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Today on Progress Notes, a podiatrist encourages primary care practitioners not to forget their patients' feet in routine exams.

By Lori Weisenfeld, DPM

When I was a resident, I saw a middle-aged man, “Charles,” who came into the hospital after playing a round and a half of golf. When I looked at his right foot, he had an ulcer in the shape of a golf tee. He had played the entire day with a golf tee in his shoe and only noticed when he found drainage on his sock. The story sticks in my mind because he was the first person I ever had to tell that he might have to have his foot amputated. It turned out that he had been diagnosed with diabetes, but he never complained about his feet so nobody ever checked them. He never complained because he had neuropathy, so he never felt anything.

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 26, 2015 10:50 AM EDT
In the final day of our Match Day 2015 series, "Matching to Lead," we will hear from three of our PCP fellows about their match application experience. Here's Devorah Donnell, our training and engagement fellow.

By Devorah Donnell

“I have no idea how I’ll choose an age group because I love them all.” I can’t count how many times I said that during my first and second years of medical school, but I do remember the first time I saw the three generations of care that are possible in family medicine while at my family medicine continuity clinic. I remember the grandmother was there for her visit, accompanied by her daughter and grandson, who were also my preceptor’s patients. I realized early in medical school that family medicine is my best fit. I love caring for children, teenagers, adults and seniors, with continuity and comprehensive care and the extra bonus of also being able to do procedures. Though family medicine residencies meet the same core requirements, programs around the country are very different — so how do you choose? 

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 24, 2015 2:25 PM EDT
In the final day of our Match Day 2015 series, "Matching to Lead," we will hear from three of our PCP fellows about their match application experience. Here's Chloe Ciccariello, one of our clinical innovation fellows.

By Chloe Ciccariello

When I think of the interview trail, I actually don’t think about the “interview trail.” There are no black suits, high heels clicking on the linoleum hospital tile or boxed sandwiches in my memory. Instead, I remember a crowded pool hall in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, where I hear someone scream my name and, before I know what is happening, I  am bombarded by a huge hug. It’s a friend I met along the interview trail as we interviewed for primary care programs in California. To onlookers, it probably looked as though we had known each other for a lifetime, rather than just a few days. 

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 24, 2015 12:23 PM EDT
In the final day of our Match Day 2015 series, "Matching to Lead," we will hear from three of our PCP fellows about their match application experience. First, Jonathan Jimenez, one of our clinical innovation fellows.

By Jonathan Jimenez

Many fourth-year students look for specific characteristics in their ideal family medicine residency: Does it provide strong rural training? Do the residents pass the beer rule?  Is the city a place that I (and my partner) could live? All of these factors, and others, were important and played a significant role in my rank list. But throughout my research, visits and many conversations with applicants, residents and interviewers, another important variable came into relief. 
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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 24, 2015 10:03 AM EDT
Match Day is one of the most important days in a physician's life.  It's when soon-to-be docs learn which residency program they “matched” into and whether the Match will lead them to a clinic down the street or a hospital across the country. For the seven days surrounding Match Day 2015, which fell on Friday, March 20, Progress Notes will run daily posts about your Match experiences as part of our "Matching to Lead" series.

By Janine Knudsen

Imagine yourself embarking on a road trip across the U.S. with no map, GPS or instructions. You're probably excited by the adventure but just as likely to end up in the Gulf of Mexico or spend weeks on the road than make it to your final destination. That's how I felt this past fall when I began applying to primary care track internal medicine residencies. There is no "map" or comprehensive list of these tracks; in fact, many programs are new or changing curricula and structure year to year. Rankings are no help since schools that traditionally make it to the top of internal medicine lists don't always have the strongest primary care programs or, even worse, discourage it. Finally, the leadership skills essential to transforming primary care – quality improvement, management, advocacy and policy – are not yet the norm in primary care residency curricula.


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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 23, 2015 3:10 PM EDT
Match Day is one of the most important days in a physician's life.  It's when soon-to-be docs learn which residency program they “matched” into and whether the Match will lead them to a clinic down the street or a hospital across the country. For the seven days surrounding Match Day 2015, which falls on Friday, March 20, Progress Notes will run daily posts about your Match experiences as part of our "Matching to Lead" series.

By Jerica Johnson

Wearing an uncomfortable pantsuit, I sat in a bright office across a large wooden desk from a woman with friendly eyes. As we discussed everything from my desire to be a family physician to my involvement in community service to my love of sand volleyball, I was a little shaky from drinking too much coffee at the start of the day, but overall I felt comfortable. I was at the end of my long interview trail, which included 15 destinations sprawled across the entire country. Meanwhile, my boyfriend, Chris, was attending one of his last interviews in the emergency medicine department in a neighboring building of the same institution. My interviewer’s next question caught me off guard. “So you are applying as a team?” I had been asked in some variation or another about my status as an applicant in the Couples Match at every interview thus far, but I had never been asked in this way. I hadn’t thought of Chris and myself as a “team” of applicants but rather as a pair who simply wanted to train in the same place. I paused, and responded, “Yes, we are a team.”

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 23, 2015 10:39 AM EDT
Match Day is finally here. One of the most important days in a physician's life, it's when soon-to-be docs learn which residency program they “matched” into and whether the Match will lead them to a clinic down the street or a hospital across the country. In this morning's post, PCP's president and founder congratulates and sends off this year's graduating class.

By Andrew Morris-Singer, M.D.

Allow me to wish the graduating MS4’s a happy Match Day! I wish I could say that it feels like just yesterday that I opened up my own Match Day envelope.  But it doesn’t. It feels like ages ago. So many changes have occurred in our health care system since then that it’s hard to remember what I was feeling at that time. Few of us who matched in primary care are doing exactly what we thought we’d be doing. Rather, we’re doing far more – far, far more – and on a much more accelerated timescale. This is the world you’re matching into.

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 20, 2015 9:42 AM EDT
PCP wants to help prepare the next generation of primary care leaders. In anticipation of Match Day 2015, we are highlighting some residency programs that train doctors not only to practice but also to lead. Here the program director of Cambridge Health Alliance's primary care internal medicine residency explains how CHA trains physicians to lead.

By Richard Pels, M.D.

It was only two years ago when one of our primary care interns knocked on my office door to ask if I’d be willing to advise her and her colleagues in a study of buprenorphine – a drug used to treat opioid addiction – training in US primary care residency programs. She was exploring this topic as part of a new year-long required course in research-based health advocacy. This resident demonstrated the very leadership skills we try to cultivate at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) when she subtly nudged conversation to the question of why we weren’t offering this training to our own residents and what could be done about it.

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 19, 2015 10:50 AM EDT
Match Day is one of the most important days in a physician's life.  It's when soon-to-be docs learn which residency program they “matched” into and whether the Match will lead them to a clinic down the street or a hospital across the country. For the seven days surrounding Match Day 2015, which falls on Friday, March 20, Progress Notes will run daily posts about your Match experiences as part of our "Matching to Lead" series.

By Tricia Olaes

At the outset of my fourth year, the application cycle jitters started. I dreaded skeptical interviewers roasting me and asking, "Why do you want to be in this field?" Plus, I was daunted by the more than 400 family medicine residencies in existence. How would I know who would want me? How would I know where I'd like to be a resident? In just a day, how could I get a feel for any one program or group of residents? What if I didn't apply to the “right" programs? I knew in my heart I was passionate about family medicine and the future of primary care, but anyone could say that. Unlike most of my classmates, I didn't really have a strict geographic area. I was up for adventure, new experiences and a program that would provide rigorous training and fit with my personality, learning style and interests. During the interview cycle, I learned a lot about how to make the most of the process and how to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible. 

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 18, 2015 3:10 PM EDT
Match Day is one of the most important days in a physician's life.  It's when soon-to-be docs learn which residency program they “matched” into and whether the Match will lead them to a clinic down the street or a hospital across the country. For the seven days surrounding Match Day 2015, which falls on Friday, March 20, Progress Notes will run daily posts about your Match experiences as part of our "Matching to Lead" series.

By Eliza Hutchinson

The Match. To medical students across the U.S., these words conjure a swirl of emotions – excitement, anticipation, thrill,  nervousness, and angst, to name a few. For those not familiar with the system of placement of new physicians into medical residency programs in the U.S., the primary feeling is confusion. Is this really a way of applying for a job? More likely, this must be another online dating service. I must agree that in many ways, applying for residency shares more similarities with speed dating than interviewing for a job. Like dating, my experience was emotional and exhausting but also an incredible opportunity to learn about myself.

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Posted by Sonya Collins on Mar 17, 2015 9:35 PM EDT
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I'm so glad you shared your experience, David. We've been watching your team take on this tremendous task with such e...
Thanks for sharing this piece. How wonderful that you were able to build such a close relationship with your patient...
Dr. Schimpff: thank you for shining a light on some of the policy issues in the current world of primary care. We get so...
I like the tip of conversing with people. It seems like a good idea to get to know the people you are helping. My uncle is...
Puya- welcome to the primary care team! You're exactly right. We can all make a profound difference in the lives of ou...

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