McLaren Flint Improves Patient Care Through Unique Education Programs

Medical Residents Play Important Role at the Bedside

Author: Sherry Farney

A rich history of providing high quality, compassionate health care began for McLaren Flint more than 100 years ago when it was a small women’s hospital. Decades later the now 378-bed tertiary teaching facility serves the medical needs of residents in greater Genesee County and surrounding communities. Among the biggest changes in health care delivery over the years was the introduction of medical education, a way of providing hands-on patient care experience to physicians in their residency and fellowship programs.

McLaren Flint is affiliated with Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and remains committed to supporting Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs with the belief that educating future physicians is an integral part of furthering its mission to be the best value in health care as defined by quality outcomes and cost.

The hospital’s Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited programs are sponsored by McLaren Health Care Corporation with over 100 graduate medical education trainee physicians in cardiology, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, vascular surgery, orthopaedic surgery, cardiovascular disease, minimally invasive surgery, and surgical breast oncology at McLaren Flint. In addition, McLaren Flint sponsors the McLaren Center for Advanced Psychology Training (MICAPT), an APA-accredited postdoctoral fellowship in clinical health psychology.

Trainees may have ambulatory care experiences as part of their education in a McLaren Flint ambulatory surgery center and/or primary care continuity clinic. These places include the McLaren Surgery Center, McLaren Flint Family Medicine Residency Center, and Internal Medicine Residency Group Practice (IMRGP).

McLaren Flint offers a unique GME experience not only to the learners, but also to patients. With resident physicians in multiple specialties McLaren Flint offers patients a rich academic like atmosphere without having to travel to another city. Resident physicians at McLaren Flint consistently excel at meeting the academic rigor of training while providing best in class compassionate patient care.

“The diverse training that occurs at McLaren Flint allows resident physicians to follow their interest and passion in medicine with mentorship from faculty and leadership,” said Erin Reis, EdD, MBA, FACHE, C-TAGME, Associate DIO, Director of Medical Education. “Depending on the passion and interest that each resident physician has, McLaren Flint has been successful at matching these passions and interests to meaningful experiences in our community and beyond.

“Resident physicians from our training programs have had a wide range of interests from population health and serving our community at events such as the Latino Health Fair, Ask the doctor at Flint Public Schools, and serving at the Genesee County Free Clinic, to obtaining prestigious fellowships at institutions such as Mayo Clinic and Harvard.”

McLaren Flint GME training programs have dedicated faculty and medical staff. These providers are proactive in teaching, accepting of residents into their private practices, influencers of research, providers of formal and real time presentations, career mentorship, and providing unmatched experiences. The GME programs at McLaren Flint continue to excel in research, board, passage, high value care, population health, and patient satisfaction. Residents and programs are consistently winning awards at national conferences and are highly sought after by graduates across the globe.

“The dedication of the faculty and medical staff was apparent during the pandemic,” said Reis. “The residents at McLaren Flint stepped up to be on the front line in the hospital caring for those Covid patients that were the most ill. Residents across multiple specialties banded together to create a deployment schedule that ensured every Covid patient had a doctor onsite with them 24 hours a day.

“The residents and fellows that were energized by doing this work volunteered to be part of the deployment teams and McLaren Flint and its patients remain grateful for their service during the waves of Covid. In addition, the Clinical Health Psychology Program stepped up to address healthcare worker wellness during this time by offering daily floor rounding and staff check ins, group sessions, prerecorded tips to staying well during this time, and resources. They have remained accessible to staff ever since.”

Looking to the future, McLaren Flint is currently in an exciting program growth phase.

“In addition to our current programs we are looking at a five-year plan of expanding programs to raise the bar within our institution,” said Reis. “We are in the process of applying for an interventional cardiology program and a pulmonary and critical care fellowship. Adding these programs will enhance our educational offerings and allow for an even more robust patient care experience.”

Interested medical students can learn more, or apply to McLaren Flint’s program here.