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1.  A multimethod approach for cross-cultural training in an internal medicine residency program 
Medical Education Online  2013;18:10.3402/meo.v18i0.20352.
Background
Cultural competence training in residency is important to improve learners’ confidence in cross-cultural encounters. Recognition of cultural diversity and avoidance of cultural stereotypes are essential for health care providers.
Methods
We developed a multimethod approach for cross-cultural training of Internal Medicine residents and evaluated participants’ preparedness for cultural encounters. The multimethod approach included (1) a conference series, (2) a webinar with a national expert, (3) small group sessions, (4) a multicultural social gathering, (5) a Grand Rounds presentation on cross-cultural training, and (6) an interactive, online case-based program.
Results
The program had 35 participants, 28 of whom responded to the survey. Of those, 16 were white (62%), and residents comprised 71% of respondents (n=25). Following training, 89% of participants were more comfortable obtaining a social history. However, prior to the course only 27% were comfortable caring for patients who distrust the US system and 35% could identify religious beliefs and customs which impact care. Most (71%) believed that the training would help them give better care for patients from different cultures, and 63% felt more comfortable negotiating a treatment plan following the course.
Conclusions
Multimethod training may improve learners’ confidence and comfort with cross-cultural encounters, as well as lay the foundation for ongoing learning. Follow-up is needed to assess whether residents’ perceived comfort will translate into improved patient outcomes.
doi:10.3402/meo.v18i0.20352
PMCID: PMC3657071  PMID: 23683845
cultural competence; residency education; community resources; web-based curriculum; racial disparities; internal medicine
2.  Feasibility of an innovative third-year chief resident system: an internal medicine residency leadership study 
Introduction
The role of the internal medicine chief resident includes various administrative, academic, social, and educational responsibilities, fulfillment of which prepares residents for further leadership tasks. However, the chief resident position has historically only been held by a few residents. As fourth-year chief residents are becoming less common, we considered a new model for rotating third-year residents as the chief resident.
Methods
Online surveys were given to all 29 internal medicine residents in a single university-based program after implementation of a leadership curriculum and specific job description for the third-year chief resident. Chief residents evaluated themselves on various aspects of leadership. Participation was voluntary. Descriptive statistics were generated using SPSS version 21.
Results
Thirteen junior (first- or second-year) resident responses reported that the chief residents elicited input from others (mean rating 6.8), were committed to the team (6.8), resolved conflict (6.7), ensured efficiency, organization and productivity of the team (6.7), participated actively (7.0), and managed resources (6.6). Responses from senior residents averaged 1 point higher for each item; this pattern repeated itself in teaching evaluations. Chief resident self-evaluators were more comfortable running a morning report (8.4) than with being chief resident (5.8).
Conclusion
The feasibility of preparing internal medicine residents for leadership roles through a rotating PGY-3 (postgraduate year) chief residency curriculum was explored at a small internal medicine residency, and we suggest extending the study to include other programs.
doi:10.3402/jchimp.v4.24511
PMCID: PMC4120049  PMID: 25147630
chief resident; postgraduate year; internal medicine; residents; leadership; skill evaluation; graduate medical education; physician leadership
3.  Accounting for professionalism: an innovative point system to assess resident professionalism 
Background
Professionalism is a core competency for residency required by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education. We sought a means to objectively assess professionalism among internal medicine and transitional year residents.
Innovation
We established a point system to document unprofessional behaviors demonstrated by internal medicine and transitional year residents along with opportunities to redeem such negative points by deliberate positive professional acts. The intent of the policy is to assist residents in becoming aware of what constitutes unprofessional behavior and to provide opportunities for remediation by accruing positive points. A committee of core faculty and department leadership including the program director and clinic nurse manager determines professionalism points assigned.
Negative points might be awarded for tardiness to mandatory or volunteered for events without a valid excuse, late evaluations or other paperwork required by the department, non-attendance at meetings prepaid by the department, and inappropriate use of personal days or leave. Examples of actions through which positive points can be gained to erase negative points include delivery of a mentored pre-conference talk, noon conference, medical student case/shelf review session, or a written reflection.
Results
Between 2009 and 2012, 83 residents have trained in our program. Seventeen categorical internal medicine and two transitional year residents have been assigned points. A total of 55 negative points have been assigned and 19 points have been remediated. There appears to be a trend of fewer negative points and more positive points being assigned over each of the past three academic years.
Conclusion
Commitment to personal professional behavior is a lifelong process that residents must commit to during their training. A professionalism policy, which employs a point system, has been instituted in our programs and may be a novel tool to promote awareness and underscore the merits of the professionalism competency.
doi:10.3402/jchimp.v4.23313
PMCID: PMC3992360  PMID: 24765260
graduate medical education; internal medicine; health professional education
4.  Achieving the AAAs of Ambulatory Care: Aptitude, Appeal, and Appreciation 
Background
In the current health care environment more patient care has moved from in-hospital care to the ambulatory primary care settings; however, fewer internal medicine residents are pursuing primary care careers. Barriers to residents developing a sense of competency and enjoyment in ambulatory medicine include the complexity of practice-based systems, patients with multiple chronic diseases, and the limited time that residents spend in the outpatient setting.
Objective
In an effort to accelerate residents' ambulatory care competence and enhance their satisfaction with ambulatory practice, we sought to change the learning environment. Interns were provided a series of intensive, focused, ambulatory training sessions prior to beginning their own continuity clinic sessions. The sessions were designed to enable them to work confidently and effectively in their continuity clinic from the beginning of the internship year, and it was hoped this would have a positive impact on their perception of the desirability of ambulatory practice.
Methods
Improvement needs assessment after a performance, so we developed a structured, competency-based, multidisciplinary curriculum for initiation into ambulatory practice. The curriculum focused on systems-based practice, patient safety, quality improvement, and collaborative work while emphasizing the importance of continuity of care and long-term doctor-patient relationships. Direct observation of patient encounters was done by an attending physician to evaluate communication and physical examination skills. Systems of care commonly used in the clinic were demonstrated. Resources for practice-based learning were used.
Conclusion
The immersion of interns in an intensive, hands-on experience using a structured ambulatory care orientation curriculum early in training may prepare the intern to be a successful provider and learner in the primary care ambulatory setting.
doi:10.4300/01.01.0026
PMCID: PMC2931192  PMID: 21975724
5.  When race matters: disagreement in pain perception between patients and their physicians in primary care. 
Patients and physicians often disagree in their assessment of pain intensity. This study explores the impact of patient factors on underestimation of pain intensity in chronic noncancer pain. We surveyed patients and their physicians in 12 primary care centers. To measure pain intensity, patients completed an 11-point numeric rating scale for which pain scores range from 0 (no pain) to 10 (unbearable pain). Physicians rated patients' pain on the same scale. We defined disagreement of pain intensity as underestimation or overestimation by 22 points. Of 601 patients approached, 463 (77%) completed the survey. The majority of participants were black (39%) or white (47%), 67% were female, and the mean age was 53 years. Physicians underestimated pain intensity relative to their patients 39% of the time. Forty-six percent agreed with their patients' pain perception, and 15% of physicians overestimated their patients' pain levels by > or =2 points. In both the bivariate and multivariable models, black race was a significant variable associated with underestimation of pain by physicians (p < 0.05; OR = 1.92; 95% CI: 1.31-2.81). This study finds that physicians are twice as likely to underestimate pain in blacks patients compared to all other ethnicities combined. A qualitative study exploring why physicians rate blacks patients' pain low is warranted.
PMCID: PMC2576060  PMID: 17534011
6.  What Should We Include in a Cultural Competence Curriculum? An Emerging Formative Evaluation Process to Foster Curriculum Development 
Purpose
To identify, prioritize, and organize components of a cultural competence curriculum to address disparities in cardiovascular disease.
Method
In 2006, four separate nominal group technique sessions were conducted with medical students, residents, community physicians, and academic physicians to generate and prioritize a list of concepts (i.e., ideas) to include in a curriculum. Afterward, 45 educators and researchers organized and prioritized the concepts using a card-sorting exercise. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) and hierarchical cluster analysis produced homogeneous groupings of related concepts and generated a cognitive map. The main outcome measures were the number of cultural competence concepts, their relative ranks, and the cognitive map.
Results
Thirty participants generated 61 concepts, 29 were identified by at least 2 participants. The cognitive map organized concepts into four clusters, interpreted as: (1) patient’s cultural background (e.g.,, information on cultures, habits, values); (2) provider and health care (e.g., clinical skills, awareness of one’s bias, patient-centeredness, and professionalism), communication skills (e.g., history, stereotype avoidance, and health disparities epidemiology); (3) cross-culture (e.g., idiomatic expressions, examples of effective communication); and (4) resources to manage cultural diversity (e.g., translator guides, instructions and community resources). The MDS two-dimensional solution demonstrated a good fit (stress=0.07; R2=0.97).
Conclusions
A novel, combined approach allowed stakeholders’ inputs to identify and cognitively organize critical domains used to guide development of a cultural competence curriculum. Educators may use this approach to develop and organize educational content for their target audiences, especially in ill-defined areas like cultural competence.
doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182087314
PMCID: PMC3046368  PMID: 21248602
7.  'Correction:'Peer chart audits: A tool to meet Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competency in practice-based learning and improvement 
Background
The Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) supports chart audit as a method to track competency in Practice-Based Learning and Improvement. We examined whether peer chart audits performed by internal medicine residents were associated with improved documentation of foot care in patients with diabetes mellitus.
Methods
A retrospective electronic chart review was performed on 347 patients with diabetes mellitus cared for by internal medicine residents in a university-based continuity clinic from May 2003 to September 2004. Residents abstracted information pertaining to documentation of foot examinations (neurological, vascular, and skin) from the charts of patients followed by their physician peers. No formal feedback or education was provided.
Results
Significant improvement in the documentation of foot exams was observed over the course of the study. The percentage of patients receiving neurological, vascular, and skin exams increased by 20% (from 13% to 33%) (p = 0.001), 26% (from 45% to 71%) (p < 0.001), and 18% (51%–72%) (p = 0.005), respectively. Similarly, the proportion of patients receiving a well-documented exam which includes all three components – neurological, vascular and skin foot exam – increased over time (6% to 24%, p < 0.001).
Conclusion
Peer chart audits performed by residents in the absence of formal feedback were associated with improved documentation of the foot exam in patients with diabetes mellitus. Although this study suggests that peer chart audits may be an effective tool to improve practice-based learning and documentation of foot care in diabetic patients, evaluating the actual performance of clinical care was beyond the scope of this study and would be better addressed by a randomized controlled trial.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-2-24
PMCID: PMC1959518  PMID: 17662124
8.  Racial Differences in Opioid Use for Chronic Nonmalignant Pain 
BACKGROUND
Chronic pain is a frequent cause of suffering and disability that negatively affects patients' quality of life. There is growing evidence that disparities in the treatment of pain occur because of differences in race.
OBJECTIVE
To determine whether race plays a role in treatment decisions involving patients with chronic nonmalignant pain in a primary care population.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
A cross-sectional survey was administered to patients with chronic nonmalignant pain and their treating physicians at 12 academic medical centers. We enrolled 463 patients with nonmalignant pain persisting for more than 3 consecutive months and the primary care physicians participating in their care.
RESULTS
Analysis of the 397 black and white patients showed that blacks had significantly higher pain scores (6.7 on a scale of 0 to 10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 6.4 to 7.0) compared with whites (5.6, 95% CI 5.3 to 5.9); however, white patients were more likely to be taking opioid analgesics compared with blacks (45.7% vs 32.2%, P<.006). Even after controlling for potentially confounding variables, white patients were significantly more likely (odds ratio (OR) 2.67, 95% CI 1.71 to 4.15) to be taking opioid analgesics than black patients. There were no differences by race in the use of other treatment modalities such as physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or in the use of specialty referral.
CONCLUSION
Equal treatment by race occurs in nonopioid-related therapies, but white patients are more likely than black patients to be treated with opioids. Further studies are needed to better explain this racial difference and define its effect on patient outcomes.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2005.0106.x
PMCID: PMC1490156  PMID: 16050852
pain therapy; primary care; racial disparities; decision making; minority groups; delivery of health care

Results 1-8 (8)