Education and ResearchWe have opportunities for those who want to learn
Current Visiting Residents & Students
Vanessa Vilas (she/her)
2nd Year Physician Assistant Student, University of Saint Joseph
Hometown: East Brunswick, NJ
Area of Interests: Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, Dermatology
Fun Fact: My parents & grandparents are from Spain. In my free time, I love to cook, swim, & read.
Sarah Kaelin (she/her)
4th Year Medical Student, Brown Medical School
Hometown: Woodbury, CT & Bozeman, MT
Area of Interest: Emergency Medicine & Rural Health
Fun Fact: I worked as a backcountry guide in Glacier National Park for many years before I went to med school!
Katie Barry (she/her)
4th Year Medical Student, Brown Medical School
Hometown: Portsmouth, RI
Area of Interest: Emergency Medicine
Resident & Student Rotations
Graduate and Post-Graduate Medical Education at the Block Island Medical Center
Medical Student Rotation
We welcome 4th year medical students from allopathic and osteopathic medical schools to complete a 4 week rotation in rural community medicine at the Block Island Medical Center. This rotation is ideal for at 4th students interested in pursuing family or emergency medicine or pediatrics as a future career choice. In this rural setting, you will participate in primary, urgent, and emergency care for the island’s residents and seasonal tourists. While the peak season spans June through September, your learning experience and contribution to the island community will be significant regardless of the season.
As an integral member of the medical team, you will be responsible for taking histories & physical exams, developing differential diagnoses for unspecified complaints, and developing plans of care for BIMC patients. Additionally, under the direct supervision of a board certified emergency medicine physician you will gain experience in selected procedures including EKGs and radiograph interpretation, venipuncture/IV placement, shoulder reduction/fracture management, and laceration repair. You will participate in medical and trauma resuscitations, including the primary stabilization and transfer by helicopter/plane or boat of critically ill medical and trauma patients who require tertiary care on the mainland. The didactic portion of the rotation includes daily noontime conferences on relevant clinical topics. On average our students are involved in the care of at least 20 patients per day.
The rotation is available through the Department of Family Medicine, Alpert Medical School at Brown University. Interested students should contact Jane Shaw for more information ([email protected]).
Resident Physician Rotation
We welcome residents in emergency medicine or family medicine to complete a 2 or 4 week rotation in rural community medicine at the Block Island Medical Center. As a critical member of the healthcare team, you will provide primary, urgent, and emergency care for the island’s residents and seasonal tourists alike. While the peak season spans June through September, your learning experience and contribution to the island community will be significant regardless of the season.
As a resident physician rotating on Block Island, you will have the opportunity to further develop your clinical diagnostic skills through comprehensive history taking and physical examination when advanced diagnostic laboratory tests and imaging are not readily available. You will have the opportunity to improve upon your diagnostic and procedural skills including EKG and x-ray interpretation, shoulder reduction/fracture management, laceration repair, and advanced airway management. Finally, under the direct supervision of a board certified emergency medicine attending you will manage medical and trauma resuscitations, including the rapid triage, primary stabilization, and air/marine transfer of critical patients whose illnesses and injuries require specialty care beyond the capabilities of a community medical center. By the end of your rotation, you will have improved upon your resourcefulness and resiliency as a resident physician and gain confidence in your ability to care for patients of all ages with a wide range of ailments as your prepare to become an attending physician.
Housing is provided for this rotation. For more information, please email Block Island Medical Center Medical Director Thomas Warcup at [email protected]
Student Nurse Practitioner Rotation
We welcome advanced nurse practitioner students to complete a 2 or 4 week rotation in rural community medicine at the Block Island Medical Center. As a member of the healthcare team, you will provide primary, urgent, and emergency care for the island’s residents and seasonal tourists alike. While the peak season spans June through September, your learning experience and contribution to the island community will be significant regardless of the season.
As a nurse practitioner student rotating on Block Island, you will have the opportunity to further develop your clinical diagnostic skills through comprehensive history taking and physical examination when advanced diagnostic laboratory tests and imaging are not readily available. You will have the opportunity to improve upon your diagnostic and procedural skills including EKG and x-ray interpretation, shoulder reduction/fracture management, laceration repair and airway management. Finally, under the direct supervision of a board certified Registered Nurse Practitioner of Family Medicine and a board certified Emergency Medicine attending you will manage medical and trauma resuscitations, including the rapid triage, primary stabilization, and air/marine transfer of critical patients whose illnesses and injuries require specialty care beyond the capabilities of a community medical center. By the end of your rotation, you will have improved upon your resourcefulness and resiliency a nurse practitioner and gain confidence in your ability to care for patients of all ages with a wide range of ailments.
Housing is provided for this rotation. For more information, please email Block Island Medical Center Advanced Registered Nurse Laurie Anderson MSN, APRN-C, CDOE at [email protected]
Medical Student Voices
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Chris Hasslinger M.D., Class of 2017
The Block Island rotation was a truly unique community medicine experience that combined aspects of Primary Care and Emergency Medicine. As a prospective Emergency Physician I appreciated the opportunity to see a wide variety of injury and illness in an intimate setting that is simply not available in larger academic centers. The relationships and mentor-ship that I developed on this rotation will stay with me for the rest of my career. I hope to return to work at the BI Medical Center again as a resident physician in the near future.
Shaun Flynn M.D., Class of 2017
I loved the opportunity to be able to fully participate as a medical student in the healthcare of a small, unique community. The teamwork that is required to run a small but busy clinic was unlike anything I’ve experienced in my medical education. To be a part of a team like the one on Block Island was a formative experience for me and will greatly influence my decisions on the type of environment I hope to work in the future. I’m also a firm believer that the harder one works the more important it is to be in a place where there is easy access to exploration. Block Island didn’t disappoint–beach days at the bluff, evening glass float hunting, watching shooting stars, falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. All-in-all, I had an incredible experience on Block Island.
Laura Ucik M.D., Class of 2017
My experience on Block Island was phenomenal- I think back on the weeks I spent there frequently. The Island itself was of course wonderful, but working at the Block Island Medical Center was really what made the month special. With Linda, Liz, Pattie, and Dr. Clark, I felt like a part of team. Together we handled the widest variety of issues from annual health visits to emergencies, we supported each other, we laughed a lot, and we approached everything with an attitude of doing our best with what we had. I learned an extraordinary amount in my time there from them and from the patients I had the honor to work with; I learned about what a provider-patient relationship can be in a small town, and how a community can come together to take care of each other. Thank you so much Block Island and BIMC for having me- I’ll be back!
Chandler Villaverde, Brown Med 2016
The rural community medicine elective on Block Island is a tremendous opportunity to learn about rural primary, urgent, and emergent care of patients of all ages. The medical clinic is home to a very welcoming and supportive staff that prioritizes patient care and medical education. On a typical, busy summer day in the clinic, you get plenty of hands on experience working up patients with a broad range of chief complaints. As an integral member of the clinical team, you assist with many procedures including taking X-Rays, starting IVs, performing blood draws, laceration repairs, as well as orthopedic procedures including shoulder reductions and splinting. Dr. Mark Clark and Liz Dyer do a great job balancing patient flow and education; they often schedule time for educational sessions covering practical topics in rural community medicine. You also help take overnight call for all medical emergencies on Block Island, which provides experience working up a wide variety of emergent complaints one-on-one with the attending. I thoroughly enjoyed every action-packed minute of this rotation!
Stephanie Lee and Anna Costello, Brown Med 2016
Working at the Block Island Medical Center during the summer was an amazing learning experience. The high volume of patients of all ages from many different places and the variety of medical concerns, from primary care to emergency visits, kept us on our toes everyday. The best part of the rotation was having the opportunity to provide all aspects of care for our patients. For example, we took H&Ps, generated assessments, and carried out plans ourselves – for example, taking x-rays, splinting, suturing, obtaining bloodwork, or dispensing medication. Of course, many of us have not done these procedures before, but the staff was very supportive. I really appreciated the time and patience that Dr. Clark, Liz, and Linda all offered as they guided us well through many first experiences, especially at the beginning as we adjusted to the fast-paced, but fun, environment. On the last night of my rotation on the island, I ran into a patient at the ice cream shop who was walking without pain after a knee injection I had performed a few days prior, which felt so rewarding. Aside from the clinical work at the medical center, Block Island is a wonderful place to explore and enjoy. The beaches are beautiful and hikes are breathtaking, especially given the nature conservation. Overall, my experience on Block Island has been a defining moment in my medical training because I learned so much and gained more confidence as a budding physician.
The Block Island rotation was an incredible experience both academically and personally. The high patient volume and the fast pace allow students to see more patients in a day on Block Island than we see in a week on many of our other rotations. I learned a tremendous amount from the patients I saw there– not only about Lyme disease, traumatic injuries, and other medical problems, but also about the flow and pace of a rural community clinic, and about how to triage patients. It was an incredible opportunity to learn about how practice medicine outside of the context of a large academic hospital. Without easy access to a CT scanner and a lab, we needed to learn to make decisions based on our exam and clinical reasoning. We also got to learn to take and read x-rays, put in IVs, and draw labs which are skills we rarely, if ever, get exposed to in a large academic hospital. We got to learn how to do all parts of patient care which I think is crucial to being a good physician. We got lots of one on one teaching. The doctor and NP spent a lot of time teaching us to do hands on procedures such as suturing, which I feel so comfortable with because of my rotation on Block Island. Because the summer at the Block Island Medical Center is so busy, we also really got to know everyone we worked with and felt like part of a team. This is one of the best parts of working in medicine and I felt so lucky to be part of this fantastic team. I feel that of all of my rotations, my Block Island rotation was the one that best prepared me for the autonomy of residency and I am so lucky I go the opportunity to learn here.
I also can’t say enough about how wonderful it was to get to share a home on this beautiful island with medical students and residents and to make some wonderful new friends. We had a blast enjoying the beauty of the island and exploring all it has to offer. It was truly a highlight of medical school for me and I can’t thank the people of Block Island and everyone at the Medical Center enough for the opportunity!
Dominick Wu, Brown Med 2016
My rotation at Block Island was one of my favorite and most valuable rotations in medical school. We saw a broad spectrum of patient complaints – general checkups, gout, fractures, STEMI, sinusitis, Lyme disease, etc. I also had the opportunity to learn how to shoot my own X rays, and refine my skills in blood draws, starting IVs, suturing lacerations, casting and splinting. In such a rural practice, I was humbled that we were the medical team for the entire island – I learned how to evaluate and triage patients to assess if they needed to be transferred immediately back to he mainland. We even flew in small jets with patients to stabilize them during the transfer to a mainland hospital.
From day one the Block Island Medical Center family accepted me as an important member of the team. The trust that my preceptors had in me is second to none, and this sense of trust helped me develop more confidence when evaluating patients. Working with Dr. Clark, Liz, and Linda was amazing. They were all so supportive of my learning and let me do so much. I even had the opportunity to follow my own patients over the four weeks, which was incredibly fulfilling. As a medical student, you can’t ask for a more rewarding experience.
Resident Physician Voices
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Quinn Leslie, MD – R-3 Emergency Medicine Resident, Mt. Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt, NYC
During my rotation at Block Island Medical Center, I cared for island residents and off-season visitors with a variety of medical and traumatic complaints, performed minor surgical procedures uncommon in my everyday practice, and conducted annual health maintenance and wellness visits. Though I enjoyed managing patients who sought acute care at the medical center, I found the primary care component of my rotation to be the most valuable. As an emergency medicine resident in New York City, I rarely have the opportunity to perform comprehensive physical exams or spend time counseling my patients on their chronic health concerns but working with patients everyday in this capacity helped remind me why I chose to practice medicine in the first place. I could not have envisioned a more ideal setting to revitalize my spirit for delivering compassionate, patient-centered care and for that, I am incredibly grateful to have rotated at Block Island Medical Center.
Adam Janicki, MD – R-4 Emergency Medicine Resident, Brown University
Rotating at Block Island Medical Center was an incredible opportunity to further enhance my residency training. It provides the chance to practice multiple aspect of patient care – emergency, urgency and primary care medicine. Further, it gives the opportunity to practice the triage system first hand as one decides to keep and care for the patient, have the patient take the ferry, private plan, or helicopter to the mainland for definitive care. Additionally, it offers a top notch clinical experience including laceration repair, IV placement and phlebotomy, shooting radiographs, basics of billing, and pharmacy. I would recommend the rotation to family medicine and emergency medicine residents hoping to obtain a comprehensive (and fun!) clinical experience.