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As mentors, Alzheimer's patients teach next generation of doctors about care

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Mishy Roy sits with Marv and Elaine Lofquist.
Medical student Mishy Roy sits with Marv and Elaine Lofquist of Golden Valley, Minn., on July 14, 2016. Roy meets regularly with the Lofquists as part of a new partnership between the University of Minnesota Medical School and Health Partner's Center for Memory and Aging. Marv is living with Alzheimer's disease.
Cathy Wurzer | MPR News

In Minnesota, as of this year, there are about 90 thousand people, over the age of 65 living with Alzheimer's.  

Marv Lofquist of Golden Valley is one of them. 

In 2011, when he was in his late 60's, Lofquist went to the doctor after he began noticing it was getting harder and harder to remember things like dates and scheduled times for appointments. 

In May of 2012, the retired college chemistry professor was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. 

While not all patients with MCI go on to develop Alzheimer's, almost all cases of Alzheimer's start with MCI and Lofquist's memory loss is progressive. 

Yet, five years after the diagnosis, and after leaving the classroom, Lofquist finds he's still teaching.

He is part of a new partnership between the University of Minnesota Medical School and Health Partner's Center for Memory and Aging that pairs 20 first year med school students with people living with Alzheimer's Disease.

The goal? To help students see the patient as a whole person, not just a disease. 

Dr. Micheal Rosenbloom is with the Center for Memory and Aging and is also Lofquist's physician. 

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