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26 Robert WoodJohnson
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MEDICINE
helps make caring for a complex patient feel less over-
whelming."
Student response has always been enthusiastic. Through a
competitive application and interview process, the number
of student-doctors is limited to 160--approximately 40
from each class--who comprise 40 student teams, with four
members on each team. Students are assigned to the same
team for four years. When they graduate, fourth-year stu-
dents are replaced by first-years, providing a longitudinal
model that encourages team spirit and ensures continuity of
care for the one or two patients assigned to the team.
"Our student doctors don't give up on patients," says
Promise Clinic faculty adviser Karen W. R. Lin, MD '89,
associate professor of family medicine and community
health and assistant dean for global health. "They say, `If we
don't see them, who else will?' and they're always willing to
spend extra hours helping their patients navigate the chal-
lenges of our health care system."
Medical students, absorbed in their studies, are often
shocked to learn the nonmedical determinants of health
care, says Stephanie Oh, a clinic director, who continues to
volunteer at the clinic while completing a combined
MD/PhD degree. "For a person with diabetes, the overriding
concerns might be shelter, transportation, and employment.
We learn to explain the importance of issues like good nutri-
tion and sleep hygiene--concerns that we take for granted
but that are also part of taking care of yourself."
Within the team, responsibilities correlate with experi-
ence: first- and second-year students greet the patient, note
any complaints, and take vital signs. They present to the
third- and fourth-year team members, who complete the
physical exam and then develop an assessment and treat-
ment plan, which they review with the faculty preceptor.
The Promise Clinic could not function without the pre-
ceptors--supervising physicians who serve as advisers and
mentors to the student-doctor teams. Some have served for
years, coming every month to work with the students and
patients. The Department of Family Medicine and Com-
munity Health is strongly represented. Besides Dr. Lin, the
department's regular clinic preceptors include David Swee,
MD; Frances Wu, MD; and Euton Laing, MD '90. In addi-
tion, Iris Udasin, MD, professor of environmental and occu-
Left, middle: Eric G. Jahn, MD '88, associate professor of family medi-
cine and community health, senior associate dean for community
health, and faculty adviser, HIPHOP-Promise Clinic.
Bottom left:
Rutgers School of Social Work students Vanessa Ferreira (left), Sarah
Livingstone (center), and Suzanne Haggerty.
STEVE
HOCKSTEIN
STEVE
HOCKSTEIN
JOHN
EMERSON
STEVE
HOCKSTEIN