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Overview of Program
The average full-time family physician in our region conducts about 4500 patient visits per year. For a third to a half of those visits, psychosocial difficulties will be at the core of the presenting problem. When you consider this number, and the complexity of the patient presentations in a primary care practice, you begin to see why we devote 16 weeks during the second year to prepare our residents to be psychosocially aware of their patients' needs as well as develop physician self-awareness and identity as health care professionals so they can provide effective patient-centered care.
Gene Farley, M.D., founding department chair, understood the importance of providing in-depth training in the psychosocial aspects of family health care. Our specialized curriculum has been running for over forty years with modifications made regularly to meet the changing needs of residents and patients.
During this specialized training, residents spend half their time immersed in ambulatory clinical care and half their time learning about psychosocial aspects of providing mental health care to the community population.
“Emphasis on mental/emotional health of residents produces emotionally healthy attendings.” –Alumni Survey 2010
- Attend weekly topical seminars that include “field trips” to off-site locations.
- Attend substance abuse training that includes observation of a live clinical intake session.
- Participate in a Family Practicum Lab that includes conducting family meetings with live peer and faculty observation and feedback.
- Develop primary care counseling skills through live supervision and video-tape review of physicians' sessions.
- Reflect on their own physician practices under physician supervision.
- Learn motivational interviewing and problem-solving interview skills.
- Attend a community-based grief and loss group.
- Attend clinical supervision sessions with an expert psychiatrist.
- Observe psychiatric intake and follow-up interviews that take place on-site at Family Medicine.
- Attend a Leadership Seminar Series offered by our expert Family Medicine faculty.
- Attend a short series of sessions that address end of life and hospice care.
- Attend and participate in Diabetic Group Visits.
- Participate in a psychoanalytic group experience led by an expert psychiatrist. This group is designed to develop self-awareness in family medicine physicians.
Longitudinal Psychosocial Experience
As a complement to the 16-week intensive, residents participate in a 3-year longitudinal psychosocial curriculum, adapted to the development needs of interns and upper level residents. Balint groups are facilitated alternate weeks for all residents to practice self reflecting with their peers on difficult patient encounters. In addition, the departmental practice hosts an on-site behavioral health satellite of the Department of Psychiatry.