Telemedicine is increasingly becoming a vital part of accessing health-care for rural residents in Choteau and their counterparts in Russia.
Dr. Viacheslav Egorov of Moscow told the administrator at Teton Medical Centre last week that telemedicine is the future for Russian medicine. Egorov was among five urban Russian doctors who arrived in Montana last week for a five-day goodwill tour through the Open World Leadership Centre. This is a congressionally established programme that facilitates educational tours for Russians in America. The physicians visited hospitals and medical facilities in Great Falls and also visited Teton Medical Centre. During the tour, Gibbons emphasized what a crucial role telemedicine plays in rural Montana health-care. Cardiac specialists in Missoula might be able to read an EKG printout from a heart attack patient in the emergency room at Teton Medical Centre. Choteau's small team of local medical providers has excellent access to certified specialists through telemedicine in Montana or elsewhere in the United States as needed. The Russians were impressed by the role volunteers provide in emergency services as firefighters, search and rescue units and ambulance crew members who are allowed by their regular employers to leave when the siren wails or the pager buzzes.