Training the Next Generation of Leaders in Clinical Preventive Services
When Anita Petit-Homme learned about the opportunity to be a part of a training program for medical students at the Center for Advancing Equity in Clinical Preventive Services at Northwestern University, she jumped at the chance. This was one of the few on-campus opportunities for medical students to work on issues related to health inequity and disparities and to help improve care for underprivileged populations in the Chicago area.
The lead investigators at the center helped Petit-Homme design her research project, and then they let her run with it. She chose to examine rates of repeat fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) within an urban community health center network. (FOBT is a relatively low cost colorectal cancer screening test that is an alternative to a more invasive colonoscopy, but must be repeated annually to be effective.) She presented her findings at the Family Medicine Midwest Conference and helped author a paper that was published in the Journal of Community Health.1
In addition to working on her own project, Petit-Homme was also able to participate in other research projects being conducted at the center, which gave her exposure to a number of other researchers and studies. She especially appreciated that the Center investigators treated her like a colleague who had something valuable to contribute to the team.
According to Petit-Homme, this experience has changed what she thinks is possible for her career. She wants to do a residency program that is rooted in community engagement and continue to do community-based research. Now she is considering pursuing a research fellowship when she completes her residency. “This experience exceeded my expectations and introduced me to the clinician/research/advocate path that is consistent with my reasons for choosing medicine.”
For more about the Center for Advancing Equity in Clinical Preventive Services and its training programs, please visit their Web site: http://prevention-for-all.org.
1. Liss DT, Petit-Homme A, Feinglass J, Buchanan DR, Baker DW. Adherence to repeat fecal occult blood testing in an urban community health center network. J Community Health 2013 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]. Abstract on PubMed®: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23546555