As the health care delivery landscape changes, medical schools must develop creative strategies for preparing future physicians to provide quality care in this new environment. Despite the growing prominence of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) as an effective model for health care delivery, few medical schools have integrated formal education on the PCMH into their curricula. Incorporating the PCMH model into medical school curricula is important to ensure that students have a comprehensive understanding of the different models of health care delivery and can operate effectively as physicians. The authors provide a detailed descrip-tion of the process by which the Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC), a student-run free clinic, has integrated PCMH principles into a service-learning initiative. The authors assessed patient demographics, diagnoses, and satisfaction along with student satisfaction. During the year after a PCMH model was adopted, 112 students and 19 licensed physicians volunteered their time. A review of the 174 patients seen from July 2011 to June 2012 found that the most common medical reasons for visits included management of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, gastrointestinal conditions, arthritis, anxiety, and depression. During the year after the adoption of the PCMH model, 87% were very or extremely satisfied with their care, and 96% of the patients would recommend the WCCC to others. Students who participate in the WCCC gain hands-on experience in coordinating care, providing continuity of care, addressing issues of accessibility, and developing quality and safety metrics. The WCCC experience provides an integrative model that links service-learning with education on health care delivery in a primary care setting. The authors propose that adoption of this approach by other student-run clinics provides a substantial opportunity to improve medical education nationwide and better prepare future physicians to practice within this new model of health care delivery.
- Medical education
- Medical students
- Patient-centered medical home
- Student-run free clinic