New Multidisciplinary Clinic Empowering Patients and Faculty
June 25, 2013
If Mary Romano, M.D., M.P.H., suspects that a young woman in the Adolescent Medicine Clinic may have ovarian failure, she often has to refer them to the Endocrinology Clinic or Gynecology Clinic. That same patient may bounce back to her for other adolescent issues, breaking a continuity of care that benefits both patient and physician. A new Adolescent Reproductive Health and Gynecology Clinic enables that same patient to get multidisciplinary care at one location and it is sharpening the skills of each of the physicians on the care team.
Jennifer Najjar, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, envisioned the clinic. The team of physicians includes Najjar, Romano, assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Health, and Amy Weeks, M.D., assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“The team approach improves care, and we are taking what we learn from each other back to our own areas,” said Romano. “Now that we are working as a team, I’m learning to treat some problems on my own at the Adolescent Health Clinic.”
Residents and other trainees also benefit from the close coordination and communication within the team. “Residents and other trainees are exposed to different approaches,” said Romano. “We all bring our own expertise, pick each others brains, and work together to solve problems.”
The clinic team sees patients on the first Wednesday of every month on the sixth floor of Doctors’ Office Tower.
Consolidating schedules proved to be one of the tallest hurdles in launching the clinic. The administration saw the need for the clinic, and each of the faculty were enthusiastic about working together. Finding coordinated time for each of the core physicians was not so easy.