BOWLING GREEN, KY (2/8/12) – A Bowling Green pediatrician has been honored for his work mentoring future healthcare professionals.
Dr. Rick Voakes has received the Community Faculty Preceptor Award from the University Of Kentucky College Of Medicine and the UK Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Community Faculty Program.
Working through the South Central AHEC, housed in the College of Health and Human Services at Western Kentucky University, Dr. Voakes has been a member of the community based gratis faculty for both UK and the University of Louisville for 25 years.
All healthcare professions students at UK and U of L are required to do some of their clinical rotations in rural and underserved areas. These rotations are referred to as their AHEC rotation because the regional AHECs coordinate these rotations. Students gain real world experience through these clinical rotations and the community has an opportunity to recruit them to return for their practice.
Veronica Drake, Clinical Education Coordinator for the South Central AHEC, coordinated 172 clinical rotations in FY 2010-2011 for students from UK and U of L in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, physician assistants, pharmacy, dietetics, clinical lab science and dental hygiene. These students spent 819 weeks with community faculty in the 22 county region served by the South Central AHEC.
“Students enjoy their clinical rotations with Dr. Voakes and they say he is an excellent preceptor,” Drake said. “Many students say he practices what he preaches. Dr. Voakes has been an advocate for prevention his entire career. When he talks to his patients about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices including exercise he can point to his involvement in Disc Golf and his 4x Grandmaster World Championships and his induction in the Hall of Fame in 1995.”
Dr. Voakes created a website (www.health-bytes.com) before websites became popular and he keeps it updated with current information. The menu contains 66 health topics as well as a health quiz and News From Chestnut Place, his pediatric office. He is also a musician and an artist.
Drake said community based faculty like Dr. Voakes do not get paid to teach students. “They do it because students challenge them to think about what they do and why they do it and they love to teach,” she said. “They also do it because it is the right thing to do. It is an honor for health professionals to be asked to give back to their profession in the form of teaching.”
Information provided by WKU
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