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Institute for Primary Care Education and Practice

IPC Fellows and Preceptors attend a 
networking event during 
last year's retreat
The Institute for Primary Care Education and Practice (IPC) wrapped up a successful fall semester in November, including the addition of a fourth cohort of IPC fellows. This year, the IPC welcomed 28 new student fellows, including its first cohort of students from the South Carolina College of Pharmacy at MUSC.

To further students’ interest in primary care, the South Carolina AHEC in 2012 worked with leaders on the USC and MUSC academic campuses to establish the IPC. Initially funded for three years through The Duke Endowment, an IPC core team of faculty from the South Carolina AHEC and the universities identified medical, advanced practice nursing (APN), and physician assistant (PA) students early in their training who expressed interest in primary care careers. In 2015, the academic programs began funding for the IPC.  With the addition of the pharmacy students, the IPC now consists of 100 student fellows from six colleges and two universities.

Fellows from across the state connect by video for monthly seminars, which are recorded and made available on the South Carolina AHEC website. The IPC hosts an annual retreat with fellows, preceptors and faculty each spring featuring distinguished guest speakers and outstanding networking experiences for the fellows. Fellows from MUSC also can participate in two elective patient-centered courses that focus on the delivery of interprofessional primary care in a community setting.  

In 2015, an exit survey was sent to 27 graduating fellows to determine their level of involvement in IPC activities, the value of the IPC and the type of clinical practice they have entered upon graduation. One hundred percent of the responding graduating fellows (N=20) found the IPC to be of value and all plan to begin practice in primary care upon graduation. Fifty percent of the students indicated they intended to practice in family medicine, 20 percent in pediatrics, five percent in internal medicine and the remainder chose more than one of these primary care specialties.

Identification and support of practices and preceptors incorporating core competencies of interprofessional collaborative practice are vital to providing outstanding clinical experiences, particularly in rural and underserved communities. Currently, there is an interprofessional group of 34 primary care preceptors from family medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine who have joined the IPC. Excellent ambulatory care pharmacy preceptors are currently being recruited.  

Want to become an IPC preceptor? Contact randals@musc.edu for more information. For more information on the Institute for Primary Care Education and Practice or to view any of the recorded seminars, visit scahec.net/primarycare.

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