Department of Family Medicine
"Our research is focused on clinical care issues and their interactions with community and population health."
Interim Director of Research
The Department of Family Medicine's faculty engages medical students and residents in systematic investigation and reporting by creating new knowledge solutions to patient care and community health problems.
The program has strong ties with health services researchers throughout the College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care. It is well connected with innovative work underway in the State of Vermont to restructure primary health care delivery systems and utilize comprehensive health information systems for quality improvement and research.
Departmental resources include consultation on research design and methods, human subjects review issues, and data analysis and reporting. Faculty members have experience with external research funding.
Faculty research in the Department is focused on clinical care issues primarily, and some faculty have concentrated their efforts on community and population health issues. Research activity in both areas is stimulated by multiple factors in a rapidly changing health care and population health environment, including:
- expansion of the Family Medicine clinical system
- statewide innovation in primary care delivery based on the Patient-Centered Medical Home model
- a new emphasis on health services and community health research in the College
- new health data systems in Vermont that integrate clinical, insurance, administrative, and public health data
Current and past faculty research topics include:
- Rural AIDS Epidemiology and Health Care Delivery Models
- Domestic Violence as a Public Health Issue
- Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of Genetics
- Physical Activity Among 3-5 Year Olds in Childcare Centers
- Optimizing the Value of Breast Cancer Screening
- Informed Decision-Making about Lifestyle Change for Pre-Diabetic Patients
Medical Student Research
Medical students have several opportunities to participate in and initiate research projects throughout their medical education.
- Year 2 students collaborate in leadership groups to design and complete a community health research project.
- Year 3 students design and complete a community project as part of their Family Medicine clerkship experience.
- Senior students can pursue a research interest or do collaborative research with a FM resident as their scholarly project option
- Individual research projects can be supported with Departmental resources for students with an interest in primary care research.
Projects completed by Year 2 students under the direction of Jan Carney, MD, MPH, Associate Dean for Public Health, and other faculty mentors in 2010, and presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association, included:
- Bisphenol A and Phthalates: Public Knowledge and Risk Perception.
- Alcohol Misuse in Elderly Care Facilities in Chittenden County, Vermont.
- Assessing Barriers to Utilization of Adult Day Care Centers in a Rural County.
- Are Mandates the Answer? Improving Palliative Care and Pain Management.
- Identifying Barriers to Health Care in the Burmese and Bhutanese Refugee Populations of Burlington, Vermont.
- Assessing Health Concerns and Obstacles to Diesel Exposure Reduction in Vermont Diesel Operators.
Family Medicine Residents are encouraged to develop research projects during their second and third years. New research opportunities and resources have become available to residents with the introduction in the Family Medicine clinical network of the Vermont Blueprint for Health Patient-Centered Medical Home model, increased resources for community health interventions, and electronic medical records with patient population management systems.
Past research projects completed by Family Medicine Residents have included:
- Youth Garden and School Nutrition
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Breastfeeding Education and Support
- Nutrition and Healthy Body Image for Girls on the Run participants
- Frontier Medicine - Triaging in a Remote Setting
- AED program implementation in schools
- Colorectal and Prostate Cancer Screening and Medical Malpractice
- Uninsured Farm Worker Clinic: Reducing Barriers to Care
- Attacking Obesity in Just 15 Minutes
Last modified August 13 2012 10:02 AM