Medical student hopes to start mobile medical clinic for fishermen

June 7th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Miranda Rogers has seen firsthand the ailments affecting people who work in Maine’s fishing industries: infections from handling bait, skin cancer from heavy sun exposure and more common health problems that go undetected when fishermen skip medical appointments because the fishing is good.

Rogers grew up on Orr’s Island, the daughter of a lobsterman, and spent three summers hauling and baiting traps. Inspired by her experience, Rogers said her goal now is to improve health care access for fishermen. A medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Maine Track program at Maine Medical Center, she’s teaming up with the hospital to try to set up a mobile health care clinic on the Portland waterfront, probably in a van or RV.

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John Patriquin/Staff Photographer Tufts medical student Miranda Rogers and Dr. Tania Strout of Maine Medical Center are working on a survey to assess the health needs of Maine’s fishermen, with the goal of setting up a waterfront mobile clinic.

If it becomes a reality, the clinic would offer drop-in screenings and basic health care to fishermen coming off the boats. More than 7,300 commercial fishermen work in Maine, and hundreds are based on the Portland waterfront.

Rogers, 28, said realizing the goal is a few years away, but she will start this summer with a survey to determine the health needs of lobstermen. Once established, Rogers said, she hopes the clinic will become self-sustaining and continue to operate after she finishes school.

Rogers said simply making health care

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