I was pleased to read a student impression of the National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. I go almost every year and am impressed by the student interest and the efforts of those of us in Family Medicine to get students to the conference. This year South Alabama sent 11 students to the conference and they all seemed to come away with good knowledge about the specialty and an excitement about Family Medicine. The Medical RNinja reported on one session on the Patient Centered Medical Home where prospective residents were given a list of questions to ask prospective programs when interviewing. It is a very good list, so good that I will reproduce it below and encourage anyone applying for Family Medicine residencies to look at it before your interviews…

Access to Care

1. How does your practice provide patient-centered enhanced access (e.g., evening or weekend hours, open-access (same day) scheduling, e-visits)?

Electronic Health Records

1. What aspects of your medical home are electronic (e.g., medical records, order entry, e-prescriptions)?

2. Does your practice use a Personal Health Record that allows patients to communicate their medical history from home to the healthcare team?

Population Management

1. Do you use patient registries to track your patients with chronic diseases and monitor for preventive services that are due?

2. Does your practice use reminder systems to let patients know when they are due for periodic testing (e.g., screening colonoscopy, PAP smear, mammogram) or office visits (e.g., annual exam)?

Team-Based Care

1. Who comprises your medical home team and how do they work together to deliver comprehensive care to your patients?

2. What services can non-physician members of the team (nurse practitioners, medical assistants, social workers, etc.) provide for patients (e.g., diabetic education, asthma education)? How do you train them and ensure competency?

Continuous Quality Improvement

1. How do you monitor and work to improve the quality of care provided in your medical home?

2. How do you monitor your ability to meet patients’ expectations (e.g., patient satisfaction surveys)?

3. Are residents involved in helping to enhance practice quality and improve systems innovations?

Care Coordination

1. How does your practice ensure care coordination with specialists and other providers?

2. How does your practice ensure seamless transitions between the hospital and outpatient environment?

Innovative Services

1. What procedural services are offered in your medical home (e.g., obstetrical ultrasound, treadmill stress testing, x-rays)?

2. Does your medical home provide group visits (e.g., prenatal group visit)?