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Am Fam Physician. 2002;65(8):1497

The article “Evaluation of Dysuria in Adults” on page 1589 represents the first of a series contributed by the Department of Family Practice at State University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center at Brooklyn College of Medicine. Miriam T. Vincent, M.D., professor and chair of the department, serves as the guest coordinator of this series.

The lead article on dysuria, written by Judy D. Bremnor, M.D., and Richard Sadovsky, M.D., represents the beginning of what promises to be an excellent series of articles that will help family physicians sharpen their skills in diagnostic decision-making. Dr. Bremnor, who is a clinical assistant instructor at SUNY, has teamed with Dr. Sadovsky, an associate professor of family medicine and one of AFP's associate medical editors, to present a rational, step-wise approach to the evaluation of patients presenting with dysuria (see algorithms on pages 1591 and 1592).

The efforts of these writers reflect part of the department's mission to promote education among health care professionals and participate in academic, scholarly activities. Dr. Vincent, who served as series editor for Hospital Physician among many other publishing experiences, is well poised to serve as the series coordinator and guide authors in preparing articles for this series. Drs. Vincent and Sadovsky have been involved in helping authors develop outlines for the manuscripts. One advantage is that residents have also gained exposure to the writing and editing process, which, so far, has resulted in five completed articles. That's a significant contribution from a family practice department as busy as this one.

Each year over 16,000 patients flock through the doors of Suite B, the family practice center at the University Hospital of Brooklyn. Since this medical center represents the sole provider in Brooklyn, and is only one of five patient care facilities operated by the family practice department at SUNY, the faculty and staff there remain fully in touch with patient care responsibilities. The department also coordinates a Family Health Services health center; a public school child health program and a high school health center funded by the state of New York; a residency training program; a faculty development program; and a predoctoral educational program in family medicine.

The Department of Family Practice at SUNY Downstate Medical Center was established in 1970, and the residency training program became fully accredited in 1972. Today the department comprises 12 full-time and 10 part-time faculty members. The department has 19 residents in training, as well as a fellow who is training in faculty development and women's health. The residents work with attendings and allied health professionals at two of the five patient care sites, and they are given academic appointments as assistant clinical instructors.

Over 800 students are enrolled at the medical school, and the Department of Family Practice helps teach as many as 200 students every year. The department works with 75 to 80 third-year medical students each year during their six-week rotation. Students attend six clinical sessions with a family practitioner, involving computer-based cases, lectures, and professional development sessions or workshops ranging from evidence-based medicine to issues surrounding death and dying, and legal documentation.

With so many students and so many patients to take care of each year, it's a wonder that the department has found the time to spare for extra activities. Nevertheless, after hearing Dr. Vincent's enthusiastic explanation of the department's activities, it's easy to see how they succeed: “It's all about teaching, learning, and caring—true to the philosophy of family practice.”

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