According to the U.S. Department of Labor , 463 people were killed in while working either in the crop or animal production field in the United States in 2010. And the number of people injured on the farm in that same year was in the tens of thousands.
So the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine wanted to introduce their resident doctors to life on the farm and to what to expect if they decide to practice medicine in rural America.
At a farm near the Quincy Regional Airport , it was a little bit of role reversal Friday, as members of the Liberty High School F.F.A. were the teachers and nine doctors from the S.I.U. School of Medicine were the students.
It's a program where these resident doctors are introduced to the many dangers farmers can face on daily basis when dealing with machinery, grain bins and even electricity while on the farm.
"What we try and do is teach people about rural America so they will stay. Twenty percent of the population lives in rural America and only 9% of the physicians are there. So one of our missions at the Family Medicine Residency programs is to teach residents to know about rural America and then practice it," Dr. Debra Phillips who is with the Quincy Family Practice Center said.
Julie Schupbach went to high school in Aurora, Illinois and this is literally the first time she has ever set foot on a farm. She said it was quite an eye opening experience to get an up close and personal look at what dangers there are on the farm. Everything from a power take off unit , to a gravity wagon and even the dangers that are lurking on the inside of a grain bin.
"You know, they went through the list of the stories of people getting injuries and trauma done and it was very eye opening and something as a med student I need to know about," Schupbach said.
Dr. Phillips said many of the resident doctors who have gone through this hands-on demonstration in the past, have elected to stay in the rural area and begin their practice in the country setting. She said some people though, wouldn't elect to start a practice in a rural area, because they were never introduced to a farm-like area. So she's glad this opportunity is available and realizes it's a good program to bring the farm to the future doctors.