Ryan Gaalswyk, MD, is finishing up his Obstetrics Fellowship Program through the Essentia Health Institute of Rural Health. Essentia Health established the fellowship program to allow Family Medicine physicians who plan to practice in rural areas get additional training in obstetrics.
"This one-year fellowship experience has given me new skills in areas such as Caesarean sections and managing high-risk obstetrical patients, as well as caring for patients requiring intensive care interventions," Dr. Gaalswyk says. "These new skill sets are helping equip me for doing international and rural primary care."
|Dr. Ryan Gaalswyk
Following nine months of training at Essentia Health in Duluth, Dr. Gaalswyk began seeing Family Medicine patients in May at Essentia Health's Ashland Clinic.
"The last three months are spent in a rural clinic to experience what it's going to be like," says Christina Marshall, the Obstetrics Fellowship's coordinator. "At a rural clinic, you're it. You have to be able to manage all different types of patients."
Dr. Gaalswyk earned his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 2010 and completed a residency at the Swedish First Hill Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., in 2013. He graduated in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
"It was such a blessing to return to my hometown after four years in Seattle for my Family Practice training and start of my career. It was great being close to my parents, siblings, nephews, nieces and friends," Dr. Gaalswyk says. "The faculty throughout the Essentia Health departments I worked with were great teachers and gracious in affording me the skills that they have learned."
Dr. Gaalswyk had the chance to get additional training in cardiology, emergency medicine, intensive care, sports medicine and dermatology.
"Dr. Gaalswyk was a great fellow. He was very outgoing. He always looked for opportunities," Marshall says. "He did a great job and got a lot of positive feedback."
After Dr. Gaalswyk finishes his Essentia fellowship on July 27, the student will become the teacher. Dr. Gaalswyk and his wife, Christina, will travel to Kenya to volunteer at AIC Kijabe Hospital in the foothills of Kenya's famed Rift Valley. He'll teach Kenyan medical residents in a one-year internship in obstetrics and gynecology. His wife, a pediatric occupational therapist at Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center, will assist with pediatric therapy needs at a Kenyan school.
To learn more about Essentia's Obstetrics Fellowship Program, contact Marshall at (218) 786-8256.