In addition to each resident’s continuity practice in the Family Medicine Center, certain elements of medical education lend themselves more to a longitudinal format rather than a block experience. Among the experiences taught in a longitudinal manner are:
House Calls Service: A part of training here since 1983, the House Calls Service involves one resident at a time going out on home visits with one of the full-time faculty, both to provide in-home assessments of the resident’s own patients and to provide ongoing care for a panel of home-bound patients in the community.
Didactic Conferences: Our required didactic curriculum constitutes a critical piece of our residents’ education. Historically a 5-days-per-week, noon-conference event, our didactic offerings are now offered on two half-days per month (during which time residents are excused from their other duties), coupled with two weeks of daily noon conferences.
Balint Group: A monthly meeting facilitated by Drs. Carrie Fields and Wendy Linderholm, this is a structured discussion group in which residents can examine the unique psychosocial issues which arise as a result of the patient-physician relationship. Here, physician support is modeled and confidentiality is strictly maintained.
Family-Centered Maternity Care: Each resident, following completion of her or his obstetrics rotations in the first year, builds an ongoing maternity care practice within the Family Medicine Center continuity practice. This care is supervised by Drs. Abi Fletcher & Rose Swords, with back-up as necessary from perinatologists at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
Group Visits: Since 2006 we have been holding monthly group visits for patients with diabetes in our practice. This has been an opportunity to develop one element of the future of family medicine and demonstrate how our patients can learn from and teach one another. These visits are multidisciplinary, with participation from residents, students, nursing staff, social work, and behavioral and medical faculty.
Procedures: Our residents are encouraged to learn and practice the breadth of procedures encountered in family medicine, and are required to document specific numbers of all procedures prior to graduation. All procedures are supervised by our attending physicians, with supportive articles provided beforehand. In addition, we hold quarterly workshops for all residents, covering core procedures and skills.
Point of Care Ultrasound: Beginning with our maternity care curriculum, and expanding with the start of our sports medicine fellowship in 2014, we have been steadily expanding our use of ultrasound in the outpatient setting. Some faculty have begun offering other ultrasound-guided procedures (e.g. paracentesis), and we will be instituting a program-wide POC ultrasound curriculum beginning in the 2017-18 academic year.