Category Archives: rural residencies

Save the Date!

Are you a medical resident?

Are you working in or for rural Southwest Virginia (or surrounding areas)?

Then mark off April 22nd on your calendar and plan to be at the Second Rural Residents Research Symposium!

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.

For questions, contact GMEC Director Wendy Welch at wow6n@uvawise.edu

More information coming soon!

 

Do Residents Return?

“Grow your own” is a popular phrase for those trying to improve the supply of health professionals in rural areas.  But does it work? The USDA recently released a report titled “Factors Affecting Former Residents’ Returning to Rural Communities“.

Factors which encouraged residents to return to their rural roots:

  • presence of parents
  • desire to raise their children back home
  • easy-going environment
  • outdoor recreation

Local schools also played an important role.  People who had a positive outlook on rural schools came back; those who felt that urban schools would better fit their child’s needs, did not.

The report summary goes on to say:

Family motivations dominated, but returning home also depended on securing a job, often involving creative strategies to overcome employment limitations. Return migrants frequently mentioned their acceptance of financial and career sacrifices for returning home. Most nonreturnees who may have considered coming home cited low wages and lack of career opportunities as the primary barriers to their return.

So the challenge for rural recruiters is: what can be done to improve the factors that can be controlled – school systems and economic environment?

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.

 

 

 

 

MAY IS BEHAVIORAL HEALTH MONTH

Behavioral-HealthMay is the month when we focus on Behavioral Health. In Southwest Virginia, we are designated as federally underserved in Behavioral Healthcare. We especially seek pediatric behavioral health specialists, but we’re always happy to talk to anyone interested in doing a residency rotation or being recruited to the area in this underserved field.