Category Archives: medical education

Scholarships, Loans, and Loan Repayment

Are you a health professions student wondering how you are going to afford your education?  Or a rural provider trying to recruit new practitioners?

If so – we have two great guides for you!

First are the presentation slides from Head for the Hills from Justin Crow’s Getting the Most from Federal & State Loan Repayment Programs  discussion.  This provides an in-depth guide as to what programs are available and who qualifies for them.

AND – from the Rural Assistance Center – Scholarships, Loans, and Loan Repayment for Rural Health Professions

This guide includes:

  • Types of Health Education Financial Aid
  • Operating Successful Rural Health Education Financial Aid Programs
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Rural areas face a documented shortage of essential healthcare professionals, especially in primary care fields.  The rising costs of education directly impact the ability of students to pursue a healthcare degree and compound the rural health workforce shortage.  These guides help to bridge the gap.

What to do in the Hills?

Let’s face it – while Head for the Hills is a fantastic educational event, it also reflects the old adage, “location, location, location.”  Why do the educational sessions end at 12:30 each day?  So you can go have fun!

Head for the Hills will be held again this year at the Breaks Interstate Park.  It will be October, so the fall leaves will be at their peak.  That means:

“Bountiful nature, as richly colored as our mosses underfoot, our mountains on the horizon, and our sky overhead.”

The Breaks Interstate Park boasts 4600 acres, more than 25 miles of walking trails, and a 5-mile gorge plunging to 1650 feet known as the “Grand Canyon of the South.”  Activities include guided hikes, biking, geocaching, birding, pedal boats/canoes and fishing (some activities have a fee).

If you’ve been to the Breaks before, that might sound too familiar, so check out their new activity – Elk Watching!

Not into the great outdoors?  You can venture off site to the Ralph Stanley museum in neighboring Clintwood, or ACT Theatre in Elkhorn, KY.

Bringing the kids?  There is child care available during the educational sessions, hay rides later in the day, a playground, and magician Joseph Young!

Visit the main Head for the Hills page for details about registration, lodging and links to the educational session descriptions.  See you there!

 

 

 

 

Head for the Hills!

What’s on the schedule for the 2015 event?  Check out these great presentations:

Anxious Kids – A Primary Care Approach- Meds & More: C. Allen Musil, MD

A discussion of the 3 classes of medication commonly prescribed to treat childhood anxiety, appropriate reasons to initiate medication in an anxious child, common side effects of SSRI treatment in children.  Will include things a primary care provider can do when interacting with school systems, when treating a child/adolescent with school refusal second to anxiety.

WIC Works:  Jessica Arney, MS, RD, LD

Overview of the WIC program including the immediate benefits of nutrition education, counseling, supplemental foods and breastfeeding support.  I will also talk about the long term positive health outcomes associated with participation in the program.  I will be able to discuss the differences between WIC and SNAP and answer any questions about the program.

Opioid Abuse and Overdose: Recognition and Management: Sarah T. Melton, PharmD, BCPP, BCACP, CGP, FASCP & S. Hughes Melton, MD, MBA, FAAFP, DABAM

REVIVE! is a program of the Commonwealth of Virginia which makes naloxone available to lay rescuers to reverse opioid overdoses. A collaborative effort with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) taking the lead, the project includes the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Health Professions, recovery community organizations such as the McShin Foundation, OneCare of Southwest Virginia, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia (SAARA), and other stakeholders.

Cheap Meds:  Melody Counts, MD

Medical schools often teach us the best medications for a given medical condition without much regard for the cost to the patient.  In the real world, prescription medication cost can be a huge barrier to uninsured or underinsured patients.  This presentation will review the various resources for discounted and free prescription medications, as well as the reasons why a practice would want to invest time in utilizing them.

ADHD: What’s new? Roger Hofford, MD

This session will review some of the new information published, review the current treatments, present a treatment algorithm, and review recent Virginia and North Carolina Medicaid data plus CDC data.  Dr. Hofford recently chaired a work group of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services Managed Care Physician Liaison Committee created by the Governor and the General Assembly in 2013.

Visit the main Head for the Hills page for registration and lodging information.

More session descriptions are posted here.

Hands On!

Active learning vs. lecture:  What works best?  According to a recent review of students in STEM classes, those with hand-on lessons have higher test scores , while those in traditional lecture classes were more likely to fail.  As one article notes –

We know that learning is harder from the sidelines. If deep understanding is the objective, then the learner had best get out there and play the game. 

So how does that apply to medical education?  Students who are in a rural track at medical schools and students who have a preceptor in a rural region are able to interact with patients sooner – and learn more.

For example, at the Quillen College of Medicine, medical students can start working directly with patients as early as August in their first year by volunteering at the College’s free clinics.  Whereas students in urban programs may not have any patient interaction until well into their second year.

Click here for more on the new active learning research.

Graduate Medical Education – Part 2

Last week, we started a discussion on, the 22nd report from the Council on Graduate Medical Education, titled; “The Role of Graduate Medical Education in the New Health Care Paradigm

Let’s look at one of the recommendations in the report (p. 14):

Recommendation 1: GME training should be expanded in ambulatory and community sites to reflect the current and evolving practice of medicine.

Rationale: As the proportion of health care delivered in ambulatory sites increases, the percentage of GME training that occurs external to inpatient units in ambulatory sites needs to be expanded to prepare graduating physicians for medical practice. GME trainees must be provided with educational experiences in practice environments where new competencies are utilized.

Consider the practice environment of Southwest Virginia –  Rural communities, high percentage of persons who are uninsured/underinsured, high percentage of persons with comorbidities, limited access to behavioral health and specialty care.

GME is responsible for upholding a social contract with the public it serves.  A physician in this area must be able to do multiple things and needs a broad scope of training.  Southwest Virginia is a great training area for those who want to do many things very well, not the same thing over and over.

We want to hear from you!  What do YOU think could be done to make sure physicians trained in Southwest Virginia are “provided with educational experiences in practice environments where new competencies are utilized.” ?

 

 

 

 

The Role of Graduate Medical Education in the New Health Care Paradigm

Recently HRSA released the 22nd report from the Council on Graduate Medical Education, titled; “The Role of Graduate Medical Education in the New Health Care Paradigm

We’ll spend the next few weeks providing some highlights and commentary.

Challenges and Opportunities in Expanding GME Experience (p.17)

“Although the data on the impact of training sites on the quality of care provided by GME graduates is limited, there is a common misperception that only training in large academic centers can produce graduates who have the skills to provide high quality care. Asch and colleagues have found obstetrical outcomes are affected by training site, linking quality of training site with the outcomes of care provided by the trainees. However, other studies on this topic leave doubt about which markers should be used to evaluate physician practice quality in relation to residency training sites.

“In addition to concerns about quality of teaching and patient care in community and ambulatory settings, another barrier to expanding GME training to these sites is the lack of financial support for community-based programs. Present payment and training incentives for community-based training are insufficient to develop and maintain these ambulatory and community-based programs, even though it costs less to provide patient care and GME training in these sites, than AHCs and other teaching hospitals. The increased costs of AHCs and other teaching hospitals are in part due to their higher patient care costs. This includes the number of underinsured, biomedical research missions, and the maintenance of standby capacity for medically complex patients, in addition to the expenses incurred by teaching programs.”

For GMEC, this is key as training in Southwest Virginia offers the local, ambulatory, outpatient experience.  On page 23, the report states, people “expect the medical education system to produce physician specialists who reflect the cultural and economic characteristics of the patients they serve“.

With this expectation in mind – the medical education community needs to recognize that the only way to fully prepare a future physician to serve in rural Appalachia is to train that student in Appalachia.  Reviewing information about rural Southwest Virginia is not sufficient to produce a culturally competent doctor – immersion is required.