students?
No, but preceptors are agreeable to dialing personal cell phones.

Are lockers available for students to use?
The student study lounge is in a locked, secure area, but lockers are not provided.

What unique qualities/opportunities does your facility offer?
In addition to basic hospital services, this facility provides 24 hour Emergency Services, Inpatient and Outpatient Surgery, Intensive Care, Ambulance transport, Behavioral Healthcare, Cancer Treatment, Endoscopy, Pediatric, Lab, Pain Management, Cardiology, Imaging, Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Women’s Heath, Wound Care and a state-of-the art Sleep Lab.

Site Visits

When are site visits scheduled?
Site visits can be scheduled at almost any time except for holidays.

Who should students contact to set up a site visit?
Please contact the Rotation Site Coordinator, Cindy Robinett, at 573.785.2444 Ext 3.

What is the site visit protocol at your site?
Students must contact the Rotation Site Coordinator at least two weeks before the planned visit. The Rotation Site Coordinator will make arrangements and let students know who/when/where to meet. Any request made less than two weeks in advance will be considered, but may not be able to be arranged due to time constraints.

Area Information

West Plains is nestled in the “Heart of the Ozarks” and offers breathtaking scenery and a wealth of recreational activities. You can also pick up the pace at one of the finest dirt track facilities in the nation. The West Plains Motor Speedway’s premier event is the “Show Me 100,” where late model drivers from across the country compete to start the Memorial Day weekend race. The season begins mid-March and runs through August with events for crowds as large as 17,000. People also come from miles away to attend concerts and family activities at the West Plains Civic Center. With 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, 7,400 square feet of meeting rooms, a 2,900-seat arena and a 450-seat theater, there’s certainly room for everybody. The center boasts a collegiate-sized swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, and a professionally designed fitness room. The state-of-the art Civic Center hosts expos and conventions, athletic events, stage shows, and performing arts theatre. It has developed a solid reputation for staging quality family entertainment and cultural events. For more information about West Plains, visit their website at www.wpchamber.com/index.html.

Average cost of housing
Rental units range from $450-$650/month.  Average housing costs range from $100,000 to $150,000, although smaller nice homes can be found for under $90,000

Nearest major airport
Springfield Regional Airport (SGF) is approximately 100 miles from West Plains

Nearest expressway
I-44 is approximately 100 miles from West Plains

Informational websiteswww.westplains.net

Student Typical Day

Keep in mind that most rotations are preceptor-based, so the schedule will vary somewhat for every rotation.

Medical students may be expected to pre-round before the attending gets to the hospital. There are no residents or interns at Ozarks Medical Center, so the student will be expected to do many of the H & Ps as well as progress notes. Because of this, students should plan on pre-rounding between 6 and 7 a.m.  Periodically, this will be followed by a physician’s group meeting. Medical students should attend these meetings as things such as call schedules, patients, and chart reviews are discussed. Afterwards, the student will round with the attending physician. From there, the student will either move on to the daily clinic, the OR, or the endoscopy suite for the rest of the morning. Usually there is time to take a lunch break at or around noon, but this can be easily interrupted by deliveries, long surgeries, or late clinic schedules. The attendings in West Plains are very good about making time for a break though, no matter what the schedule dictates.

Students may be expected to give presentations, case reports, or discuss journal articles over the noon hour as well. Occasionally, there will be drug rep lunches or seminars by other doctors over lunch that students will have the opportunity to attend. The afternoon is much like the morning schedule, where the student will see patients in the clinic or OR until 5-5:30 p.m., followed by evening rounds with the attending. Some attendings will excuse students early from clinic so that they can pre-round before the attending.

Medical students should expect to take call at least one week/weekend during the rotation. In general, the call schedule is much like the rest of the week, and rounding is usually done with the attending instead of pre-rounding. Some rotations have a heavier call schedule than others; therefore, students may be required to work two or more weekends a month for certain rotations.

Student feedback regarding site

"The clinical rotations at West Plains are top notch. The physicians at the hospital and surrounding clinics are fantastic teachers. All rotations are one-on-one with the physician, so the clinical experience is excellent. I was able to perform all procedures with the physician looking over my shoulder, patiently instructing. The hands-on experience you will receive is invaluable and for those reasons, I highly recommend West Plains."

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