Bio: Baltus, JoAnn (Medical Training - 1980)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon’

Surnames: Baltus, Gungor

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/10/1980

Baltus, JoAnn (Medical Training - 1980)

A Clark County woman is one of 47 Wisconsin medical students involved in an eight-week summer externship program this summer.

JoAnn Baltus, Willard, has just finished her first year of medical school at the University of Wisconsin, and she is working with Dr. Bahri Gungor at the Neillsville Clinic and Memorial Hospital to gain clinical experience.

The arrangement is called the Summer Externship Program, and it is designed to acquaint her and her fellow students with Family Medicine, particularly as it’s practiced in rural areas of Wisconsin.

Baltus and the other students, all either from the UW or the Medical College of Wisconsin, were matched with practicing Family Physicians last June. After their eight-week session is over, they will have spent time collaborating with their preceptor-physicians, leaning as much as possible about caring for individual patients and their families, leaning to function in a community hospital and learning to use various community health resources.

Baltus has been working with Dr. Gungor at the Neillsville Clinic and Memorial Hospital. Aside from accompanying him on his rounds, she has witnessed several operations, including an appendectomy, a hysterectomy, a tubal ligation, a Caesarian section and several normal child births.

Baltus, a 1975 graduate of Greenwood High School, said she is glad to have been assigned to the Neillsville Hospital because it is small, allowing her to become better-acquainted with several different facets of hospital work. She said she fees that a larger hospital would have made it more difficult for her to learn about some of the operations not directly dealt with by her physician-preceptor, such as work done by lab technicians.

She also said she like being assigned to the Neillsville facility because it gives her a better feeling of family practice. Because she knows some of the patients, especially those from the Willard-Greenwood area, she will occasionally have some of the background information about the patients that is usually at the family practitioner’s disposal.

Baltus is not sure yet if she wants to go into family practice. “I’m not at a point where I can decide yet,” she said. She added that, along with family practice, she’s interested in obstetrics, gynecology and internal medicine.

She said she decided to go into medicine when she was a sophomore in college; she was a Nutrition major at Madison. She explained that she likes science, and she likes working with people and she didn’t want to give up either of these.

The Summer Externship Program is sponsored by the Wisconsin academy of Family Physicians, an association of 1,200 family doctors in the state. The program is funded by the C.E.S. Foundation of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin, with contributions from the Rural Rehabilitation Corporation; American Family Insurance Company; Wyeth Laboratories; Wisconsin Physicians’ Service and Blue Cross-Blue Shield United. In addition, individual physicians have contributed over $150,000 since the program has been in existence.

Since the program’s inception in 969, almost 600 medical students from the two schools in Wisconsin have participated, several of whom are now in a Family Practice Residence Program, preparing to enter Family Medicine in some Wisconsin community.

Baltus said that the program is an effective way to get actual clinical experience, and she said that it is an effective way to spend her summer vacation because she’s working in her own field.

“Everyone at the hospital is very, very nice to me,” she added.



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