Cherokee Indian Hospital’s Dr. Blythe Sanders Winchester has been selected for the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Geriatric Medicine Fellowship, which is affiliated with the Department of Family Medicine of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. This program is fully accredited under the ACGME to provide this one year post-graduate education program for physicians who have completed their residency in family or internal medicine.
The Fellowship combines interactive workshops and community based clinical sites to provide each fellow with mastery of clinical geriatric (elderly) medicine, experience in assessing and developing geriatric-appropriate systems of care, and self-development as both a primary care and sub-specialist physician, with specific attention to the many roles and opportunities available to board-certified geriatricians.
The fellows become part of an interdisciplinary geriatric team, integrating nursing, pharmacologic and behavioral medicine specialists with physicians from geriatric, internal and family medicine. Through participation in the on-the-ground activities of the team, as well as our weekly team meetings, the fellows are able to “follow” elder patient panels in the whole range of clinical settings:
- ambulatory care
- house calls
- residential Assisted Living
- post acute care/Long Term Care
- acute care hospitalizations
Fellows participate in both out-patient and in-patient geriatric consultations, and have structured opportunities to learn “how to teach” in a wide variety of settings both lay and medical.
Given the relatively small numbers of nationally trained geriatricians, and the tremendous needs of the patient population, geriatricians are often asked to participate in improving elder care within the community; in recognition of this, this fellowship is structured to provide experience and training for “newly minted” geriatricians to feel comfortable and prepared to move into positions of leadership, both formal and informal.
Dr. Winchester will take a leave of absence from Cherokee starting in mid-June. Her patients will be reassigned to other providers at CIH.
Cherokee Indian Hospital officials wished Dr. Winchester the best in her new adventure. “We know she’s up to the challenge and look forward to her return and helping us serve our people and community.”
– Cherokee Indian Hospital