FORT BENNING, GA – Who has the best Family Medicine Clerkship Site of the Year? We do! Uniformed Services University (USU) named Martin Army Community Hospital the best out of 14 such sites, across the Army, Navy and Air Force.
“The medical students were the ones who voted for the Clerkship Site award,” explained faculty member Capt. Ariel Hoffman. “That’s what’s neat about it. It’s really just where medical students felt the most comfortable and the most accepted and maybe learned the most.”
The USU is the nation’s federal health professions academy located in Bethesda, Md. Every year, the school sends about 10 medical students to BMACH, to complete their 3rd year family medicine rotation.
“Whenever students come here, we pair them up with residents in clinic,” said Hoffman. “They also get to rotate with us up on the inpatient floors … that’s medical surgery, icu (intensive care unit), as well as mother-baby and labor and delivery. So they get to see all aspects of the hospital. They are with the residents all the time.”
Hoffman conceded BMACH’s program does not differ from other Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) in that respect.
“They are going to get essentially the same type of experience. Most of the other MTFs are going to be about the same, where the students are with the residents, are with the faculty.”
Where BMACH shines, is the stress-free on-boarding streamlined by Graduate Medical Education administrator Tonia Wilson, Residency Coordinator Elizabeth St. Armour and Medical Education Assistant Leigh Wege.
“Whenever the students get here, they automatically get their badge, they already have their computer, they already have access to everything,” said Hoffman. “Students automatically on day one of their rotation, they are able to see patients with the residents. That really makes the process easy and you are not stressed about it.”
Hoffman also boasted about the “family” feel of BMACH’s Family Medicine Residency Program.
“Tuesday night Frisbee is our group PT (physical training). Faculty and residents go. Whenever we have medical students, they go. We make them a part of our family when they are here,” shared Hoffman. “And usually spouses and other family members go out there too and play. So it’s a nice team building, family bonding opportunity for all of us.”
“Our beautiful facilities also play a part in receiving this award,” continued Hoffman. “Obviously we are one of the newer hospitals and that makes the experience a lot better versus some of the older hospitals that are still around.”
All these factors combined means it’s the second time in recent years, BMACH was named the best USU Family Medicine Clerkship Site.
The hard work of BMACH’s residents also earned accolades at the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physician (USAFP) Annual Conference. Maj. Robert Buchanan and Capt. Ryan Coffey earned 2nd place for their case report on Sacral Plexopathy after Spontaneous Vaginal Delivery.
“Lumbosacral Plexopathy (lower extremity pain, in this case foot pain) is not commonly seen after vaginal delivery,” explained Hoffman. “It affects less than one out of 20,000 deliveries. So it’s on the more uncommon, rare side.
“What was unique about this case was the position the patient was in, high fowlers, is something that we commonly put our patients in.”
Buchanan and Coffey questioned whether regional anesthesia may have increased the chances of the relatively rare complication. They concluded providers should be aware of and try to minimize these risks during labor.
All that research has definitely paid off. BMACH Family Medicine Residency Program also won the Army Research Award.
“This award is given to the program which has the most scholarly activity amongst the seven family medicine programs in the Army,” said Hoffman. “It looks at both faculty and residents, any type of scholarly activity that any of us have done over the last academic year.”