Friday, October 17, 2014

SMAs at FHCOE, an Early Clinical Experience

FLASHBACK SERIES: Blog posts written during my medical school days at Pacific Northwest University - College of Osteopathic Medicine

by Kim Ha Wadsworth, OMS I

It is a typical Wednesday afternoon at the Family Health Care of Ellensburg (FHCOE). Eight pre-diabetic patients sit comfortably in a semicircle, chatting with ease among themselves while waiting for the start of their "Shared Medical Appointment" (SMA) with Dr. Byron Haney, MD, founder of FHCOE. In the front of the room, a large LCD touch screen monitor displays each patient’s name, age, gender, vital signs, blood test results, relevant history on smoking, aspirin prophylaxis, and health care maintenance tasks. A female medical assistant sits quietly off to the side, ready to enter information into the EMR system on her laptop and to order any Rx or additional tests. Myriad questions pop into my head: Why are patients willing to share their medical stats to the entire group? Will they openly discuss their progress and health goals with others present? How will Dr. Haney manage his different roles in such a group setting—medical expert, advocate, educator, facilitator, supporter?