The clinic experience is the heart of our program. Our mission is to provide superior education in family medicine through an ambulatory, team-focused, longitudinal training experience which:
- Teaches residents skills in practice assessment and management
- Ensures medical competence through measurable clinical outcomes
- Maximizes continuity of care through utilization of our Clinic First curricular strategy
- Provides comprehensive services to a diverse patient population
- Emphasizes cost effective care
- Utilization of the Epic electronic medical records and Dragon dictation system softwares
Located on the hospital campus, our clinic has over 30,000 patient visits each year. Continuity patients receive exceptional care from resident physicians under the guidance of faculty and clinic pharmacists. The clinic’s broad scope of practice includes:
- Women’s health care
- Complete maternity care
- Child, adolescent, and adult medicine
- Geriatric care
- Pharmacist available for medication questions, anti-coagulation therapy and diabetes care
- Specialty clinics (psychiatry, pediatrics, refugee, travel medicine, behavioral health, colposcopy, and osteopathic manual manipulation)
- Chronic Disease Management (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression)
Our clinic’s patient population is extremely diverse. More than 50 percent of the patient population is low income and includes a large medically underserved obstetrical population. The clinic serves a substantial number of geriatric and pediatric patients as well. Our service area is home to large populations of Southeast Asian, Latino, Eastern European, and African patients. To better serve patients, the clinic has an on-site Spanish interpreter as well as professional translation via telephone and Skype.
Valley Family Medicine’s quality measures, such as diabetic management and childhood immunization rates, exceed the national average. The State of Washington has given special recognition to the clinic for achieving a 100 percent immunization rate for two-year-olds and over 80 percent for 24-35 month old children. Patient care is provided via four teams consisting of two residents from each class (with a third-year resident team leader), faculty, nurses, and support staff. Each resident has his or her own panel of patients for which he or she is responsible, and each team is primarily responsible for the outpatient care of all patients assigned to the primary care physicians on that team.
Clinic First is an innovative concept designed to maximize continuity of care between residents and their clinic patients. This curricular strategy is accomplished via managed resident continuity patient panels that reflect a optimal age/sex/disease spectrum and a structured clinic schedule. R-2s and R-3s see patients in clinic on average four days a week, and R-1s are in clinic two to four days weekly, depending on their rotation.
The benefits of this concept are:
- Emphasis on the central role of outpatient care in family medicine
- Same-day acute visits with the primary care physician
- Daily communication between staff and physicians to enhance patient care
- Patient-physician continuity approaching 75 percent by the third year
In Focus Clinic residents receive direct one-on-one in-room instruction by family medicine physician and behavioral science faculty. This experience is scheduled up to twice per month during a resident’s continuity clinic throughout their 3 years of residency training. Special emphasis is placed on doctor-patient interaction and communication, understanding the biomedical and human context of each visit, and strategies to improve the efficiency of ambulatory care.
Psychiatry and Pediatric specialists also provide one-on-one instruction at Valley Family Medicine to second and third-year residents. We have Colposcopy, Travel Medicine, and Pediatrics clinics supervised by Family Medicine or Pediatrics faculty. These “specialty clinics” may serve as referral resources for all physicians. Selected patients are scheduled for these clinics with the faculty consultant and resident to maximize the educational experience. Following the specialty clinic appointment, the primary physician is notified of the findings and treatment plan for their patient. In addition, for osteopathic residents, there is an osteopathic manual manipulation clinic every other week supervised by an osteopathic family-medicine trained attending physician.