WMU News

Physician assistant program honors Iron Mountain doctor

Oct. 27, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Physician Assistant Department has honored a doctor from the Upper Peninsula for his assistance with clinical programs.

Dr. Carl Smoot, of Iron Mountain, Mich., doctor of osteopathic medicine, recently was named "Preceptor of the Year."

As part of the PA program at WMU, students must study at clinical sites with preceptors, typically doctors, who share their time and expertise and who can offer a "real life" patient care experience. Preceptors are not compensated financially for their efforts.

The award is derived from student nominations that are accumulated over the years. Smoot has received strong student recommendations in each of the four years the award program has been in place. Students described Smoot as professional, courteous, and enthusiastic as well as being down to earth, hospitable and caring.

One student said Smoot "gave me a vision of the future of medicine and how a professional medical person can keep their passion for work alive." Others praised Smoot and his family for making students feel at home in Iron Mountain and for the special attention he paid students.

"Almost every night he would either give me a topic to read or he would let me choose a topic," one recommendation stated. "I had one to two days for preparation and then I would have to 'teach' Dr. Smoot all that I had learned. Dr. Smoot would spend at least one hour after we finished working, listening to me 'teach' about what I read."

According to Sherrill Busboom, the department's clinical coordinator, the strength of the program rests with seasoned preceptors like Smoot.

"The setting in Iron Mountain is an ideal situation for learning," she says. "The hospital (Dickinson County Hospital) is student friendly, provides current treatment, and has excellent staff. It isn't over burdened with medical students and residents so PA students are the first students in line to take care of patients."

Smoot has been teaching WMU PA students for the last 19 years. For more information, call Sherrill Busboom at (269) 387.6415.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400