A Comprehensive Training Portal for Clinicians Serving At-Risk Populations

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Assistant Professor Davoren Chick (Internal Medicine and Medical Education) won the Provost's Teaching Innovation Prize in 2014 for her project, A Comprehensive Training Portal for Clinicians Serving At-Risk Populations.

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TIP Winner: A Comprehensive Training Portal for Clinicians Serving At-Risk Populations
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Health Sciences
Internal Medicine and Medical Education
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Davoren Chick
Davoren Chick (Internal Medicine and Medical Education)
Although national accreditation standards expect clinicians to be aware of socioeconomic barriers that impact patient care, no national curriculum existed. A local needs assessment revealed that exposing U-M residents to an informal curriculum through training in underserved clinical settings resulted in no significantly improved knowledge of content essential to the care of the homeless and uninsured.
To fill this gap, an interprofessional group with members from medical education, nursing, social work, internal medicine, pediatrics, communications, and graphic design developed an interactive, web-based curriculum regarding public healthcare systems and bio-psychosocial care for at-risk populations. Designed to be highly scalable and to serve as an open source national resource, the curriculum is housed at a professionally designed website. Individualized learner dashboards guide users through 7 case-based modules, as well as a game that integrates core content into an enjoyable, low-risk learning experience. The modular format supports flexible implementation options, including small group learning. Educators may access a complete syllabus, implementation information, knowledge assessment tracking, and tools for clinical skills feedback, making this a turnkey training program that meets accreditation standards.
Preliminary quantitative outcome data demonstrate highly significant improvement in multiple choice exam scores following exposure to the modules and game.

Student Comments

“The majority of patients I see in a federally funded clinic are homeless, uninsured, noncompliant and burdened with multiple chronic health issues. If I hadn’t completed the curriculum, I would have been in over my head in terms of how to care for these patients.”
“The curriculum is exceptional and innovative, tailored remarkably well to provide concrete facts for students to consider in relation to what they see in their daily rounds.”
It filled “crucial gaps in my knowledge regarding how insurance, healthcare delivery models, and other external factors positively or negatively affect a patient’s chance of getting the health care they need. ” 
“Each of the topics is covered in depth at a level that shows how truly complex the issues are.”
“The questions in the modules present patient scenarios that are realistic and show the challenges and dilemmas involved.”
“The curriculum “has helped me identify barriers, connect with patients, identify illnesses that they are at higher risk for and that are normally not seen in the general population, and guide them through resources that they qualify for.”


Professor Chick is accepting this award on behalf of the Caring With Compassion team:

  • April Bigelow, PhD, ANP-BC – Adult Gerontological Primary Care
  • Nurse Practitioner Program
  • Jacob Seagull, PhD – Medical Education
  • Heather Rye, LMSW – Complex Care Management
  • Pamela Davis, MD – Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
  • Brent Williams, MD, MPH – Internal Medicine and Global REACH program
  • Creative design team at Michigan Creative
Above photo:
Davoren Chick (Internal Medicine and Medical Education)