Covering the Land of Lincoln


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – A new program in Rockford gives 10 students at a local university a chance to achieve their dream job.

“Just having this strong foundation in Rockford and being able to serve this community, and continue to serve this community, is exactly what I wanted to do,” said Reilly Wojchiehowski, who is one-of-ten University of Illinois College of Medicine students in Rockford who will practice being a Family Medicine doctor through one local hospital: UW Health SwedishAmerican.

“I went into medicine because I want to serve my community,” said Wojchiehowski.

She says she knows the need for Family Physicians is high, so she wants to be the change that is desperately needed in our communities.

Winnebago County was ranked #88 out of 102 counties in Illinois in 2022, according to County Health Rankings.

“My future practice I’ll be in a rural community hopefully living somewhere and getting to practice both inpatient and outpatient medicine would be my original goal,” she said.

“I’ve always been interested in OB and Family Medicine,” said Holly Garcia, who was another student accepted into the program.

Garcia grew up in Auburn, Illinois and says growing up in a small town gives her the ability to connect with rural families and build a strong relationship with them.

“Going into a residency you’re already under a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations. You kind of know the providers, you know the place. You can really hit the ground running which is what this programs about,” said Garcia.

Her focus will be more on Obstetrics and Gynecology, learning how to help new moms.

“What I can see is through this program we will have more of our graduates stay in Rockford for their training and then stay in Rockford for their practice,” Garcia expresses.

The 10 students accepted into the program will begin their residency in July and receive clinical experience for the next three years.

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