Blaine Cunningham of Richmond Hill, a fourth-year student in the Mercer University School of Medicine Doctor of Medicine program, will be spending the next four weeks in her hometown assisting local physician Dr. Keith Seibert as a part of community-based medical training required by Mercer.
Filling the role of a community medicine preceptor for the medical school, Seibert will provide office-based and community experiences that augment medical education with real-world situations.
Students participate in these required preceptorships in order to learn more about community medicine, the impact of family dynamics on health, interviewing techniques and patient care, as well as disease prevention and health promotion.
This will be the third time Cunningham has worked with Seibert. The visits during the first year (two weeks) and second year (four weeks) allowed Cunningham to complete and update assessments of two families, conduct a community needs assessment, complete a chronic disease management report and provide clinical care to the preceptor’s patients.
During this four-week visit, Cunningham will continue the longitudinal experience that began in the first year. The student prepares a practice management report, which determines the feasibility of beginning or joining a medical practice in the community, or completes an alternative population health project of the student’s design and choosing.
During this four-week block in the senior year, about 80 percent of the rotation is allocated to clinical activities.
These community placements demonstrate the commitment of Mercer School of Medicine to its mission of providing medical care for rural and medically underserved areas in Georgia.
The Medical School operates two four-year campuses. Clinical experiences for Macon students are provided by the Medical Center of Central Georgia, while in Savannah, Memorial University Health Center partners with Mercer for training and educational needs.