Duke University’s Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, M.D., FAAFP, and program director of the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program, presented this week at the Beyond Flexner Conference in Florida. The conference is dedicated to health professionals committed to more equitable health care.
Martinez-Bianchi’s presentation, entitled “Graduate Medical Education: The Use of a Longitudinal Leadership Elective to Impact Health Systems, Social Determinants of Health, and Population Health,” focused on the longitudinal elective rotation established by the Duke Family Medicine Program in 2008.
Leadership development has been a key component in the residency program, and all residents participate in population health, quality improvement and leadership roles during their training.
The Longitudinal Leadership Elective can take one of several different pathways: 1) Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, 2) Resident as Teacher, 3) Law, Ethics & Health policy, 4) Leaders in Organized Medicine, 5) Community Engagement and Health Care Disparities and 6) Global Health.
The aim for the program is to allow residents to maintain what they’re passionate about during residency, while improving the health in their community. The program helps guide the residents to budget their time for training, for civic participation, for research, and innovation.
“For these residents who see Family Medicine as a vehicle for social justice, the concept of a small population health scholarly project is not enough,” said Martinez-Bianchi, “for many of them, population health is not a project, it is their life experience.
The goals and objectives of each elective are set up by the resident in consultation with the advisor, project mentor and Martinez-Bianchi as program director. Together with the resident, they organize and coordinate an adaptable schedule that longitudinally connects experiences across all three years of residency. This elective experience is in addition to the required longitudinal community health experience and population health project.
“By creating this longitudinal elective rotation, we have been able to not only support the innovative ideas and passion that our residents bring to our program, we have also been able to gradually move the needle in local health disparities, access, and quality of care.” Said Martinez-Bianchi. “Their ability to work in what they are passionate about has been a vehicle for recruiting some of the brightest medical students into Family Medicine, and an increasing respect of our specialty at Duke.”