Q & A with Clinical Dean Dr. Rick Furay
Dean Furay shares some insights about the clinical program.
As a graduate of a US Medical School and practicing general surgeon for over 25 years, what attributes do you believe makes IUHS students competitive against their American counter parts?
IUHS students are unique as they choose to further their education after being immersed in it for many years. They know the system and understand the commitment and difficulties before they embark on this journey. They are clinically savvy and motivated by all the right stuff. The vast majority our students wish to expand their role in providing quality care to patients and they will make fine Physicians because of the passion they have for the profession.
Is it possible for our students to attain residency Opportunities in other disciplines than primary care?
Yes, our students have unique opportunities as many are already working in health care systems that offer residency opportunities. They have a history with many of the institutions and need only to perform well on their boards to convince programs to match them in residency spots. Because we have affiliates all over the world for clinical rotations our students can engage many programs and selectively engage in clinical clerkships that maximize their potential for placement with the programs. As we begin to work in establishing working relationships with hospital residency programs we hope to establish even more placement opportunities.
What is the greatest obstacle for students to get a residency?
The biggest obstacle in my opinion is the limited number of residency spots and the inability of ACGME to increase the availability of those spots to meet our need for qualified physicians. Many hospitals are working to set up primary care residency programs so they can recruit new physicians. The US system needs to find creative solutions to train more qualified doctors, especially in primary care. We are working with several hospital systems to try and find some solutions for our students.
Have you seen the impact of the declining numbers of new doctors going into family medicine?
Yes, I have noticed that patients have a much more difficult time finding a primary care provider. They often are very sick before they get care for things that could have been resolved much earlier if they would have had access to health care earlier.
How is the Clinical Department involved in the Integrated Clinical Medicine program?
The clinical department is the administrator of the ICM program. We work primarily with the students Mentors who become our associate clinical faculty to provide the hands on interaction with the students during their preclinical education. The mentor helps to contextualize the basic science knowledge and help the students gain interview and physical examination skills early so the process is intuitive by the time they reach their clinical rotations.
Why is it important to teach this early?
I think a student needs the extra time to really master these skills and I believe it will help them with their board exams if they understand how the basic science knowledge applies to patient care. Our goal with this program is to raise the quality of the student experience in the preclinical years so they are better clerks and residents in the years that follow.