Residency Program Practicum Training: Northport Veterans Administration Medical Center
The Northport Veterans Administration Medical Center (NVAMC), a 353-bed tertiary care facility with a 120-bed nursing home, offers acute and chronic medical, surgical, and psychiatric care to 270,000 veterans on LI. Inpatient programs are complemented by a community-based, extended-care program and primary care program, which has enrolled 20,000 patients who make some 200,000 clinic visits annually. The education program within the medical center includes in-service professional and administrative training as well as 23 residency programs, including subspecialties and dentistry. The HSC’s School of Medicine has accepted primary responsibility for staff and faculty recruitment for psychiatric, medical, surgical, and preventive medicine services at the NVAMC, and a large number of the clinical staff members hold faculty appointments within the HSC. The medical center is also affiliated with 50 other educational institutions that offer varied teaching programs in 14 allied health professions. In this setting, preventive medicine residents are exposed to and become familiar with the role and training of a wide array of health disciplines. The medical center is also designated as one of 5 nationwide Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers in the VA system. A Northport Employee Education Resource Center serving the continuing education needs in the northeast regional VAMC and encompassing programs in clinical education on a national level is located at Northport. Beginning in 1992, the primary care program incorporated a wide range of preventive medicine services, including the early detection and treatment of hypertension, colon cancer, cervical cancer, diabetes, glaucoma, hypercholesterolemia, and breast cancer; as well as counseling on diet/nutrition, alcohol abuse, tobacco, and exercise. There is also a focus on preventive cardiology. The preventive services offered to the ever increasing number of female veterans include breast examinations, mammograms, breast self-exam teaching, Pap smears, and identification of risk factors for osteoporosis. The medical center has received a training grant that supports primary care residents within a variety of disciplines, including preventive medicine, internal medicine, oral pathology, podiatry, optometry, and advanced nurse practice. The Primary Care in Medical Education (PRIME) project is designed to educate resident physicians, allied health residents and trainees, and staff members about primary care.