John Klein is a lawyer. He will soon be a doctor. He could soon be making over $300,000 a year or more in a matter of days without even doing a residency or subspecialty training. He has spent most of his life in large cities -- attending college in Washington, DC and law school in New Orleans before returning to his home town of Omaha for medical school. How could he possibly hold one of the keys to finding more doctors for rural areas?
John has a different calling. He has a heart for people in need. As he has taken his legal and medical training, he has applied what he has learned. He also discovered the power of giving people a chance to help each other.
"As a lawyer in medical school I get a fair bit of ribbing from my classmates, and I suppose a lot of that is deserved in the legal profession," John said. "Still, one of the basic ideas I took away from my legal background is that most law is ultimately about setting up systems to organize and motivate people. Even bad law does that. What happened in the Enron scandal was essentially an attempt to organize a crooked system and reward greed as a motivation. On the other hand, a system that draws on people's better motivations can have some really positive effects. My experience has been that once a system is set up, there's no problem finding people motivated to put it into action."
His previous project involved working with inner city clinics. He worked with high school students from all over Nebraska to get children's books donated to a literacy effort. Students from 26 high schools across the state responded with more than 30,000 books. John remembers a particularly generous effort by the students in Alma, NE, population 1200, who collected more than 2800 books. As one newspaper covering the book drive noted, collecting two books from every man, woman, and child in Alma, and getting their household pets to chip in 400 more." (Those involved in getting doctors to small towns have also taken notice, since Alma needs a doc. Anyone want a town with a great heart? Alma, NE is the place for you!)
John realizes the potential in each of us, particularly in students who care. In his final year he has developed the PRIME project. The PRIME project involves medical students going out to rural high schools and taking an hour or two to lecture students. Lectures are obviously the least exciting part about medical school and high school, but John has found a way to attract their interest and to meet their needs as well as the needs of the country.
Introduction and Endorsement
Hope: Students From the Underserved, For the Underserved
Rural Student Interest Groups
Restoration of Communities, Nations, People: Role of Rural Family Docs
Best Works on Site
April 12 An Encouraging Word And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24 I once was speaking to a group of several hundred singles, and I asked, "How many of you grew up in homes where you were told you were great?" Perhaps a dozen raised their hands. The rest of these young adults remembered words of criticism from their parents more than they remembered encouragement. More of this at Encouragerswww.ruralmedicaleducation.org