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Wray Physician Receives Medical School Award



AURORA, Colo. (May 31, 2011) – Monte Uyemura, MD, a family physician from Wray Colo., received the 2011 Distinguished Physician High Plains Walking Stick Award from the Department of Family Medicine of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The Walking Stick Award is given annually to an outstanding rural physician who helps teach University of Colorado School of Medicine students and residents interested in rural family medicine. The presentation was made Thursday at the School of Medicine Honors Convocation.

Uyemura, an assistant clinical professor in family medicine, has been practicing in Wray since 1996. He grew up in Greeley and attended Northwestern University’s medical school, followed by a family medicine internship and residency at Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort Benning, Ga., and Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Wash. Uyemura served four years at Irwin Army Community Hospital at Ft. Riley, Kan. 

Uyemura praised the hospital and clinic staff in Wray, and said that the medical students who train there are top caliber.

“They come to us so much more prepared to experience rural medicine than when I was a medical student; they are so easy to teach that it is easy to seem like a good teacher,” he said.

Walking Stick Award recipients get a full-sized Osage orange bush walking stick passed down from the previous year’s winner. Retired medical school faculty member Gus Garcia, MD, originated the idea. He saw similarities between the hardiness of the Osage orange bush that grew in the Great Plains in the 1900s and of the family practitioner in rural communities

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. To learn more about the medical school’s care, education, research and community engagement, please visit its web site. For additional news and information, please visit the University of Colorado newsroom.