(posted March 17, 2011)
Through a grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, Lifespan and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University are collaborating to enhance career choices in primary care for Rhode Island medical students. The $87,631 grant will fund programs designed to make it easier for primary care physicians to serve as mentors and trainers to third- and fourth-year medical students, as well as develop a curriculum focused on primary care.
We are at a point in time in the health care delivery system where we will need more primary care physicians and it's critical that we help promote a curriculum that encourages medical students to learn more about primary care, said Kathleen Hittner, MD, Lifespan's senior vice president of community health and perioperative services. At Lifespan, we are thrilled to work with the medical school and primary care physicians throughout the state as we implement this generous grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.
In her role as the senior vice president of community health, Hittner initiated efforts to reach out to primary care physicians in the area to see what could be done to help them in mentoring medical students and how to encourage medical students to explore primary care as a career choice. This was especially important considering that over the past 10 years only 22 percent of U.S. medical school graduates have chosen careers in primary care. This fact and the results of Hittner's research served as the basis for applying for the grant.
The grant will allow for the compensation of primary care physicians who serve as preceptors. In addition, it will help fund the development and implementation of accredited professional development sessions for primary care physicians and allied health providers. Brown's new medical school building will serve as the hub for those training sessions.
Physicians interested in applying for the program should e-mail Phil Gruppuso, associate dean for medical education at the Alpert Medical School at firstname.lastname@example.org.