The United States is faced with an increasing shortage of physicians in the primary care workforce. The number of medical school graduates selecting careers in primary care internal medicine has fallen dramatically since 1985. Although political, financial, and organizational reform of the medical system is necessary, these changes will address only part of the problem. Endeavors designed to ameliorate this current crisis in primary care practice must also address the education and training of future primary care internists. Learners require specialized training in primary care internal medicine to be able to provide high-quality, patient-centered, outcome-oriented care. This article examines the impact of educational interventions in undergraduate medical education (UME) and graduate medical education (GME) on primary care internal medicine career choice and makes suggestions for future educational changes. Suggested UME changes include providing early longitudinal clinical experiences and providing the option for an integrated ambulatory third year of training. Suggested GME changes include early, sustained exposure to general internal medicine and differentiated training tracks for residents interested in primary care. Key among these changes are that medical students and residents must have adequate mentorship from primary care internists and clinical experiences in highly functioning primary care settings established as patient-centered medical homes. Academic centers have a unique opportunity to contribute to these imperatives by reengineering the practice of primary care in a way that embodies the core values of effective, patient-centered care.
"Despite the growing prominence of the PCMH as effective models for health care delivery, few medical schools have integrated formal education on the PCMH into their curricula. Studies show that few medical students are exposed to this model in their formal education or have opportunities to gain hands-on experience using this model of care.4–6 Only 41% of family medicine departments in one survey reported implementing a PCMH curriculum for students, and teaching modalities largely focused on educational conferences rather than longitudinal exposure.5 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As the health care delivery landscape changes, medical schools must develop creative strategies for preparing future physicians to provide quality care in this new environment. Despite the growing prominence of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) as an effective model for health care delivery, few medical schools have integrated formal education on the PCMH into their curricula. Incorporating the PCMH model into medical school curricula is important to ensure that students have a comprehensive understanding of the different models of health care delivery and can operate effectively as physicians. The authors provide a detailed description of the process by which the Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC), a student-run free clinic, has integrated PCMH principles into a service-learning initiative. The authors assessed patient demographics, diagnoses, and satisfaction along with student satisfaction. During the year after a PCMH model was adopted, 112 students and 19 licensed physicians volunteered their time. A review of the 174 patients seen from July 2011 to June 2012 found that the most common medical reasons for visits included management of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, gastrointestinal conditions, arthritis, anxiety, and depression. During the year after the adoption of the PCMH model, 87% were very or extremely satisfied with their care, and 96% of the patients would recommend the WCCC to others. Students who participate in the WCCC gain hands-on experience in coordinating care, providing continuity of care, addressing issues of accessibility, and developing quality and safety metrics. The WCCC experience provides an integrative model that links service-learning with education on health care delivery in a primary care setting. The authors propose that adoption of this approach by other student-run clinics provides a substantial opportunity to improve medical education nationwide and better prepare future physicians to practice within this new model of health care delivery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With growing numbers of patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations, and the potential implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the provision of primary care in the United States is expanding and changing. Therefore, there is an urgent need to create more primary-care physicians and to train physicians to practice in this environment. In this article, we review the impact that the changing US healthcare system has on trainees, strategies to recruit and retain medical students and residents into primary-care internal medicine, and the preparation of trainees to work in the changing healthcare system. Recruitment methods for medical students include early preclinical exposure to patients in the primary-care setting, enhanced longitudinal patient experiences in clinical clerkships, and primary-care tracks. Recruitment methods for residents include enhanced ambulatory-care training and primary-care programs. Financial-incentive programs such as loan forgiveness may encourage trainees to enter primary care. Retaining residents in primary-care careers may be encouraged via focused postgraduate fellowships or continuing medical education to prepare primary-care physicians as both teachers and practitioners in the changing environment. Finally, to prepare primary-care trainees to effectively and efficiently practice within the changing system, educators should consider shifting ambulatory training to community-based practices, encouraging resident participation in team-based care, providing interprofessional educational experiences, and involving trainees in quality-improvement initiatives. Medical educators in primary care must think innovatively and collaboratively to effectively recruit and train the future generation of primary-care physicians.
Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine 07/2012; 79(4):451-63. DOI:10.1002/msj.21329 · 1.62 Impact Factor
Nauzley C. Abedini, Sandra Danso-Bamfo, Joseph C. Kolars, Kwabena A. Danso, Peter Donkor, Timothy R. B. Johnson, Cheryl A. Moyer
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