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Medical networking event set for college students


Interested in applying to medical school, but are unsure how, or what it entails?

The Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization will help sort out that information through its medical networking event from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at Trinity Episcopal Church’s Macsherry Parish Center, 227 Sherman St. The event, for postsecondary students interested in medical school, will have a panel session with local medical students and residents, and conduct rapid interviews with local providers, similar to speed-dating. Dr. Steven L. Lyndaker, Lowville Medical Associates, will offer remarks about practicing medicine in a rural area. Dr. Lyndaker also is FDRHPO’s health information technology medical director.

“The drive behind it is the need for physicians, and we have people coming to us with questions and looking for guidance,” said Tracy L. Leonard, regional recruitment project manager for the health planning organization. “There’s a shortage of physicians; we have a huge need.”

According to a 2013 state Education Department report, there is a primary care physician shortage throughout most communities within Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Fifteen specialties are considered to be in a shortage throughout those counties, and the only specialty areas here that are not considered in shortage, according to the report, are emergency medicine, general surgery and obstetrics/gynecology.

Miss Leonard said the Jan. 11 event will review mastering the medical-school application process, medical school entrance-exam resources, education funding, understanding key terms and deciding one’s specific medical career path.

FDRHPO is looking for more specialty physicians to be a part of the speed-networking portion of the event. Local physicians in internal medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics have signed up thus far.

College students who enroll in the program can write down specialty areas they are interested in pursuing, so Miss Leonard can tailor the speed-networking portion to those interests of students.

“It’s about the quality of relationships made at the event,” she said. “If we establish that relationship now, hopefully they’ll come back and work. We want to expose people to practicing medicine in a rural area. We want to show them you can have a valuable career.”

Event information has been sent out to all colleges and universities within 100 miles of Watertown, she said. The deadline for college students to enroll is Dec. 2.

For more information, call Miss Leonard at 755-2020, ext. 13, or send her an email at

To register, visit

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