We are very pleased to announce that the San Diego Health & Faith Alliance will be the clinical training setting for the development of a new Spirituality and Medicine Curriculum for UCSD School of Medicine, made possible by an award from the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health.
The UCSD Family Medicine Residency Training Program is one of four national recipients of The 2006 GWish Spirituality and Medicine Awards for Curriculum Development for Primary Care Residency Training Programs. This prestigious award is given by the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (www.GWish.org) and The John Templeton Foundation (http://www.templeton.org/spirituality_and_health/index.asp), to support the development of courses that enable resident physicians to learn how to incorporate spiritual considerations into their patient assessment, treatment, and ongoing care.
The Faculty for the UCSD Spirituality and Medicine Curriculum:
The Course Director is Margaret E. McCahill, M.D., who is a Founding Director of the UCSD Combined Family Medicine-Psychiatry Residency Program and a Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry at UCSD School of Medicine. Additional faculty members include:
John L. Gillman, Ph.D., Lecturer, San Diego State University, and a CPE Supervisor at VITAS Innovative Hospice Care. Dr. Gillman is certified both by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. and the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
Barbara Quinn, RSCJ, M.Div., D.Min., Director of the Center for Christian Spirituality (CCS), at the University of San Diego (USD).
Other faculty members at UCSD School of Medicine will be joining the team.
The setting for curriculum development:
The UCSD Combined Family Medicine-Psychiatry Residency Program provides an ideal setting in which to begin a curriculum on Spirituality and Medicine at UCSD School of Medicine. The 10 "combined residents" (and the 4 dual-board certified, Family Physician-Psychiatrist faculty members who work with them) have their primary clinic in a licensed community clinic that provides free health care to those with no other access to care, the uninsured and homeless community of San Diego. It was out of that setting that the residency training program developed the now three year old "San Diego Health & Faith Alliance." (www.sandiegohealthandfaith.org)
The San Diego Health & Faith Alliance is a collaboration of schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, marriage & family therapy (MFT), and the San Diego area training programs in Clinical Pastoral Education, or CPE (www.acpe.edu). The goal of the San Diego Health & Faith Alliance (SDH&FA) is to train resident physicians, student nurses, pharmacy trainees, MFT students, and CPE (chaplain) interns, working together as a team with on-site faculty supervision, providing free care to those who would otherwise not have access to care, and to do so in the context of a faith community - all of the SDH&FA clinical training sites are situated in churches, synagogues, or community service organizations. This innovative affiliation between UCSD Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, the San Diego Health & Faith Alliance, and local faith communities, provides a particularly optimal clinical setting for the resident physicians to apply the principles learned in our newly developing Spirituality and Medicine curriculum.
While the UCSD Combined Family Medicine-Psychiatry Residency Program will be the core group to begin the Spirituality and Medicine Curriculum, the traditional Family Medicine Residency at UCSD, the Scripps-Chula Vista Family Medicine Residency, and the UCSD-SDSU Preventive Medicine Residency Programs will all be participants in the new curriculum as well. After the Spirituality and Medicine curriculum has started some initial work within the UCSD Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, it is our hope that we can make this curriculum available to other residency training programs in San Diego, and to the students at UCSD School of Medicine.
Curriculum Goals: We are developing a curriculum that will offer the resident physicians in all of our residency training programs the opportunity to develop their expertise and comfort in talking with patients about their spiritual strengths, beliefs, and needs, and thus enable the trainees to be more compassionate physicians. The residents will also be encouraged to explore and improve their understanding of their own spirituality.
Curriculum Status: In the fall of 2006, we will begin with focus group meetings of residents, faculty and medical students; proceed with Grand Rounds presentations and Panel Discussions with local and national experts; incorporate assessment of spirituality into the Electronic Medical Record and charting, and incorporate CPE trainees into our clinical team. We will also encourage both faculty and residents (starting with the San Diego Health & Faith Alliance clinical training sites) to attend to the spiritual aspects of their patients in their active precepting. Participation in the curriculum will be expected of all residents in our affiliated programs, and there is very strong faculty support. Check back on our website for announcements of the dates and locations of guest speakers and other important curricular offerings!