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Acad Med. 2007 May;82(5):458-64.

Medical training in school-based health centers: a collaboration among five medical schools.

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Section of Primary Care, Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


School-based health centers (SBHCs) have tremendous untapped potential as models for learning about systems-based care of vulnerable children. SBHCs aim to provide comprehensive, community-based primary health care to primary and secondary schoolchildren who might not otherwise have ready access to that care. The staffing at SBHCs is multidisciplinary, including various combinations of nurse practitioners, physicians, dentists, nutritionists, and mental health providers. Although this unique environment provides obvious advantages to children and their families, medical students and residents receive little or no preparation for this type of practice. To address these deficiencies in medical education, five downstate New York state medical schools, funded by the New York State Department of Health, collaborated to define, develop, implement, and evaluate curricula that expose health professions students and residents to SBHCs. The schools identified core competencies and developed a comprehensive training model for the project, including clinical experiences, didactic sessions, and community service opportunities, and they developed goals, objectives, and learning materials for each competency for all types and levels of learners. Each school has implemented a wide range of learning activities based on the competencies. In this paper, the authors describe the development of the collaboration and illustrate the process undertaken to implement new curricula, including considerations made to address institutional needs, curricula development, and incorporation into existing curricula. In addition, they discuss the lessons learned from conducting this collaborative effort among medical schools, with the goal of providing guidance to establish effective cross-disciplinary curricula that address newly defined competencies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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