Community Health and Family Medicine

Medical Student Wellness Research

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Kristy Smith
Phone Number: (352) 219-1880
Project Category: Clinical
International Component or Travel: No

Research Project Description:
This is an IRB approved, non funded research project. Data collection has been completed over the past 2 years. The medical student would help review the data with the co-PIs, Drs. Lisa Merlo and Kristy Smith, and write up 1-2 articles with the goal of publication.

Objective or purpose of innovation
To evaluate if development of a wellness curriculum can improve medical student well-being (i.e., decrease depression, anxiety, stress, substance abuse and decrease stigma associated with seeking help for a mental illness).

Background, purpose and significance of study
Studies show 25% of medical students are depressed and half experience symptoms of burnout. The distress in students affects their professional behavior and is associated with illicit drug use, marital discord, poor physical health/self care, suicidal ideation, dropping out of medical school. Only about 20% of distressed medical students seek help on their own initiative. There are data supporting the benefit of individual interventions such as mindfulness , but results suggest that individual interventions have limited impact.

Instructional methods and materials used
At the UF COM, students are assigned to small “Collaborative Learning Groups” (CLG) consisting of 8 students and a faculty member, which were created to provide a supportive environment for students throughout medical school and to help identify students in distress. The CLG curriculum is being modified to incorporate more wellness-related content and activities. The curriculum includes both guest lectures as well as interactive exercises related to study skills, time management, stress management, mindfulness techniques, resilience training, cognitive behavioral therapy skills, substance abuse, and addressing stigma for seeking help for a mental illness.

Educational outcomes
Students may benefit from a longitudinal wellness curriculum. It may improve their insight into their personal signs of poor well-being. Recognizing poor well-being is the first step to seeking help, and these students may be more likely to access needed mental health services as a result of their study participation. The interventions will not be randomized so it may be difficult to assess individual interventions and their benefit to students. Other schools may not have the small group setting on a weekly basis with a faculty member which allows for this type of intervention.

To Be Determined

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Professor Lauren Solberg
Phone Number: (352) 273-5142
Project Category: Literature Review
International Component or Travel: No

Research Project Description:
Research projects can be developed in accordance with student interest in various areas of bioethics and law. The project type is selected as literature review, but note that any variety of projects can be completed. Contact me to talk more and we can develop a project that can be accomplished during the summer.

What do Patients Need from Family Medicine Physicians

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Velyn Wu
Phone Number: (904) 655-3839
Project Category: CQI
International Component or Travel: No

Research Project Description:
This project can accept up to four medical students to work as a team to accomplish the aims of this study. Students will conduct chart review and telephone interviews. The US healthcare system incurs high cost and has poor patient outcomes compared to other countries. One of the health disparity gaps identified is access to a personal physician. A potential gap is how well family medicine physicians are providing health care services to meet the needs of society. The range of services that family medicine physicians are trained to provide is broad, spanning from the clinical, behavioral, social and political arenas for the entire age spectrum of life. The purpose of this project is to explore the current healthcare needs of patients and the scope of practice provided by family physicians. This study involves: 1) Conducting a healthcare needs assessment of patients in the North Florida region, specifically those served by the physicians in the Community Health and Family Medicine department. 2) Surveying current physicians and graduates of the Family Medicine residency program for scope of practice provided to patients.