Christine A. Arenson, MD
Professor & Interim Chair
Department of Family & Community Medicine
The residency theme for our 2011-12 academic year is INNOVATION. As part of this theme we celebrate our long tradition of being innovative in residency education and are eagerly implementing many new innovative residency training experiences. We have worked to stay ahead of the curve in graduate medical education for our 30+ year history. Many facets of our residency experience that began as innovations are now part of our core curriculum including our weekly home visit program, clinical care to homeless populations, leadership curriculum, quality improvement projects, care for HIV+ individuals, and diabetic group visit program.
In the next 5 years we will have the opportunity to put into place new innovative models of residency education through the support of our recently awarded HRSA primary care training grant titled Expanding Programs Addressing New Demographic Shifts in Underserved Populations (ExPANDS-UP). This year only a handful of family medicine residency programs received this prestigious federal grant. ExPANDS-UP is designed to better prepare residents to eliminate health disparities by applying the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) standards to educational experiences with Underserved Populations. The overall goal of this project is to improve the education and diversity of family medicine residents in order to better address the health needs of vulnerable populations and to train a more diverse physician workforce.
With ExPANDS-UP we are creating exciting innovative opportunities for residents to care for and learn from populations that are particularly vulnerable to health care disparities. We are creating an Underserved Care track in the residency and a second family medicine continuity site in a new Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in inner city Philadelphia with on site physical therapy, nutritional services, pharmacy and social services. Many of the individuals that will be seen at this FQHC suffer from chronic homelessness, mental health and substance abuse issues.
The Latino immigrant community is increasing in size regionally and nationally and experiences clear health disparities. Training residents in community based, culturally sensitive clinical settings designed for Latino immigrants will better prepare residents to provide primary care for this population. We are partnering with an existing collaborative addressing the needs of Latino immigrants to create an innovative interdisciplinary clinical training site predicated on PCMH standards.
In 2008, we created the Center for Refugee Health run by our residency and supervised by our associate residency director that has grown enormously in the last 3 years. We have learned that there are inadequate systems of primary care for refugees, that they have population specific needs that are best addressed in interprofessional models of care, and that there is a lack of research about these populations. Residents that are trained in population health management and research to address the needs of refugees are better prepared to provide evidence-based primary care to diverse underserved populations. We will increase our refugee services and training by 3 fold, create a PCMH for refugees, train residents in population health research and management, and create a refugee health collaborative in the city.
We are also creating a community health advocacy curriculum to foster residents' advocacy skills and leadership using our vast experience and expertise in this area. Through departmental leadership in global health, faith based initiatives, homeless healthcare, HIV primary care, care of LGBT populations, state and federal legislation, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, our residents will develop the skills necessary to become leaders and change agents in our most vulnerable communities.
And finally, we are dedicated to and have been successful in creating a more diverse primary care workforce. We know that a more diverse workforce promotes cultural competence in training and has greater impact on addressing health disparities thorough better preventive care. We look forward to profoundly impacting the health of our population through our training of superb clinicians who are skilled community advocates and effective change agents. Through our innovations in residency education we are producing the future leaders in family medicine in population health, primary care research, and healthcare advocacy.
Christine A. Arenson, MD
Director, Residency Program
Family & Community Medicine
1015 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 955-0640 fax