Pilot program promotes primary care

Third-year medical student Elizabeth Junkin works with a patient while Dr. Julia Booth observes. UA News

Per medical school curriculum, an MD candidate is exposed to various types of medicine and specialties in order to gauge their interests and acquire hands-on experience.

With this norm, it may be hard to gain insight into real, long-term medical care. The University of Alabama School of Medicine seeks to remedy this with a new pilot program called Tuscaloosa Longitudinal Community Curriculum (TLC2).

“TLC2 is a unique clinical educational opportunity for medical students to live and train in a community under the supervision of experienced primary care physicians,” Brooke Hubner, program director in the department of medical education, said. “TLC2 students learn to practice medicine in the way that community physicians practice medicine – caring for patients over time through office visits and hospitalizations.”

Hubner said third-year medical students participating in the program will have a more in-depth understanding of concepts and have a better view into the world of primary care.

“We created the curriculum on the Tuscaloosa campus because this type of curriculum promotes primary care and Alabama needs more primary care doctors – especially in rural communities,” Hubner said. “We wanted to provide a curriculum that develops physician leadership skills, and the curriculum allows students to experience the broader professional roles of physicians.”

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