In 2014, for the second consecutive year, Boonshoft School of Medicine received an American Academy of Family Physicians Top 10 Award for consistent contributions to building the family physician workforce. The AAFP has ranked the Boonshoft School of Medicine among the top medical schools for graduating students who choose family medicine many times since the school graduated its first class in 1980. Family physicians play important leadership roles in the medical school, including Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions Gary LeRoy, M.D. Department members are involved in the medical school curriculum from day one.
Faculty members Bruce Binder, M.D., Ph.D., and John Donnelly, M.D., were instrumental in bringing the Healer’s Art course to the medical school. Up to 95 percent of each class of medical students participates in the program. Donnelly co-leads the Finding Meaning in Medicine group that meets monthly following the Healer’s Art course. Binder leads the OSCE sessions (observed structured clinical experiences) and is involved in the implementation of the Boonshoft medical school curriculum under an agreement with Unaizah College of Medicine of Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. Many family medicine faculty teach in the required courses Introduction to Clinical Medicine I (interviewing and physical exam skills) and 2 (advanced clinical skills and clinical reasoning).
In the third year, students gain exposure to family medicine through their six-week Family Medicine Clerkship. Didactics include timely topics such as the patient-centered medical home, managing complex patients, quality improvement and evidence-based practice. Students are placed in offices across the Dayton area with physicians in solo practice and multi-specialty practices. Students can also rotate in Grand Lake St. Mary’s or Columbus. The Clerkship director is Kate Conway, M.D., M.P.H., a 2005 graduate of the Boonshoft School of Medicine.
Family physicians cherish the stories their patients share with them. In hearing the story, we figure out what is off balance or out of sync, what the diagnosis may be, what needs to be done to create health and harmony for a patient. It is a privilege to walk alongside patients through the best and the worst of times.
The Family Medicine Interest Group is an active group with officers elected annually. The group receives funding from the medical school, the department and the Miami Valley Academy of Family Physicians. Lunch meetings expose students to a variety of topics such as: What Is a Family Doc? Integrative Medicine, Caring for Immigrants and Refugees and residency selection. Procedure clinics such as casting are held annually. A book discussion group explores practice and life in the rural United States with Dr. Therese Zink’s collection, The Country Doctor Revisited.
The Department of Family Medicine offers students multiple elective choices in which to explore the specialty and gain clinical skills. The Summer Preceptorship Program places students between their first and second year in a family medicine preceptor’s office to see patients alongside the physician. Some settings provide a research opportunity and others are located in a small town, exposing participants to a more rural experience. In the fourth year, students may participate in a subintership with our affiliated residency program or other outpatient rotations in family medicine, sports medicine, women’s health or dentistry.
The department also offers students a variety of research opportunities. These include activities arranged through the Summer Preceptorship Program or the Research Learning Community, in which students can work with a family medicine mentor. Students in the dual degree M.D./M.P.H. program can do a family medicine-related project for their master’s thesis. Students who want to join faculty in an independent project just because they are interested in the subject are welcome as well.