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EDITORS: The following news release concerns Iowa community physicians affiliated with the University of Iowa College of Medicine. For names of physicians in your area who work with medical students and residents, contact Lin Larson at the UI Office of Health Science Relations, (319) 335-9569.

Release: Immediate

UI College of Medicine hosts events for affiliated community physicians

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- They are, first and foremost, physicians, responsible for treating a wide range of health problems. But they are also teachers, training new doctors and other health care professionals. In this dual role, Iowa physicians affiliated with the University of Iowa provide an essential service to their communities, the state and the medical profession.

The scope of this service sometimes goes unnoticed, but last fall the UI College of Medicine began a series of events to support and recognize doctors who teach medical students and resident physicians in Iowa communities. These events continue with a faculty development meeting and recognition dinner in Waterloo, Wednesday, March 4.

"Thanks to the contributions of community physicians, we are able to provide Iowa with new generations of doctors who understand the challenges of community medicine," says Roger Tracy, director of the Office of Statewide Clinical Education Programs at the UI College of Medicine.

Community physicians play an important role in preparing new doctors, physician assistants and other health professionals. In recent years, the College of Medicine has revised its curriculum to include more experience for students in community-based settings -- settings that reflect the day-to-day realities of medical practice.

Cooperation with the college's regional medical education centers and their participating physicians have made this possible. Established in the 1970s as community-based residency programs, the centers now also coordinate medical student education, continuing education and other activities. UI-affiliated regional centers are based in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines, Mason City, Sioux City and Waterloo.

Physicians from each region volunteer their services as clinical instructors, bringing students and residents into their practices. Most practice general medicine, but some work in more specialized medical fields.

Teaching takes valuable time, especially in an era of increased market pressures for medical practices. The first faculty development program, titled "The One-Minute Preceptor: Five Skills for Clinical Teaching," focuses on strategies for making the most of limited time in busy practices.

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The college plans to eventually schedule two such programs each year at all regional sites. Similar development programs are planned for full- and part-time faculty who teach at the UI.

Participating physicians earn continuing education credits. The events are sponsored by the UI College of Medicine, the Northeast Iowa Medical Education Foundation, and the college's Office of Consultation and Research in Medical Education.

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