Tailoring His Practice for Community, Trainees

October 08, 2018 09:55 am David Mitchell

When medical students and family medicine residents spend time under the tutelage of Jim Campbell, M.D., they get more than just the standard outpatient clinic experience.

[headshot of Jim Campbell, M.D.]

That's because Campbell, program director of the Louisiana State University (LSU)-Kenner Family Medicine Residency, also is the medical director for both a school-based health center and a skilled nursing center. He spends a half-day a week at each location, and residents provide care under his supervision.

Campbell also offers an outpatient wound care clinic, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, once a week and provides medical consults for a local hospital's psychiatric ward. He delivers more than 40 babies a year and has taken on a rotation in a neonatal unit to increase his residents' pediatric experience.

"You have to be comfortable in your own shoes," said Campbell, who also is vice chair of the LSU Department of Family Medicine and an associate professor at the LSU Health Sciences Center. "These are all primary care areas I've been involved with my whole career."

Campbell said it's important to provide students and residents with role models who demonstrate that family physicians can be involved in managing patients in a wide variety of settings.

"It's not just the clinic and the hospital," he said. "It's the nursing home, labor and delivery, and a school-based clinic. These experiences might be available to them from other specialties in other locations without a family physician role model, but it's important for them to see that family physicians can be -- and are -- involved in all these things."

Before he entered academia, Campbell spent 16 years in private practice in rural Ohio. There were no obstetricians or pediatricians in the county, and family physicians ran the local hospital's labor-and-delivery unit and nursery.

"I firmly believe that family physicians need to be equipped with a set of skills that enable them to go into a community and tailor their practice to the needs of that community," said Campbell, who is a member of the AAFP Commission on Education. "I wasn't bound and determined to deliver babies the rest of my life, but I wound up in a place that needed me to do that."

In addition to his roles as a physician and educator, Campbell is a longtime advocate for patients and family medicine. A former president of both the Louisiana AFP and the Louisiana AFP Foundation, Campbell will represent his chapter this week in New Orleans during the AAFP Congress of Delegates.