BAR HARBOR — Maine Medical Center, in conjunction with Tufts University School of Medicine, recently awarded Dr. Charles E. Hendricks of Mount Desert Island Hospital General Surgery the Roger A. Renfrew M.D. Rural Teaching Award. This award honors Dr. Renfrew’s leadership in educating medical students and residents in Maine’s rural communities.
Dr. Hendricks, who is the Chief of Surgery at MDI Hospital, established the Hancock County Medical Mission in 1989 and has traveled to South America each year since to provide surgical services to underserved populations. In 2014, he was given the Caregiver of the Year Award by the Maine Hospital Association.
Dr. Hendricks chose to practice in Maine because the quieter pace of life allows him to spend more time getting to know his patients, and he conveys that to the medical students he teaches every year.
“I thoroughly enjoy getting across to my students how valuable and rewarding it is to practice in a small community. The people you care for aren’t just your patients; they are your neighbors,” he said.
Angela Ryck, a recent medical education student at MDI Hospital, nominated Dr. Hendricks for the rural teaching award. “One of the very first things I noticed in working with Dr. Hendricks was the immense trust that his patients have in him. Whether they are seeing him for a minor skin procedure, or a major surgery consultation, they know that they can rely on him to provide the best care possible,” she said. “He stands out as someone who provides exceptional rural care because he truly knows his patients beyond what is in included in their records.”
In her nomination, Ryck also shared that Dr. Hendricks donated his time to demonstrate operating room skills and present opportunities for routine student practice and skill precision under his guidance.
Dr. Hendricks continues to teach and practice at MDI Hospital in General Surgery and looks forward to more years of service saying. “I really appreciate getting to know and work with future physicians. It gives me hope for the future,” he said.
The Roger A. Renfrew M.D. Rural Teaching Award is voted on by Tuft’s University, School of Medicine Maine Track Program Class of 2022. Maine Track is a program for students committed to pursuing a career in rural medicine. Offered in partnership with Maine Medical Center, Maine Track provides students who have roots in the state with a community-based curriculum and the opportunity to work at clinical sites throughout Maine.