Medical School Residence Named in Honor of Local Doctor
Dr. David Dixon was the initial instigator and advocate for the medical school partnership
October 12, 2010
From left: Dr. Nancy Cummings, Dr. David Dixon, Gerald Cayer, Estella McLean, Rebecca Ryder, and Dr. Peter Bates.
On October 8, Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) President and CEO Rebecca Ryder proclaimed the former McLean house on the Wilton Road in Farmington as the Dixon House, a residence for third year medical students working at Franklin Memorial Hospital (FMH).
Ryder stated that under his guidance as vice president for Medical Staff Affairs and Education, Dr. Dixon was the initial instigator and advocate of Franklin Memorial’s involvement as a rural training site with the Maine Medical Center/Tufts Medical School partnership.
The medical school partnership is aimed at addressing the severe shortage of physicians in Maine, a shortage heightened in rural areas. Maine students receive preference for 20 of the 36 seats available each year. The third-year program of study focuses on rural and small-town practice.
“This is our future right here. I don’t mind being part of that,” said Dr. Dixon after being surprised with the announcement.
The residence, which was recently renovated, serves as living accommodations for students enrolled in the medical school program as they complete their rural practice educational requirements. The house is connected to the hospital campus by a serene walkway, about 100 yards in length, that winds its way among the stately pine trees.
As stated in a prepared remark by Senator Olympia Snowe that was read to the audience by Diane Jackson, regional representative for Senator Snowe, “Maine is running low on general care practitioners. Doctors are more likely to practice medicine near where they undertook their residencies and programs that bring more medical students into the community are a positive step.”
“This residence will serve as a ‘home away from home’ for future medical students. Through teamwork and partnership, the future for rural primary care medicine is strengthened and a little brighter today,” said Gerald Cayer, FCHN executive vice president prior to a lighthearted partnership drill to demonstrate teamwork. “People coming together and working as a team is the essential ingredient in a strong partnership.”
Hospital administrators and doctors, along with Dr. Peter Bates, academic dean of Maine Medical Center/Tufts School of Medicine honored the new partnership by lacing up green and white high top sneakers and performing a ceremonial partnership drill coached by Estella McLean.
McLean and her husband, Bud, lived at the residence for 53 years. McLean, a former University of Maine at Farmington professor of physical education and coach, was thrilled to be a part of the festivities and pleased that her former home was to be used by medical students.
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