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This week, PCP begins accepting applications for its 2015 cohorts. Members of the cohort will receive coaching in teamwork that will help their chapter set and eventually achieve its strategic goals. Today on the blog, Michael Mattiucci, who participated in PCP's pilot of this program, shares his experience. Read all about it, then apply to be a part of PCP's next cohort.

By Michael Mattiucci

After spending an inhumane amount of time alone in the library studying for the USMLE Step 1, I’m now on the road, headed west, the exam behind me, a good friend beside me.  We are on a three-week cross-country road trip to recharge before our third year of medical school on the wards. The adventure of being on the road is recharging in and of itself. Exploring new terrain and traveling out of my comfort zone offer incredible rewards.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Sep 3, 2015 11:49 AM EDT
Last month PCP launched its 51st chapter! Emory University's PCP chapter introduced itself to the campus with a panel on primary care and a talk by Reid Blackwelder, M.D., board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Here, in a blog post that originally appeared on AAFP's "Leader Voices" blog, Dr. Blackwelder talks about the event and the growing interest in family medicine and primary care at Emory. 

By Reid Blackwelder, M.D.

When I was a student at Emory University School of Medicine, it was a so-called orphan school, meaning it did not have a family medicine department. In fact, I was one of the few students in my class who chose family medicine after graduation, but that is a story unto itself

It was special, more than 30 years later, to be invited back to my alma mater recently to see what is happening in family medicine there and to be a part of the Atlanta school's new direction.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Sep 1, 2015 11:00 AM EDT
Tomorrow we launch our 4th annual Gregg Stracks Leadership Summit! Today on the blog, we look back at a 2012 summit participant's reflections on the event. 

By Joe Nelson, M.D.

When I got on the plane headed for the Greg Stracks Leadership Summit last year, I was skeptical. I'd recently been wondering if this Primary Care Progress thing was really for me. I believed in its principles, and enjoyed the time I'd spent with its leaders, but sometimes I wasn't sure that this was my fight. And with three young children and the demands of third-year clinical rotations, I was more often exhausted than excited to do more. But I told myself that even if the conference wasn't anything special, and even if I didn't have what it took to help lead PCP at Baylor, it isn't often that someone offers to fly you to Boston in the fall. So I went.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Aug 27, 2015 11:20 AM EDT
This Friday, we kick off our fourth annual Gregg Stracks Leadership Summit. In the weeks following the summit, you'll find stories by and about summit participants here. Today on the blog, we look back at the story of a pharmacy student who atteneded the summit last year. 

By Catherine "Katie" Derington

Having never been to a conference before, I didn’t have many expectations before PCP’s third annual Gregg Stracks Leadership Summit. I just hoped to learn a lot, get inspired, and have fun. Specifically, I wanted to learn about how to grow as a leader, inspire others, work more effectively in teams, and handle conflict with those who may not share my vision.
My list of apprehensions, however, was longer than my list of expectations: being in a new city, catching flights, icebreaker activities, appearing like a naïve student, making good impressions, not being taken seriously as a student, studying for the multitude of quizzes I had the next week, and finding time to sleep.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Aug 25, 2015 11:06 AM EDT
PCP's 4th annual Gregg Stracks Leadership Summit is just a week away. Today on the blog, read the story of our summit's namesake. 

By Andrew Morris-Singer, M.D.

My junior year of Internal Medicine residency was a difficult, confusing time. A trainee committed to a career in outpatient primary care, I found myself spending a great deal of time on inpatient hospital wards with some of the sickest, most complicated patients I’ve ever encountered. While the medical conditions were fascinating, most were preventable exacerbations of chronic problems or late outcomes of diseases that could have been caught earlier with screening. It felt like we were perpetuating a failed health care system that did little to manage and protect patients’ health but rather waited until they got really sick, and then dumped everything we had in our medical armamentarium on them. It seemed divorced from good economic sense and completely at odds with both the skills that I wanted to learn to keep patients out of the hospital and the values that brought me into health care in the first place.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Aug 20, 2015 1:39 PM EDT
Today on the blog, Dr. Andy Lazris reviews Fixing the Primary Care Crisis, a new book by Dr. Stephen Schimpff. 

By Andy Lazris, MD

Stephen Schimpff has written an utterly enjoyable and vitally important book, Fixing the Primary Care Crisis, which counters many myths spread by health care reformers, for example that using clinical practice guidelines increases quality of care and both doctor and physician satisfaction. It also describes in plain English how to save the health care delivery system in a way that increases the satisfaction of doctors and their patients. His analysis is crisp and compelling, using both interviews and facts to lay out what is wrong with our current system and how to fix it.

To Dr. Schimpff and many of us who practice primary care medicine, the answer is simple: If the system allows doctors and patients to spend more time with each other and establish a trusting relationship, then quality of care will increase as cost diminishes. Current reform relies on quality guidelines and obscure notions of value that detract from the patient-doctor relationship, reducing patient care to generic protocols and computerized note-taking — a formula that Dr. Schimpff demonstrates will not work. His solutions are much more genuine and effective, and if executed, would lead to the system that doctors and patients crave.

Posted by Sonya Collins on Aug 18, 2015 11:28 AM EDT
It's National Health Center Week. In this post from our archives, check out how a med student streamlined patient flow in a community heatlh center using a free online application. Now that's innovation!

By David Margolius, M.D.

Southeast Health Center is a community-oriented primary care clinic in San Francisco. Through Healthy San Francisco, a program created by the City of San Francisco, Southeast and other clinics make health care services accessible and affordable for uninsured residents. The program offers a new way for San Francisco residents who do not have health insurance, to have basic and ongoing medical care.

At Southeast, all of this work can make it difficult to keep track of which patients are in which rooms, how many patients are in the waiting room, and how far the doctors are falling behind with their patients for the day. Up until about a month ago, when patients checked in, the front desk would page the medical assistant who would then escort the patient to a room when one was free. The assistant would then let the doctor know that the patient was available. If patients were late, canceled their appointments, or the waiting room was overflowing, the doctor would be the last to know. All in all, communication was linear, uncoordinated, and difficult.
Posted by Sonya Collins on Aug 13, 2015 12:28 PM EDT
One of PCP’s main objectives is to impart to its members the leadership and teamwork skills they need to advocate for and transform primary care on their campuses and in the health care system at large. Marianne Roy, PCP’s director of leadership development, spearheads PCP’s efforts on this front. She introduces members of the PCP community to leadership and teambuilding with an online assessment tool called 5 Dynamics. Through this assessment, PCP community members stand to learn a lot about themselves, their teammates, and how they can leverage their differences to work most efficiently together. Here, Marianne tells us all about it.

What is 5 Dynamics?
5 Dynamics is both a model and a method. The model is based on the “cycle of success/satisfaction.” The cycle illuminates the natural phases one passes through to accomplish almost any task or project. 5D calls these phases “dynamics.” They are explore, excite, examine and execute. The fifth dynamic, evaluate, is implicit and addresses how successful and satisfying the process was to an individual or a team. 

Posted by Sonya Collins on Aug 11, 2015 11:11 AM EDT
We launched our 50th chapter this summer! To celebrate, we're highlighting the activities of all our chapters throughout the summer. It's the PCP Chapters of Summer campaign. Today on the blog, we're running a post from 2011 about the first public event of one of our longest running chapters: Georgetown. This chapter was among the first three of PCP's 50 chapters, and it is still going strong today.

By Nikita Srinivasan
When my classmates and I formed the Georgetown Chapter of Primary Care Progress in late September 2010, one thing became very clear to us: almost no one at our college knew what primary care was. We would mention our club to classmates and discover that some -- particularly those from outside the United States -- hadn’t even heard of primary care. Others had no idea what the job of a primary care physician entailed. Those who knew couldn’t imagine why anyone would go into this field given the financial disincentives. So the goal of our first panel, “The Changing Face of Primary Care,” was obvious: education.


Posted by Sonya Collins on Aug 6, 2015 12:39 PM EDT
Our fourth annual Gregg Stracks Leadership Summit is just a few weeks away. Today on the blog, you'll meet Kyle, one of our summit facilitator. He wrote this post as a pharmacy student when he became the unlikely leader of University of Utah's PCP Chapter in 2013. This year, he'll be returning to the summit for the third time as a coach. Get to know him in today's post. 

By Kyle Turner, PharmD

Whenever I attend an event or meeting of  Primary Care Progress, the same thing always happens: I introduce myself and wait for the inevitable question, “Where do you go to med school?” My answer generally surprises people, “I don’t. I am in pharmacy school.” Spoken or not, I’m sure the same question comes to the mind of each person I meet, “What is a pharmacist doing in primary care?”

Posted by Sonya Collins on Aug 4, 2015 12:34 PM EDT
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