Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New program for medical students: Adopt a family to treat

Author: Jenny Mesrie

Since 2009, five new medical schools have opened around the country. New medical schools provide opportunity for redefining and updating medical education. A great example is Florida International University's College of Medicine in Miami. The new medical school is incorporating a community-based medical curriculum as part of the regular training.

At FIU, each medical student is assigned a neighborhood in the Miami area and a family who lives there. Through this initiative, students help improve the quality of life of these families while at the same time learning to appreciate the value of primary care.

The school's aim is to produce more primary care physicians, which has been a dwindling field in the last decade. The health care system has become highly specialized and medical students are not incentivised to practice preventative care.

In addition, this program will teach students to look at a patient's health in a broader context. They will look at the factors that contribute to the poor health of an individual such as education, access to healthy food, and more.

This is certainly a hands-on approach in the right direction.

About the author:

Jenny Mesrie is a fourth year medical student at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine. She graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior. She is passionate about physician wellness and doctor-patient communication. She is also interested in patient empowerment and making medical information accessible to the general public. In her free time, she studies how mindful practices influence the quality of patient care. In addition to blogging, she enjoys theater, film, and music.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this positive news about medical school education. This is a great model and hopefully other schools will follow suit. Making primary care more attractive as a specialty is so needed!