Duke University Medical Center has been a partner of the OMI since 1995, focusing on the topics of community healthcare and family practice. Faculty from the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health conducted the 23rd OMI Family Medicine seminar this year, which took place April 3 to 9, 2022. 34 fellows from 21 various countries gathered at Schloss Arenberg in Salzburg, Austria.
Dr. John W. Ragsdale III, Division Chief at the Duke University Medical Center, served as the course director for the week. Dr. Kathryn Hoffmann, Associate Professor and Head of Unit Health Services Research and Telemedicine in Primary Care at the Medical University of Vienna, co-directed the course. Expert faculty included Dr. Teah M. Bayless, Dr. Jonathan E. Fischer, Dr. Maria de la Cruz Gomez Pellin, Dr. Gregory Sawin, and Dr. Nancy Weigle.
The family medicine seminar is based on a three-year age-related curriculum: maternal and infant health, adult medicine, and geriatrics. This year’s course focused on geriatrics, with core areas emphasizing impairments of cognition, the approach to end-of-life care, selected problems of the elderly including hypertension, cancer, weight loss, falls, and nausea, as well as systems-based care and practice improvement including deprescribing, motivational interviewing, and information mastery.
The faculty compiled a compelling schedule for the fellows, including 19 didactic lectures featuring topics such as Primary Care in Europe, Prostate Cancer, Cognitive Screening, Hypertension in the Elderly, Delirium, and more. Small group workshops were held on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons, including discussions on Motivational Interviewing, Difficult Conversations, and Fellows’ Case Presentations. These workshops offered a very interactive, personal environment for faculty and fellows to interact with one another, exchanging feedback, ideas, and knowledge. Four cases were selected by faculty as excellent case presentations, which will be published on the OMI Online Case Library.
Wednesday afternoon enabled fellows to enjoy a much-needed break, many of whom used the sunny afternoon to explore the beauty and culture of Salzburg city. The faculty also explored a Salzburg highlight by taking an excursion to the Salt mines in Hallein. A chamber music concert was held at Schloss Arenberg on Thursday evening, allowing faculty and fellows to experience the true magic of classical music, right here in the city of Mozart. Last but not least, Friday evening closed the seminar week with a graduation ceremony and a formal dinner for all.
I took part in an eye-opening workshop on difficult conversations. We did multiple role plays and I felt myself improving each time we practiced. I can’t wait to try to use all this knowledge back home and to share it with my colleagues.
When I signed up for this seminar, I never thought that this would be one of the best experiences of my career thus far.