DFM Programs & Research
The Boston Healing Landscape Project, located in the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, has since 2001 been examining how the therapeutic landscape of the U.S. has changed in corresponding ways. This richly textured world of healing represents the new face of culturally and religiously grounded complementary and alternative medicine in America.
The Distance Education for Health (DEH) Unit at the Department of Family Medicine is committed to providing quality education and training to medical professionals and educators worldwide. We use an innovative approach to the instructional design of our courses and we rely on a wide range of media and technology to meet the needs of our learners. Please browse our site to learn more about DEH and what we do. If you have questions, or if you are interested in our services, please contact us.
Through the creation of the Global Health Primary Care Initiative (GHPCI) in July of 2007, the Department of Family Medicine has reaffirmed its commitment to improving health access and providing primary care services for the underserved around the world.
The Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Care Disparities is part of the Department of Family Medicine at Boston Medical Center. Created in 2004, the integrative medicine program includes a collaboration of clinical services, research, and medical students/resident education. Our mission is to use integrative medicine to improve the health of our patients regardless of income; advance the evidence-base for complementary and alternative therapies–specifically for underserved populations–through research and dissemination; and promote the adoption of the integrative health care model through medical student and resident education.
The MedDebt Project at the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University Medical School is designed to help students understand the feasibility of entering a career in primary care despite having significant loan repayment obligations. Free personalized financial plans and one-on-one advisory sessions are available to any BUSM student and BMC resident.
Preconception Care is the effort to improve the health of women before pregnancy in the hopes of improving pregnancy outcome. Simply put, healthier women have healthier babies. It is a broad collection of health topics, ranging from family planning, specific medical conditions (e.g. Diabetes), and preventive behaviors (e.g. folic acid supplementation and immunizations).
Dr. Brian Jack, Professor and Chair of Family Medicine, has lead a transdisciplinary research team for more than five years, investigating the impact of a health information technology (HIT) system that features an embodied conversational agent, “Gabby.” She works with young African American women to help them learn more about and resolve their personal preconception risks. The program is specifically for African American women due to the disparities in birth outcomes, including low birth weight and preterm birth. The team is currently working on multiple projects, including an RCT to recruit 530 women to test the “Gabby” system, and development of a Preconception Care System for Men.
Project Re-Engineered Discharge is a research group at Boston University Medical Center that develops and tests strategies to improve the hospital discharge process in a way that promotes patient safety and reduces re-hospitalization rates. The RED intervention is founded on 12 discrete, mutually reinforcing components and has been proven to reduce rehospitalizations and yields high rates of patient satisfaction. Project RED has started to implement the re-engineered discharge at other hospitals serving diverse patient populations. We are also looking at the transnational needs, from inpatient to outpatient care, of specific populations (i.e., those with depressive symptoms). Additionally we have a patient-centered project to create a tool that hospitals can use to discover factors (i.e., medical legal, social, behavioral, etc.) in patients’ readmissions.
A gift from Robert L. and Sharon G. Ryan, the Ryan Center houses our Sports Medicine & Related Services practice which provides exceptional service to clients who reap the benefits of a full continuum of care operating in one building. Programming includes orthopaedics, sports medicine, radiology, physical therapy, athletic training, nutrition, and family medicine, as well as post-rehab training and prevention. Sargent College students are also encouraged to take advantage of the resources available in the Ryan Center to build on their academic coursework with clinical experience.
Using Virtual Worlds for Diabetes Self Management Support-Women in Control 2.0
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in the US is disproportionately high among minority women. In order to participate as partners in healthcare, patients need self-management support provided by effectively trained teams of clinicians. In practice, the actual delivery of this care model is fraught with challenges that limit the efficacy and uptake of evidence-based care. Therefore, there is great need for innovative approaches to education and training in chronic disease management. While evidence shows the potential for Internet-based learning programs for diabetes self-management, to date, little work suggests that virtual reality technology changes the landscape of health education and patient empowerment, inspiring a paradigm shift in the patient-clinician relationship and the way we deliver healthcare. We now aim to demonstrate how the unique, untapped affordances of virtual world platforms support minority women with uncontrolled DM and their clinical teams in achieving better health outcomes and quality of life.
The Department of Family Medicine (DFM) at Boston Medical Center was established in 1997 with a dual clinical and academic mission. Clinically, our mission is to provide both comprehensive primary care and continuity of care in our inpatient service. Simultaneously, we aim to build the academic infrastructure for Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), including a post-graduate training program for Family Medicine residents. The goal of DFM is to strengthen the relationship of BMC with the community it serves by providing a model for partnership between the hospital-based inpatient service and the community health centers. In 2011, the Family Medicine HealthNet Inpatient Service started being housed on an entire unit of BMC. This physical and temporal continuity has fostered a more supportive interpersonal and professional environment, allowed for more rapid and frequent exchange of information between providers, and led to improvements in our interdisciplinary learning environment.