Category Archives: medical education

Project PROMISE

The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) has a section of their website dedicated to model programs.   They recently highlighted Project PROMISE, a North Carolina program designed to encourage rural youth to pursue medical careers.

Project PROMISE (Providing Rural Opportunities in Medicine through Inspiring Service and Education) is the brainchild of two medical students who started the program to give high school seniors medical academic training, mentor relationships, and hands-on experience in rural North Carolina facilities.

Project PROMISE launched in the Fall of 2014 with their first group of students.  Since then, it has graduated 10 high school students, 5 of whom are pursuing an undergraduate degree with an interest in studying medicine.

Read more about Project PROMISE.

Doc Burnout

What happens when an eager young doctor in a rural community with a passion to make a difference becomes the medical director for the nursing home, the overseer of the town’s emergency medical service, the football team’s sideline doctor, the clinic’s medical director, and the hospital’s trauma director and chief of staff?

And has two children?

Burnout

This wasn’t a scenario we made up.  This is a real story highlighted in a recent article by the Rural Health Information Hub:

Randall Longenecker, MD, FAAFP, serves as assistant dean for rural and underserved programs at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and is the Executive Director of the national RTT Collaborative. He is an advocate of teaching medical students and residents skills to build their resilience and help them deal with the stresses of rural practice.

In Longenecker’s experience, rural settings can actually encourage providers to admit they have a problem. “One of the advantages of living in a ‘glass house’ where everyone knows each other’s business is that (burnout) quickly becomes apparent to others,” said Longenecker.

Providers who build strong relationships within their community also have an advantage when dealing with burnout. “Resilience, or the ability to persist and thrive through hardship, is a competency for a rural practice,” commented Longenecker. “Hardship itself is not the most important contributing factor (to physician burnout), the lack of healthy relationships is.”

Read the full article here.

Affording Medical School

There’s no doubt about it — medical school is expensive. But U.S. News & World Report has compiled a list of 10 private medical schools with the lowest tuition and fees for the 2015-16 academic year.

Here are the 10 most affordable private medical schools and their 2015-16 out-of-state tuition rates, according to U.S. News & World Report:

  1. Baylor College of Medicine (Houston) — $31,663
  2. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (Erie, Pa.) — $32,985
  3. University of Pikeville–Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine — $41,320
  4. University of Miami Miller School of Medicine — $42,626
  5. Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Virginia campus (Blacksburg, Va.), Carolinas campus (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Auburn (Ala.) campus — $43,250
  6. Kansas City (Mo.) University of Medicine and Biosciences — $43,513
  7. Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (Cumberland Gap, Tenn.) — $46,528
  8. Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (New York City) — $48,340
  9. Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine (Hempstead, N.Y.) — $48,500
  10. Mayo Medical School (Rochester, Minn.) — $49,900

See those three schools in bold type?  That’s right – three out of the top ten are in our region!

Emergency Residency

Tom Morris – HRSA’s Associate Administrator for Rural Health Policy – has a stump speech about rural healthcare vs. urban healthcare entitled; “Rural is NOT Mini Urban.”

To underline his point, he puts a picture on the screen of a huge tractor next to a lawn mower.  Guess which one is intended for use in rural areas?

By the same token, emergency medicine is different in rural communities.  A hospital in Idaho has recognized that difference in creating a rural emergency medicine program.

St. Luke’s Hospital and the University of Washington created the program after the university decided its students should be exposed more to rural medicine.  The students are overseen by emergency physicians and the students are able to help out in the ER during busy times.

Read more about this unique program.

Preparing for Rural

The Rural Health Research & Policy Centers recently published, Outcomes of Rural-Centric Residency Training to Prepare Family Medicine Physicians for Rural Practice.  This policy brief identified family medicine residencies providing rural training and the practice locations of their graduates.

KEY FINDINGS

  • Family medicine physicians who graduated from rural-centric residency programs—those that actively recruit medical students with an interest in rural practice and require at least eight weeks of rural training—practiced in rural areas during the first five years after graduation at much higher rates than the entire population of family physicians.
  • No single program characteristic or model offered sustained advantages over any other type in producing high yields to rural practice.
  • Graduates of rural-centric family medicine residencies also chose to practice in Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (both rural and urban) at high rates, up to 54% three years post-graduation, declining by five years post-graduation to 42%.
  • The combination of a program mission to produce rural physicians with required rural training experiences may help to account for similar outcomes among a diverse group of residency programs that produce family physicians who choose rural practice.
  • More research is needed to determine whether rural practice choices are sustained beyond five years post-graduation, the time period of this study.

The last point is of particular interest as the paper notes:

It is not known the extent to which these high rates of practice in shortage areas are the result of incentive programs, such as the National Health Service Corps, or Conrad 30 Waiver Program, or other factors. If incentives are driving this trend, we do not know whether these physicians will remain in shortage areas once incentive obligations are fulfilled, since incentive programs typically involve two to six years of service in underserved locations.

Rural Residents Research Symposium

The agenda has been posted for the April 22nd
Rural Residents Research Symposium:

8:30 am – Continental breakfast and registration

9:00 am – 10:00 am – How to Conduct Community Health and Primary Care Research
Dr. Alexis Stoner, Faculty Instructor and Course Director of Epidemiology, Clinical Prevention, and Population Health, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus

10am – 11am – How do I report data on rural populations to answer hypothesis driven research questions?
Susan L. Meacham, Ph.D., R.D., Professor, Nutrition
Discipline of Family Medicine, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus

11am – 11:30am –Rural Health Clinics: the Overlooked Option

11:30am – 1:00pm – Lunch

1:00pm – 2:00pm – Habit and Habitus: A Faith-based Health Initiative
Dr. Troy Reece, PGY-1, Johnston Memorial Hospital Family Medicine Residency will present with attending physician Dr. Giovani Ferrante, vascular surgeon at Johnston Memorial Hospital

2:00pm – 3:00pm – Residency Culture: Survival Tips

The Symposium will be held at the Slemp Center of UVA Wise.

Click here to register.  For questions, contact GMEC Director Wendy Welch at wow6n@uvawise.edu

Checklist – Years 1 & 2

Welcome to the great transition. These first two years of med school often entail major changes. You may suddenly feel just how big the difference between attending college and medical school is as you’re determining the best ways to study, deciding whether to sleep or nap at night, or cancelling plans for your third consecutive Saturday and drinking your third consecutive coffee. No matter the issue, life in medical school is completely unique and requires its own unique strategies to succeed.

Here are some recommendations for medical school success:

  • Start building your CV
  • Learn to balance work and wellness
  • Join student clubs and specialty groups
  • Prepare for the USMLE

Check out the details of these recommendations from AMA Wire.

Checklist – Year 3

Last week we reviewed a checklist for 4th year medical students.  Now let’s take a look at what you have to do the year before.  The AMA recommends:

  • Find residency programs that fit your specialty interests and needs.
  • Organize the key elements of your application.
  • Contact the National Board of Medical Examiners to schedule your United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 2 exams.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
  • Build your clinical and research skills.

Read details on each step from the AMA Wire.

 

Medical Student Checklist

Many medical students will soon be wrapping up their 3rd year.  What do you need to do to prepare for the 4th?

After three years of arduous studying, exams and clinical rotations, you’re finally in the home-stretch to completing your undergraduate medical training and transitioning to the next phase of your career in residency.

AMA has developed a 4th year student checklist.  As you apply to programs this year, keep these tasks top of mind to reduce stress and ensure you have an effective residency application process:

  • May-June: Obtain your token for the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)
  • June-July: If you’re an osteopathic applicant, register for the AOA Intern/Resident Registration Program
  • July-August: Use these months to prepare supplemental application materials
  • September: Select and apply to programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
  • October-January: Schedule and travel to interviews
  • February: AOA Intern/Resident Registration Program match results will be available
  • March: NRMP main residency Match results are announced

The next year will fly fast – make sure you’re ready to soar!

Registration Now Open!

Registration for the Rural Residents Research Symposium is now open!

Scheduled for April 22nd at the Slemp Center of UVA Wise; this is a day for residents to present original research (not case studies) regarding topics of interest to rural primary care docs and their peers.

Slots at the Rural Residents Research Symposium are 30-45 minutes long; anyone interested in presenting must meet the criteria of rural focus and should apply through their residency coordinator.

A limit of two applications per residency program will be accepted with a total of 10 presentations.  The top two presentations will be invited to speak at the 2016 Head for the Hills event in October.

Click here to register.  For questions, contact GMEC Director Wendy Welch at wow6n@uvawise.edu