Coming back from the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine meeting in Vancouver, BC. Lots of buzz, excitement, fear, concern about the “new law” and the implications for healthcare. I always find this a very energizing meeting and this time was no different. I had the opportunity to share a project that our residency program is doing with the Mobile Housing Board around chronic disease self-care in elderly residents of an independent living facility near our office. My co-presenters were Brian Halstater of Duke and Lisa Weiss of Youngstown Ohio who shared what their residents are doing in the community as well. The Duke program I have been following with interest for a while and I remain impressed (funny what tobacco money and guilt will make you do). I was blown away by what Lisa is doing in Youngstown. Her program is in a town with 20% unemployment, the hospital is in a poor financial situation, many of her residents are not from the area (or even the country) but they are out in the community providing care, educating the healthcare TEAM about their own community, and working with the hospital to obtain needed care for folks who have no coverage.

Teaching community medicine in a family medicine residency program requires a certain mindset. One mindset is to shoot to be above the floor. Another mindset is to shoot for the ceiling. STFM is a bunch of people describing their efforts to reach that ceiling. Lisa Weiss of Forum Health/Western Reserve Care System Family Medicine Residency Program is awfully close.