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Making Sure that Our Children are Protected

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The UND residency program in Minot trains physicians to be family physicians who are well-prepared for a rural setting. The program runs a family medicine clinic, in which about 20,000 patient visits a year are completed. The patient visits may include prenatal care, sports physicals, colonoscopy, diabetes and other chronic disease management, discussion of preventive care, treatment of acute illness, and a number of different issues. I am the program director of the Family Medicine Residency Program in Minot; I practice the full scope of family medicine in addition to providing mentorship, instruction, supervision, and modeling for our physicians in training. I have become involved in yet another area of medicine by becoming medical director of the UND Northern Plains Children’s Advocacy Center. Through this appointment, I have agreed to participate with a multi-disciplinary team in the evaluation of children suspected of having been sexually abused. 
     Estimates are that 150,000 children per year in our country are abused; 9.6 percent of girls and almost 7 percent of boys are sexually abused. Misdiagnosis of signs of abuse is common.
     Our local children’s advocacy center joined the other two centers in North Dakota in 2007. The three centers are members of a national organization called the National Children’s Alliance, or NCA, developed in 1987. Among other things, the NCA provides accreditation standards for the more than 700 CACs in existence throughout the United States. Four regional training centers are supported by the U.S. Department of Justice. Most CACs, however, including ours, depend a lot on donations and grants to support the important work that they do.

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