University of Vermont

Ob/Gyn, Family Medicine Clerkship Programs Recognized with 2013 Awards

John Caravello
UVM Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences John Caravello, M.D., who is OB/Gyn clerksip director at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, a clinical education partner with the UVM College of Medicine, accepted the award for best overall clerkship, which was presented this week to the St. Mary’s OB/Gyn clerkship on behalf of UVM medical students.

Somewhere in between the Oscars and RateMyProfessor.com lays the University of Vermont College of Medicine Clerkship Awards, An opportunity for the Office of Medical Education to recognize outstanding clerkships, these honors are based on student evaluation data rating training experiences at UVM’s four clinical affiliate sites, which include Vermont’s Fletcher Allen Health Care, Danbury Hospital in Conn., St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine.

UVM’s Class of 2014 began Clinical Clerkships in March 2012 after completion of the 20-month-long Foundations level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum. The core clerkships emphasize the basic principles of clinical medicine, including primary and preventive care, while building clinical skills for students through daily care of patients within different medical specialties in both ambulatory and hospital environments.

At the end of the clerkship year, the College’s Office of Medical Student Education uses the survey data from the CourseEval system to rate student perception of their many clerkship experiences. Based on these evaluations, the top program is recognized with the “Best Clerkship of the Year Award.” In 2012, St. Mary’s Medical Center’s departments of obstetrics/gynecology and surgery shared this award.

At the St. Mary’s Medical Center’s June 11, 2013 medical staff meeting, Tania Bertsch M.D., UVM associate dean for clinical education, presented St. Mary’s obstetrician/gynecologists John Caravello, M.D., Nadia Pierre, M.D., Lisa Sanches, M.D., Desmond Thomas, M.D., and Patricia Harding M.D., with an award plaque honoring St. Mary’s obstetrics/gynecology program as the best overall clerkship for 2013. In addition, Jesse Moore, M.D., UVM assistant professor of surgery and director of the surgery clerkship, presented St. Mary’s surgeon Robert Borrego, M.D., with the Howe Outstanding Teacher Award at the medical staff dinner, which elicited a standing ovation from the St. Mary physicians and staff. The Howe Award was jointly received by John Fortune, M.D., UVM professor of surgery and Fletcher Allen surgeon, who was honored with the award at the UVM College of Medicine’s Honors Night in May.

Each affiliate site’s best clerkship also received recognition. This year, family medicine won as the favorite clerkship at both Fletcher Allen Health Care and Eastern Maine Medical Center, along with obstetrics/gynecology as the best clerkship at Danbury Hospital. This week, Fletcher Allen’s Department of Family Medicine will recognize two faculty preceptors with its Teacher of the Year Award – Michael Corrigan, M.D., a family medicine specialist with a practice in Swanton, Vt., and Carl Flynn, M.D., who practices in Caribou, Maine (part of the Vermont clerkship). According to Martha Seagrave, PA-C, UVM assistant professor and director of medical student education programs in the department of family medicine, the family medicine orientation included as part of each site’s family medicine clerkship is highly regarded by students, who particularly appreciate how well the session is organized.

Some of the comments submitted by medical students during the rating process highlighted faculty members’ enthusiastic teaching style and engagement, patient education skills, service as both physician and community member role models, and provision of mixed learning opportunities and helpful feedback.