Fellows contribute to the education of physician residents and medical students by providing instruction about a variety of behavioral and health topics. Within the family medicine residency program, fellows are directly involved in the behavioral science curriculum design and implementation across the 36-month residency training sequence. Fellows regularly develop and present didactic lectures for the family medicine residents’ weekly core curriculum conferences and orientation sessions. External to the Department of Family Medicine, the senior fellow administratively coordinates a campus-wide physician impairment and wellness presentation series with 27 UMMC residency programs.
As part of the integrated primary care team, fellows have the opportunity to provide the family medicine residents with individualized instruction, using direct and indirect interactive learning techniques. For example, fellows help the residents develop physician-patient communication skills by providing feedback following live and videotaped supervision.
The fellows often co-supervise with faculty physicians to role model and precept interviewing and communication skills. This co-supervision model allows residents to learn bio-behavioral problem identification, basic counseling skills, and evidence-based approaches to these problems. In addition to co-supervision, the fellows provide consultation to residents and faculty for provision of comprehensive and collaborative patient care. These educational activities take place in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.
Along with these training responsibilities, the fellows are also responsible for facilitating a regularly scheduled support group for the family medicine residents.
Since this training program's conception, fellows have been actively involved in collaborating with faculty to conduct health-related research. For example, areas of research development have focused on the role of the behavioral clinician's role in the primary care setting and the promotion of scholarship among family medicine residents and faculty. Fellows also may develop independent research projects, subject to approval by the fellowship director and UMMC’s Institutional Review Board. For example, past fellows have published their work following studies evaluating the difference in graduate and undergraduate education of physician impairment and wellness.
Departmental resources are available to assist fellows in their research endeavors, including grant writing and manuscript development. Additionally, fellows are granted library privileges at both UMMC and MBMC and may supervise student externs in research activities. Fellows are encouraged to participate in presentations at local, state and national conferences; depending upon level of involvement, travel allowances for conferences may be provided.