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Autumn 2019 Newsletter


The first meeting of the newly formed Medical Education Patient & Family Advisory Council (Med Ed PFAC) was held in early October, becoming the 12th PFAC within Stanford Medicine. At Stanford, PFACs empower patients and caregivers to move from a reactive to proactive role, as illustrated in the following diagram: 


The Med Ed PFAC is unique at Stanford, and nationally, in that it has been formed to enhance the patient/family care experience by ensuring the voices of patients and families are heard by staff, physicians, and leadership through a focus on promoting patient-centered care and inclusion of the patient, family, and caregiver perspective within medical education curriculum and programming. In this context, medical education includes educational programs within the Stanford School of Medicine, and may include programs for pre-med students, medical students, physician assistant students, residents, and fellows. 
Members of the Med Ed PFAC will participate in discussion with staff and leadership. In the first several months the PFAC members will establish goals and objectives that will guide their work, in general, the group will:

  • Provide the patient and family perspective to medical education program content and inform how patient engagement can help improve the patient centeredness of such programs
  • Participating in the implementation or improvement of new and existing programs, processes and educational program and curriculum design
  • Promote the role of patients, families, and caregivers as partners in medical education at Stanford, and disseminate the experience through local and national conferences on Medical Education.

 Also unique from other PFACs, the Med Ed PFAC will be administered as a partnership between the Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education Program in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Primary Care and Population Health and the Stanford Health Care Patient & Family Partner Program.

The Walk with Me course launched its third year with an in-class meet & greet workshop session for students and their patient & family partners. New this year, all students and patient & family partners (PFPs) met for the first time in class and participated in a workshop activity to map the PFP’s Health Ecosystem map, which also served as the introductory discussion of managing optimal health within a complex health system, and the social and behavioral determinants of health that contribute to the challenges of navigating the system. 

The change to launch the student and PFP partnership with an in-class workshop that included an authentic role for all participants was implemented based on feedback received in the student and PFP focus groups held this past summer. Initial post-session feedback has been positive, with participants appreciating the changes to the curriculum, and feeling a greater sense of connection to the program.                 

The Practice of Medicine (POM) is a 2-year longitudinal clinical skills course for all first and second year medical and physician assistant students. During the course, students learn communication skills, do medical interviews, physical examinations, and medical diagnosis. They also learn about social and population sciences e.g., health policy, public health, nutrition, clinical epidemiology, behavioral health, medical ethics and more.

The course primarily collaborates with patients in the following sessions:
  • Presentation of patient experiences  either in small or large settings
  • Physical findings where patients allow students to examine them and answer questions about their medical history

Patients have also partnered in building curriculum for the courses and making improvements to sessions based on their experience and feedback.

What is the clinical experience like for Patient Partners?
Patient Partners present their personal experience with a small or large group of students. They share their medical history and physical findings, much like what they do during a doctor's appointment. They may also have opportunities to help improve the curriculum, either by providing feedback in the sessions, or in occasional course improvement workshops. Patient participants should be willing to meet for full sessions from 1PM to 5PM on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday afternoon, depending on the course schedule. Patient participants are compensated $25.00/hour for time, and provided a parking pass if they do not already have a parking placard.
If you are interested in signing up as a patient partner in a POM clinical skill session, please complete this interest survey.
  • Have a question?
  • Have a great idea for a new collaborative educational session?
  • Unsure where to direct your question or idea?

No problem, send us an email us at  

Visit our website: Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education
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