Christine A. Arenson, MD
Professor & Interim Chair
Department of Family & Community Medicine
"Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter." Brad Henry
Over this past year within our residency we have experienced nearly all aspects of the family life cycle: births, marriages, illness, and death in those so close to us. We have seen new relationships blossom and old relationships dissolve. We have been witness to the joy, grief, love, loss, trauma and growth in each other just as we have borne witness to the same in our patients and their families.
At the same time we have made great progress in the establishment of a personal medical home for our patients. We are creating a place where patients have an ongoing relationship with a physician who provides comprehensive, accessible, safe, compassionate, high quality care to families from all walks of life. In this personal medical home we provide care to our patients' families of origin and families of choice while we work to heal families torn apart. This construct is at the heart of Family Medicine.
We have an opportunity now to elaborate on the "medical home" we have established for our Jefferson family in the Department of Family & Community Medicine. We recognize our unique position in society as family physicians; our privilege to be part of the life cycle in the families we care for as we ourselves live and love in those same cycles. Our family here at Jefferson is a defined unit of care that loves, nurtures, and challenges its members. Our Jefferson family has grown with many members keeping close while others spread across the globe. We follow their journeys with pride. Each year we welcome our new family members as we watch our graduates move on to the next step in their lives.
This year we embrace the family in Family Medicine. We accept our responsibility to care for each other, to teach each other, to learn from each other. We will focus on establishing balance in our families- providing comfort and healing while sharing our wisdom and experiences with each other.
In 2008-2009 we will have new and expanded curricular experiences in the care of families. We will help heal the families of more refugees from war torn areas in our center for refugee health. We will expand our time caring for infants in the newborn nursery. We will embark on new outreaches to adolescents separated from their families. We will be seeing more of our patients' families in their homes. We will have new continuous relationships with our patients in nursing homes. We will expand our procedural and simulation training from womb to tomb with new experiences in neonatal resuscitation to end of life discussions with standardized patients. Our monthly Life in Medicine series will focus entirely on the family in family medicine. We value our many opportunities to learn from, nurture, and care for our families.
"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." Richard Bach
Christine A. Arenson, MD
Director, Residency Program
Family & Community Medicine
1015 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 955-0640 fax