Ambulatory medicine is a vital part of the Overlook Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Program. In fact, one third of the total patient care experience occurs outside the traditional hospital setting.
Ambulatory medicine addresses the treatment of common chronic disease, as well as subsets of diagnoses not often seen by internists in hospitalized patients. It requires knowledge in special areas such as preventive medicine and procedural skills – for example, joint injection and ophthalmologic examination.
Our ambulatory medicine curriculum is divided into the following components:
- Longitudinal (continuity) office experience
- Ambulatory block experience
- Community health rotation
The ambulatory block is a two-week period during which residents have several sessions in the clinic as well as other ambulatory care experiences such as assisted living, urgent care and specialty clinics.
A key goal of the ambulatory medicine rotation is to have residents develop confidence in providing direct primary care for patients.
There are five practice teams at our ambulatory site, Community Health Center at Vauxhall, composed of two second years, two third years and two first years. The 2nd year residents are the "senior" team leaders. They are responsible for coordinating team coverage for the blocks as well as managing the work list for the team. The 3rd years function as "emeritus" team members and in addition to providing direct patient care, will facilitate coverage when no 2nd year is in place. The 1st year residents are the "junior" partners and are the building blocks of the practices. Their primary aim is to develop skills in primary prevention, management of chronic illness and to become the primary care physician for their patients.
For rotations in which a resident is not present such as ICU, away electives or vacation, continuity is maintained by having that resident’s patients see another physician on the resident’s “team.”