FMIG Innovative Program Ideas

The following programs and events were selected from FMIG Program of Excellence Award applications. Browse the list to get ideas and inspiration for your FMIG. Each entry shows the level of effort that went into the program/event, how many students participated, and a detailed description in the students' own words.

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Office of the Future

FMIG: Frank H. Netter, M.D. School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group

What it took to organize: 8 students; 6 hours to organize

Number of students who attended/participated: 26

Details: We connected with the Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation (CIPCI)(www.cipci.org) via one of our FMIG members who had worked with them previously and organized their first ever “Office of the Future(www.cipci.org)” event. CIPCI provided videos and handouts for attendings to learn more about what they do, and some of the possibilities in future primary care offices. We broke up into groups of 4-5 students, had 15-20 minutes to first draw with paper and pencil “The Space.” This meant using our imaginations to draw what we imagined as an ideal space for a primary care office. In two more 15-20 minutes segments we then worked to design “The Workflow” and “The Experience.” We instructed students to include the personnel they would like to have work in the office, the workflow of each patient visit, and things that would be included in the patient’s and the doctor’s experience.

Between each segment, we went around the room to see what other groups had come up with and shared our comments on a piece of paper. We came together as a whole group and discussed various aspects of each group that we liked and ask any questions we may have had.

We invited members of our FMIG and school’s chapter of Primary Care Progress (PCP), as well as members of the Yale School of Medicine’s FMIG and PCP. After the event we emailed an electronic survey that was created by CIPCI so that they could think about any changes they would like to make when conducting the event in the future.

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WWAMI High School Pipeline Program

FMIG: University of Washington WWAMI Family Medicine Interest Group

What it took to organize: 3 students/20 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: variable

Details: The UWSOM FMIG in Seattle invited Federal Way High School (FWHS) students from the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program to participate in a year-long series of events. This is a Primary Care Leadership Collaboration project supported by funding from the King County Academy of Family Physicians (KCAFP).

There are clear health disparities between underserved minority populations and the population at large. This is exacerbated by the current underrepresentation of minority groups in healthcare professions. Our mission is to inspire high school students from underserved minority communities to consider pursuing a career in healthcare with the overall goal of increasing the diversity of the healthcare field.

The AVID program at Federal Way High School aims to help students prepare for college, many of whom would be the first in their family to pursue higher education and/or come from families of low socioeconomic status. AVID is a course taken in addition to other classes where the students learn about postsecondary opportunities. Two community partners at Federal Way High School serve as points of contact: Karen Weberg, full-time teacher and lead of the AVID program, and Kenneth Wong, Americorp volunteer and academic tutor. This effort is being led by UWSOM students under the guidance of family physician and FMIG advisor, Tomoko Sairenji MD.

Inter-professional events will expose high school students to various career options in healthcare and cultivate mentorships. The first event will take place at Federal Way High School on April 19th, 2018. This event will present careers in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, physician assisting, and medical assisting. Each profession will be represented by 1-3 UW students from each respective program. A medical assistant from Dr. Sairenji’s practice will represent medical assistants. Approximately 80 FWHS students are expected to attend the speed-dating style info-session in which presenters will rotate to meet small groups of ~5 students at a time. The presenters will share their stories of how they arrived at their current career, challenges faced, how it relates to HS students, and what this means for healthcare. For future events, FWHS students will visit UWSOM campus and be supported through mentorship.

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Transitions: Primary Care's Role in Addiction Medicine

FMIG: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Family Medicine Interest Group

What it took to organize: 6+ students contributing ~40 work hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 12 enrolled in mini-elective

Details: Over the last year, students of the FMIG at University of Pittsburgh worked in collaboration with Family Medicine faculty members to develop a Family Medicine mini-elective entitled “Transitions: Primary Care's Role in Addiction Medicine.” In its initial offering (2018) this mini-elective is being made available to first-year medical students. The focus of the course is treatment of substance use disorders, specifically in the context of transitions that patients with these disorders may encounter. We hope to continue offering the course going forward, making it available to both first- and second-year students in the future.

In February of 2017, Patti Zahnhausen, Education Coordinator for the Department of Family Medicine, drew our attention to a jail tour that was being conducted by Dr. Bern Bernacki for local high school sophomores. In April 2017, Ms. Zahnhausen coordinated a tour for 10 students and our FMIG faculty advisor. After the tour, the group held several meetings to discuss how we might incorporate a similar tour into a meaningful exposure for medical students. The two incoming FMIG co-coordinators (Elise Pearson and Sarah Minney) were included in the initial jail tour, and became key players in developing the course that took shape from that exposure. Our FMIG faculty advisor, Dr. Danforth Lincoln, was also involved in this project from the initial jail tour through development of the course curriculum.

While we felt certain that the jail tour offered a unique learning opportunity for medical students, it took several meetings for the group to reach a consensus on how we wanted to frame the exposure, hoping to offer it to a broader population of students. The tour we experienced had been designed for high school sophomores, and we recognized that the focus needed to shift somewhat for a different audience. We hoped to spend more time in the jail infirmary and learn more of the physicians’ experience in that setting. Also, we wanted to broaden the content into a mini-elective that incorporated the jail tour. Ultimately, we hit upon the intersection of transitions and substance use disorders, realizing that these issues are increasingly in play in the context of primary care.

As we’ve designed it, the new mini-elective spans 5 two-hour sessions. Students will be exposed to how Family Medicine physicians, social workers, and other healthcare providers facilitate care for patients with substance use disorders in the context of life transitions. The five sessions we planned for this year’s course offering include 4 sessions with presentations and expert panels. The fifth and final session is the tour of the Allegheny County Jail, an experience similar to the one that originally sparked the project. The titles of the first four class sessions are: “Introduction to Addiction in Primary Care,” “Transitions in Care,” “Transitions in Women’s Health,” and “Addiction and Medical Treatment for Incarcerated Individuals.”

The first session, “Introduction to Addiction in Primary Care,” was held on 3/14/18 with facilitation by Dr. Sanketh Proddutur. The session seemed well-received by students, as well as our panel of three local Family Medicine physicians who have created and incorporated addiction treatment programs into their practices. For the upcoming session on 4/4/18 we are looking forward to a panel discussion of how patients transition into and out of specialized care for addiction, the barriers patients face in accessing services, and how primary care physicians can improve their relationships with social services providers to better serve patients with substance use disorders.

We look forward to getting feedback on the course, so that we can adjust the content going forward. Students in the mini-elective have been invited to provide informal feedback on the course by email, but will also receive an official feedback form at the end of the course. It will be helpful to learn what elements are working, and where improvements can be made. We were excited by the strong enrollment of 12 students for an initial mini-elective offering, and recognize that the jail tour is likely a significant draw for the course, since it is such a unique opportunity. Ultimately, we are proud of the family medicine / primary care focus of this mini-elective, and of the role that our FMIG played in helping bring this course to fruition.