The Academic Affairs Division coordinates the curriculum and the family medicine clerkships within the College of Human Medicine. The Department of Family Medicine has one of the highest teaching commitments of any clinical department in the College of Human Medicine. It exercises leadership in key courses including those focusing on humanities and medicine, clinical skills, and musculoskeletal medicine.
Students completing courses offered by the Department of Family Medicine report high levels of satisfaction with the clerkships, courses in humanities and medicine, clinical skills, and patient interviewing.
One indicator of success is the large percentage of graduating medical students choosing family medicine residency programs. Over the past five years, an average of more than 30 percent of College of Human Medicine's graduating classes chose family medicine residencies.
The department conducts an eight-week Family Medicine Clerkship which addresses the clinical content of family medicine. In interviews with fourth-year students requesting a letter of recommendation to a Family Medicine residency, the chair of the department has encountered many students who say they made their career choice as a result of their experiences in this clerkship. Experiences are also available in outpatient and inpatient electives, geriatric care, research, rural practice, sports medicine, palliative care/end of life, and a family medicine sub-internship. Steve Roskos, MD, is the associate chair for Academic Affairs. Joy Hull is administrative assistant.
Community clerkship coordinators and staff are:
- Lansing: FMC director, Madeline Lewis, MD; Staff, Karla Cody
- Flint: FMC director, Prabhat Pokhrel, MD, PhD; Staff, Nancy Rossi
- Grand Rapids: FMC director, Steve DeLapp, MD; Staff, Deb Cleland, RN
- Midland: FMC Director, Paula Klose, MD; Staff, Katrina Krueger
- Traverse City: FMC director, Lynn Swan, MD; Staff, Kendry Harkert
- Upper Peninsula: FMC director, Brian Waite, MD, Staff, Connie Piasecki
It has been another busy year in meeting our academic mission. Our colleagues around the state are engaged at all levels of teaching – medical students, residents, fellows, continuing professional development of practicing clinicians. Additionally, our colleagues have presented scholarly work related to their teaching activity at local, regional, and national meetings of the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine medical student conference and annual spring meetings, and the North American Primary Care Research Group.
The Rural Community Health Program (R-CHP), led by Dr. Andrea Wendling, is the College of Human Medicine’s newest rural training track, based at the Traverse City and Midland Regional campuses. Together with the Rural Physician Program at the Upper Peninsula Regional Campus, students participating in the R-CHP curriculum are eligible for the Leadership in Rural Medicine certificate. The Traverse City R-CHP program includes three rural educational communities--Charlevoix, Petoskey, and Alpena.
Pilot students from this campus have completed almost eight months of clinical training shared between Traverse City and their rural educational community. Students report that their clinical experiences have been exceptional and R-CHP students' clerkship performance (including testing and logged experiences) has been at or above the level of peers.
The Midland Regional campus R-CHP program pilot just started in January with two students. Stay tuned! Just as this report was going to press, Dr. Wendling received a grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation for funding to support the Midland Regional Campus expansion of the Rural Community Health Program. This is really exciting news!
Two of our faculty, Robin DeMuth and Henry Barry continue to be engaged in planning the massive redesign of the undergraduate medical school curriculum. Learn more about the new curriculum. This new model is unique enough that this past summer, Dr. DeMuth and Dr. Anthony Paganini, led a pilot of the curriculum.
As part of the curriculum redesign, 21 students in East Lansing participated in a pilot of the Early Clinical Experience based on many elements under consideration in the redesigned curriculum. Students spent three half-days each week in a primary care clinic (family medicine, pediatrics, general internal medicine, or geriatrics) working as active members of the health care team, including rooming patients, performing vitals, taking basic histories, giving injections, and assisting with office-based tests. The rest of the students’ time each week was spent learning underlying science relating to the chief concerns and complaints they were seeing in the primary care offices, through a variety of teaching methods and simulations. Feedback from the students, participants, and faculty has been generally quite positive which gave the design group confidence to proceed with its work!
The Integrated Medical School and Family Medicine Residency Program (TIP) program continues to generate buzz. Learn more about the program. This year, four of our affiliated residency programs sponsored TIP scholars. TIP is a program for fourth-year medical students at the MSU College of Human Medicine who are interested in a career in family medicine. It is a transitional fourth-year medical school experience that continues into residency and offers several benefits for both medical students and the residency program. Since the first scholarships were awarded in 2010, we have 12 scholars, the first of whom are due to finish residency in June 2013.
This academic year, we had more than 200 students in six campuses complete our eight-week required clerkship. Dr. Steve Roskos is the lead clerkship director and works closely with clerkship directors in each of our campuses to ensure that each student’s experience is high quality and is consistent across all campuses. This year, the team added a new small group lecture and discussion on geriatrics.
We have a new assistant clerkship director in the Lansing campus, Kenya Sekoni, MD, and we are giving residents a larger role in teaching at the Lansing campus. The mean for our 2013 NBME Family Medicine subject exam was at the 59th percentile nationwide. Students evaluate our clerkship highly overall, as well as specifically their office experience and the sessions where they learn suturing, casting, and musculoskeletal examination. The excellent ratings by students are due to the excellent role models who volunteer to work with our students. Thank you!
Finally, we want to express our deepest appreciation for the incredible amount of teaching effort on the part of our faculty. For example, we estimated that the total teaching effort of just the East Lansing faculty to be about 10,000 hours! Additionally, we estimate that our Family Medicine Clerkship students spend about 40,000 hours with preceptors! One can only imagine the effort devoted by the faculty in our affiliated residencies. To support all this teaching also requires an incredibly busy and talented administrative support staff to whom we are all grateful.
Goals for the upcoming year include:
- Expanding and pilot testing the R-CHP program in Midland.
- Adding additional R-CHP training sites.
- Continuing our endeavors to make the required eight-week Family Medicine Clerkship the premier clinical experience for medical students.
- Beginning to evaluate the impact of all our training programs on the health of our communities.