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The expansion of USA Health to include Mobile Diagnostic Center (USAMDC) – one of Mobile’s largest primary care groups – provides resident physicians greater access to subspecialty care as they complete rotations with rheumatologists at USAMDC.
In addition to Dr. Joseph Michalski, professor of internal medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a rheumatologist with USA Physicians Group, internal medicine residents with USA Health now have the opportunity to complete rotations with one of the four rheumatologists at USAMDC.
According to Dr. Luis Betancourt, an internal medicine resident with USA Health, the partnership with USAMDC has been very helpful for internal medicine residents thus far. “This collaboration has allowed us greater access to learn and become well-versed in how to approach problems related to rheumatology,” he said. Before, rheumatology was difficult to rotate through, as there was only one rheumatologist on staff.”
Dr. Betancourt recently completed a month-long rotation with Dr. Thomas Meyers, a rheumatologist with USA Mobile Diagnostic Center. “Dr. Meyers is very knowledgeable and was eager to teach,” he said. “Rheumatology is a very broad field that incorporates multiple subspecialties and I was able to learn a lot about how to approach rheumatic problems.”
Dr. Meyers emphasized the importance for residents to discover their own interests, which can be difficult to fully accomplish without observing an extensive offering of subspecialty medicine. “This collaboration introduces residents to rheumatology in its natural environment: an outpatient setting, seeing a collection of diseases of varying severity and complexity, observing and participating in the craft of understanding what patients’ needs are, and then tailoring a medical approach to accomplish the patient goals within the parameters of evidence-based medicine,” he said. “Residents need to experience how to interact, not only with patients with rheumatic diseases and their families, but also the clerical personnel, pharmaceutical industry, medical assistants and nurses.”
According to Dr. Meyers, the benefits of the partnership are two-fold. “For the rheumatologists, it requires articulating a rationale for what, through repetition and experience, has become almost automatic,” he said. “It requires an updating of a very mature perspective of medicine to a more youthful view. It is an excellent connection back to the medical school and eventually the staff as well.”
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