New course will boost diabetes training

Family medicine hones its programs for residents through this course and a previous offering.

By Myrle Croasdale — Posted May 24, 2004

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Family medicine residents are queuing up for a day-and-a-half-long diabetes course months before it's offered for the first time.

Sometime this fall or early next year, the Assn. of Family Practice Residency Directors will debut the course on diabetes as part of its effort to teach family physicians to treat common diseases using evidence-based medicine. The first course in the series, "Better Bones," covered osteoporosis and was presented in 23 cities during 2003. It's scheduled for 10 more cities in 2004.

The "Preceptorship in Diabetes" will be presented over a three-year period at 45 locations yet to be determined. Any of the 10,000 family medicine residents can participate, and the programs will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cynthia W. Weber, executive director of AFPRD, said phone calls are coming in, even though members of the planning committee are still in the planning phase and aren't doing any promotion.

"We have a waiting list of residents," she said. "They liked our past program and heard we were doing this. We expected each program to fill to the maximum."

Class size is limited to 50 residents. Faculty training focused on ways to best teach about treating diabetic patients also will be offered. Copies of the diabetes curriculum will help residency programs reinforce what the residents learn during the course.

The sessions will feature lectures and breakout sessions with each of the presenting faculty members -- a family physician, an endocrinologist, a nutritionist and a patient educator.

Participants also will be part of a research project. Before they arrive, they'll do chart reviews of diabetic patients they're treating. Six months after the program, they'll do it again, and the data will be used to determine whether they are doing a better job. "If you learn best practices as a resident, you'll continue into private practice," Weber said.

The program is funded by a $7 million grant from Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc., a maker of medical products for diabetes.

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