June 20, 2018

Scholars Program intensifies primary care training for residents

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snyderUAB internal medicine residents interested in primary care careers can apply for admission in a scholars program that provides more immersive training to build the next generation of primary care physicians.

The Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program offers the Primary Care Scholars Program to second-year residents. Residents accepted will gain insight into interprofessional practice and investigate alternative practice models. During their time in the program, they will participate in one-week to two-week immersive blocks providing clinical experience in interprofessional chronic disease management, urgent care, and business of medicine, among other areas.

“It was an awesome learning experience to compare and contrast academic primary care clinics, concierge medicine, VA primary care clinics and multidisciplinary clinics such as the 1917 HIV clinic,” said Lauren Pacheco, M.D., who was in the inaugural Primary Care Scholars Program for residents last year. “I also spent one-on-one time with many attendings and asked them pretty much any question from how they structure their clinic days to ‘must ask’ questions on future interviews to how they manage work/life balance. It was great.”

Under the direction of Erin Snyder, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Medicine and director of the Primary Care Track, the Primary Care Scholars Program for residents alters residents’ second-year curriculum to supplement the existing primary care track curriculum. It provides a comprehensive exposure to primary care practice.

After one year of residency, residents can apply to the scholars program, but only a select few will be admitted. “Last year we accepted three residents, and this year we have two,” said Snyder. “We want residents who have demonstrated a pretty consistent interest in going into outpatient internal medicine—people who are interested in having a primary care career after residency.”

In addition to the clinical experience, residents will develop their own scholarly project including:

• Write a clinical vignette, innovation or abstract suitable for submission to the Alabama American College of Physicians, Research and Innovations in Medical Education or Southern Society of General Internal Medicine

• Curate high-quality, literacy-appropriate patient education materials

• Develop and deliver primary care track, ambulatory morning report, noon conference or block lectures

After completing the program, residents will enter their third-year of residency well prepared to begin their job searches for academic- or community-based outpatient general internal medicine practice. Former scholars will become primary care “ambassadors” and are invited to become mentors to the incoming class of scholars. “Once you’re a primary care scholar, you’re always a primary care scholar,” said Snyder.

The program began in 2017 through the collaborative efforts of Snyder, Lisa Willett, M.D., MACM, FACP, director of the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Seth Landefeld, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine. It is funded by a donation from the UAB Camellia Clinic.

Those interested in supporting the program and the education of primary care residents can contact Megann Bates Cain, MPPM, senior director of development and strategy, at meganncain@uabmc.edu.