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UW doctor becomes first in country to complete OB-GYN residency focused on rural healthcare

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A UW doctor will soon have a special place in American medical history.

Dr. Laura McDowell will become the first person in the nation to complete a residency training program as an OB-GYN specifically focusing on caring for women in rural places.

UW started the nation's first rural residency in 2016 to address a shortage of OB-GYNs in those areas.

"It's such a value to those women to be able to stay in their communities where they feel most comfortable, rather than having to travel such a far distance for care when they're already feeling vulnerable and scared," Dr. McDowell said.

She'll finish her residency on June 24. Next month, she'll move to Willmar, Minnesota in the rural southwest part of the state to practice general obstetrics and gynecology there.

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