West River Health Services again welcomed a pair of medical exchange students from Norway.

Norway Students FOR WEB


Einar Hansen (L) and Ina Jacobson (R)

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor

West River Health Services again welcomed a pair of medical exchange students from Norway.

Einar Hansen and Ina Jacobson started their rotations at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, and will be a part of the community and the healthcare facility network for the next six weeks.

Hansen is from Svolvar, and Jacobson is from Harstad, and both attend the University of Tromso in Tromso. Tromso is a town with population of about 70,000. Last year’s students were also from the University in Tromso, and the new duo picked their brains about their experiences in the U.S.

Both Hansen and Jacobson had always wanted to visit the United States, and saw this as the perfect opportunity.

“We’ve always wanted to go to the United States, and when we heard about the exchange program, we jumped,” Hansen said. “We have always dreamed of coming to the U.S. and exploring the culture.”

Jacobson added that they just “jumped at the chance.”

The initially signed up for the program in February last year, and were alerted that they were selected the following April.

The duo arrived in America two weeks ago and spent one week in New York, and another in Grand Forks, N.D. They made a quick trip north to Winnipeg before making their way to Hettinger for the next month and a half.

For the next six weeks the two will be primarily focused on family medicine, but they will be going on rotations with the various departments within West River. Both said they hope to gain experience in the culture and knowledge in the how medicine is practiced in this country. They hope to bring that knowledge back to their own country and their own practices.

Hansen also wants to really study how the doctor-patient relationship and communication unfolds.

“In our study at home, in recent years focusing very much on communication with patients, and it will be very interesting to see how it’s here compared to how we handle it in Norway,” he said.

One thing they have noticed already is the difference in technology training from the U.S. to Norway. And that there is much more practical training here in the United States.

Aside from the differences they’ve witnessed in the cultures, both said the terrain and land-locked location is a big change from where they come from.

But they are settling in here in Hettinger and said they are feeling very welcome.

“People have been so friendly and have taken such good care of us, Hansen said.

Jacobson added that “[the community has] invited us to dinner and taken us out…it’s just amazing.”