The Longitudinal Patient Care (LPC) course/Community Health Mentor program spans years 3 and 4 of the medical curriculum. Students are placed into interprofessional teams and paired with an adult with a chronic medical condition who will act as their community health mentor. The students work as a team throughout the first year of the LPC to learn from their mentor about their experiences in health care and changing health care needs over time in the context of the person's community, socioeconomic situation and family. During the second year of LPC, students maintain phone contact with their community health mentor and discuss telephone medicine, health information, social work and case management, culturally sensitive care and transitioning of care, as well as reflections of the encounters with their community health mentor. The goals of this program include:
- Understanding the experience of a patient with a chronic medical condition.
- Identifying and observing how a person's health care values, goals and medical needs evolve over time.
- Understanding of a patient in the context of his or her family, cultural and ethnic setting, socioeconomics and community.
- Understanding and utilizing an interprofessional team based patient centered model of health care.
This program provides a valuable opportunity for active participation of other health professions students in this interprofessional curriculum.