By MICHELLE BROWN
BOYNTON BEACH —Not all fall classes begin this week in Palm Beach County. At Genesis Community Health, a class of medical residents has already begun its work treating patients in a unique and dynamic setting.
As part of a novel partnership between Genesis, Bethesda Health and Florida Atlantic University that began this month, 28 medical resident physicians are completing their required rotations, serving as part of the community clinic’s staff. They will examine, diagnosis and treat patients, while under the supervision and direction of Dr. Kenneth Poon, assistant professor of clinical biomedical science and associate program director of the FAU internal medicine residency.
Located on the campus of Bethesda Hospital East across from the emergency department, Genesis is an alternative resource for urgent care, as well as family care, routine check-ups, testing and examinations for under-insured patients or those with no insurance. Genesis also provides OB-GYN examinations, HIV/AIDS testing, chronic condition diagnosis and management, school- and sports-required exams, and dental care.
“Genesis serves a population with a wide variety of social and cultural statuses, largely under-privileged, with a significant amount of unmet health care needs,” said Poon. “Caring for patients in that setting offers the FAU internal medicine resident physicians a unique experience in understanding and addressing the dynamic between a patient’s individual socioeconomic barriers, healthcare needs, and surrounding healthcare infrastructure.”
“By forming strong relationships with their patients through continuity of care, applying evidence-based, medical decision-making – fostered by the College of Medicine – and supplying a little problem-solving ingenuity, we anticipate the training will mature residents into high quality physicians, who continue to evolve with the advancements in medicine and who are prepared to face challenges within the community and within the healthcare industry.”
Roger L. Kirk, president and CEO at Bethesda Health, said the partnership among Florida Atlantic University, Genesis and Bethesda provides many benefits for resident physicians and patients.
“By giving FAU’s resident physicians the opportunity to practice in a community hospital-based clinic with the highest commitment to quality, safety and medical outcomes, together, we can provide true community benefit for our patients, thus improving the health of our community,” Kirk said.
The residents’ program at Genesis is an extension of the Graduate Medical Education Consortium with FAU that was established in 2011 by Bethesda Health, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Tenet’s Delray Medical Center, St. Mary’s Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center. The consortium of healthcare providers furthered FAU’s commitment to increase much needed medical residency positions in Palm Beach County to ensure that the region will continue to have an adequate and well-trained physician workforce. Medical residencies take between three to seven years to complete depending on the specialty and are required as part of the training for medical school graduates to become board-certified physicians.
The consortium provides access to clinical settings for healthcare education, research and patient care services to support and enhance the college’s clinical training programs for residents. The consortium also helps ensure that all FAU medical students have the opportunity to interact with residents, a requirement of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the national organization that accredits U.S. and Canadian medical schools.