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University of Vermont Medical Students to Train at Hudson Headwaters

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Hudson Headwaters is teaming up with The Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont (UVM) to offer a leading-edge medical training program to third-year medical students.

This April, three students from UVM will begin a one-year training in the Glens Falls community as part of a program known as a Longitudinal Integrative Clerkship (LIC).  Unlike more traditional methods of educating future physicians, the LIC places students within a community where they stay for an extended period.  The students will be embedded in the primary care offices at Hudson Headwaters, and also spend time rotating through Glens Falls Hospital and many local specialty offices.

As members of Hudson Headwaters’ medical team, the UVM students will participate in providing comprehensive care to their patients, including wellness, acute care, and chronic care. They will work with physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, and mental health workers in the emergency room, the hospital, subacute rehabilitation centers, palliative care, and home care.

“We want students to see and participate in how medical care is actually delivered in the community,” said Hudson Headwaters’ physician, Colleen Quinn, MD, who serves as site director for the program.  “Most medical students receive their training in hospitals, yet a majority of health care is provided in different settings, including places like Hudson Headwaters.  We’ll be able to show them things that aren’t being taught to practitioners in medical school – how we track best practices and quality of care, how we work with care managers to help patients better understand their conditions, and all the other things that Hudson Headwaters has been doing the last few years as part of the medical home model.  They’re not going to find this in most medical schools.”

The three UVM medical students, Khaled Al Tawil, Holly Bachilas, and Sunit Misra, will be assigned a panel of up to 50 patients and will participate when these patients have appointments with their primary care providers in Queensbury, Moreau and Warrensburg.   The students will also follow these patients wherever their health care needs take them.  For instance, if a patient is referred to a surgeon, the student will go with the patient to the appointment, be present in the operating room, and be involved with follow-up care.  In this way the student can help with the transitions between health care providers and act as the patient’s advocate. “As someone interested in rural medicine, learning in a system designed to care for these patients is a huge benefit,” said Bachilas.

Dr. Quinn is an alumna of an LIC herself. She was the first student to participate in an LIC at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake while she studied at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. “The independence prepared me for the realities of delivering care in different settings.  It’s a great way to learn about medicine.”