School of Medicine and Griffin Hospital sign five-year clinical affiliation agreement

Griffin
From left: Dr. Bruce Koeppen, founding dean of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine; Patrick Charmel, president and CEO of Griffin Hospital.

Oct. 15, 2013 - The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine and Griffin Hospital of Derby have reached a five-year clinical affiliation agreement, Dr. Bruce Koeppen, founding dean of the medical school, announced today.

Under the agreement, Quinnipiac's medical students will complete clinical rotations with required supervision at Griffin Hospital beginning in the summer of 2015, and physicians working with the students will be appointed clinical professors at the School of Medicine.

"We are excited about and look forward to working with Griffin Hospital as we build the clinical components of our curriculum," Koeppen said. "Its Planetree model of health care delivery, which organizes care around the needs of patients, will provide a valuable and unique experience for our students."

President and CEO of Griffin Hospital Patrick Charmel said, "We are pleased to join the educational affiliation network being formed by Quinnipiac University for its Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine. This new affiliation, coupled with our ongoing role as a clinical site for students from the Quinnipiac University School of Health Sciences and the Quinnipiac University School of Nursing, will only serve to strengthen our relationship, which benefits from the close proximity of our campuses as well as our shared commitment to health and medical education. We look forward to offering students a unique educational experience by exposing them to the principles of patient-centered care that are the foundation of Griffin's Planetree model."

Griffin Hospital joins the medical school's other clinical affiliates, St. Vincent's Medical Center of Bridgeport, which is the medical school's principal clinical partner, MidState Medical Center of Meriden, Middlesex Hospital of Middletown, Waterbury Hospital and Jewish Senior Services, The Jewish Home of Fairfield. Hartford Hospital is a research partner of the medical school. 

Charmel said he's particularly impressed with Quinnipiac's commitment to interprofessional education, which provides students with opportunities to develop knowledge and skills through both self-directed and collaborative efforts in which teamwork, cooperation, collegiality and mutual respect are essential components of the learning process.

"The medical school's commitment to preparing medical students to pursue primary care is consistent with Griffin Hospital's commitment to primary care and preventive medicine graduate medical education training," Charmel said. 

Educating primary care physicians is a major focus of the medical school. To address the escalating shortage of primary care doctors, the School of Medicine has established the Institute for Primary Care. The institute encourages physicians to enter primary care, which encompasses the full breadth of patient services, including disease prevention, health maintenance and acute and chronic care for physical and mental illness.

One of the cornerstones of the new medical school is the Medical School Home Program, which Koeppen calls a "new model for medical education to attract primary care physicians." It is also among the school's innovations to change almost every aspect of medical education, ranging from admissions to curriculum development. Even the architecture was designed to link the medical school with the School of Health Sciences to promote team-based care and interdisciplinary interactions. 

Each member of the medical school's charter class of 60 students has been assigned a primary care physician and will begin working in their offices later this month.

"The United States faces a terrible shortage of primary care physicians--only 12 percent of medical school graduates chose primary care," said Dr. Hal Kaplan, who oversees the Medical School Home Program. "We have 60 students who want to become primary care physicians, and the Medical School Home Program is a key component of the curriculum that will turn these students into excellent physicians. If after four years even half the class remains in primary care that will be four times the national average."