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Celebrating Teaching Affiliations With Closure of First Medical Education Clerkship

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Hudson Headwaters Health Network Celebrates Teaching Affiliations As It Brings Closure To The First Medical Education Clerkship With The University Of Vermont

Innovative nonprofit health network in upstate New York works alongside the Larner College of Medicine to bolster knowledge-base of medical students in primary care settings

Queensbury, N.Y. – February 23, 2018 – Hudson Headwaters Health Network, a nonprofit health network comprised of 17 community health centers in upstate New York, is celebrating the great work done to bolster its medical community within Glens Falls through its health centers and partners including, the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Glens Falls Hospital, Baywood Surgical Associates, Warren Anesthesiologists, PC, Adirondack Rehabilitation MedicineAdirondack Radiology Associates and Adirondack Neurology Associates, PC all of whom are celebrating the completion of the first year of a novel medical education program known as the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC). By living and working in a small community, the goal of the newly designed and innovative LIC program is to train third-year medical students in a community with the goal of gaining real-time clinical experience while also exposing them to the social determinants that affect health care.

Traditionally, medical students spend their third year of medical school gaining clinical experience by participating in month long blocks of each sub-specialty of medicine like surgery, pediatrics or family medicine. In the LIC model, students meet all of their clinical requirements at the same time over 12 months, instead of short month blocks. With the partnership between Hudson Headwaters, the UVM Larner School of Medicine and Glens Falls Hospital, each student is matched with two primary care physicians who serve as their mentors for the year. As they see patients in their primary care health center, they become a key member of an interdisciplinary team providing comprehensive care to patients. Students progressively develop a panel of up to 50 patients to satisfy all required clinical encounters for the clerkship level. They see these patients regularly over the course of an entire year, accompanying them through all of their different experiences in the health care system. Surgeons, obstetricians, anesthesiologists, neurologists, and emergency department physicians who are based at Glens Falls Hospital all worked closely with the students.

This year, Tucker Slingerland, M.D., Hudson Headwaters’ chief executive officer, participated as a mentor within the program and provided Sunit Misra, one of the four UVM students selected to participate, invaluable insights and best practices related to primary care and working within a health network. Dr. Slingerland states, “With the right tools and education supporting these students, we are furthering the success of our medical communities. Working closely with Sunit, for example, has not only enabled him to learn from me as a primary care physician and executive, but it has provided me another opportunity to help bolster the future of our medical community by creating a workforce pipeline for these future physicians to return to the area.”

On February 26, 2018, students working at Hudson Headwaters will present the results of their community projects to members of the UVM Larner College of Medicine faculty, medical staff at Glens Falls Hospital and Hudson Headwaters, as well as contributing members of the medical community. This invitation-only event will also provide the students and physicians an opportunity to say goodbye as the students will be returning to Vermont to finish their last year of medical school.

“As one of the first participants in the LIC program with Hudson Headwaters, I have the luxury of connecting with my patients beyond a single encounter. The focus of this program is to gain the perspective of the patient and see medicine from their point of view,” said Sunit Misra, class of 2019 at the UVM Larner College of Medicine. “This program has truly given me a new lens into the best ways to treat patients. Their life becomes our life; their goals become our goals. On my patient’s next follow-up visit we can see if our plan was a success, or if we are one more attempt closer to success. With the guidance of Dr. Slingerland, I was able to come up with different strategies and ways to approach a more active lifestyle for my patients until we find one that sticks. This is the side of medicine you don’t see in the textbooks. This is why I am here.”

In addition to training in the hospital and health centers, the medical students are required to develop and complete a community-based project. Each student selects these projects based on needs they identify in the community in which they are living. This approach enables each student to essentially give back to the community that has hosted them.

“Hudson Headwaters deeply values its partnerships both local and regionally and has worked closely with the medical school and Glens Falls Hospital to coordinate the inpatient experience necessary to make the students’ third year education complete,” continues Dr. Slingerland. “As a community, we are thrilled with how the program turned out and are looking forward to learning from the students about their experience with us.”

To learn more about the clerkship with Hudson Headwaters and the Larner College of Medicine, please visit The University of Vermont online here.