Internships and Projects

Summer Counselor positions for MedQuest and Advanced MedQuest:  These are college campus-based health careers exploration programs for Vermont high school students.  The students stay in campus housing and have a variety of didactic and job shadowing experiences for four or six days.  Larner College of Medicine and other health professions students help deliver components of the designed programs, serve as a role model for the students, and act as 24/7 staff and chaperones during the week.

Community-based projects for the Larner College of Medicine, Nurse Practitioner, and other graduate health professions students are designed to offer interprofessional community-based service learning opportunities.  Students design and execute interprofessional projects that offer students and opportunity to: apply their classroom learning to the field, connect with different geographic areas of Vermont, learn about rural primary care and populations, and dig into a relevant, pressing community issue. 

 To learn more about these programs, contact the regional AHEC.

Public Health Projects with Medical Students

Public Health Projects (PHP), a required course incorporated in the Vermont Integrated Curriculum, teaches second-year medical students to apply the principles and science of public health while working to improve the health of the community.  Public Health Projects respond to health needs identified by local community agencies. 16 projects are completed each fall by medical student groups working in partnership with community agencies, and mentored by both College of Medicine faculty and community agency mentors.

FY17

Public Health Project Class of 2019Students in the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2019 presented posters and explained findings from 16 different Public Health projects at a public reception and celebration on January 18, 2017.

One of the 16 student projects, “Patient Perspectives on Medication Assisted Therapy in Vermont” was performed in partnership with the UVM AHEC Program.

Vermont has the highest per capita buprenorphine use in the U.S. The UVM AHEC Program's PHP cohort aimed to gain a better understanding of patient perspectives on the barriers and enablers of successful Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) – buprenorphine treatment for opioid addiction – in order to help inform system refinement. The students developed an interview guide based on established tools, as well as input from program leaders, clinicians and community stakeholders, and conducted interviews with 44 patients at two specialty treatment centers in Burlington, VT in October 2016. The students found that half of the subjects reported a mental health condition and stated that barriers to treatment included transportation (25 percent) and stigma (41 percent), among other factors. The students advised that “a comprehensive system that addresses this wide range of domains is critical to achieving optimal outcomes”

Medical Students (Class of 2019): Ashley Adkins, Holly Bachilas, Florence DiBiase, Michael Marallo, John Paul Nsubuga, Lloyd Patashnick, Curran Uppaluri
Pictured (from left): Holly Bachilas, Florence DiBiase, John Paul Nsubuga, Curan Uppaluri, and Michael Marallo

UVM Faculty Mentor:  Charles MacLean, MD and Jan Carney, MD, MPH
Community Faculty: Elizabeth Cote

MAT Patient Perspectives Poster
Patient Perspectives on MAT Abstract

Past Projects

FY16

Students in the Larner College of Medicine Class of 2018 presented posters and explained findings from 16 different Public Health projects at a public reception and celebration on January 20, 2016. One project, “Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Vermont: Lessons Learned from Primary Care Physicians,” was sponsored by the UVM Office of Primary Care and statewide Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program. The goal of the project was to identify physician barriers to providing office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) in Chittenden County. The students who conducted the study are Timothy Henderson, Molly Markowitz, Adam Petchers, Brittany Rocque, Andrew Sheridan, Nathaniel Sugiyama, and Lindsey Wyatt. Their UVM faculty mentors are Charles MacLean, MD, and Jan Carney, MD, MPH; community faculty members are Beth Tanzmen, MSW, Assistant Director, Vermont Blueprint for Health, and Elizabeth Cote, director, Office of Primary Care and AHEC.

Of the 25 primary care physicians interviewed, non-office-based opioid treatment providers more frequently reported that OBOT patients were challenging. OBOT providers more frequently acknowledged the stigma associated with OBOT. Both groups of physicians expressed a desire for increased state support for OBOT. The student recommendations are: increased state support/resources for OBOT; mentorship of new OBOT providers by experienced OBOT providers; and generation of OBOT best practice guidelines for primary care providers.

Asked what they were most surprised by in their study, Lindsey Wyatt said it was the fact that almost every provider said OBOT was easier and more rewarding than they thought it would be.

The Class of 2018 medical students working on this project found that "the five most frequently reported barriers were: insufficient state logistical support, challenging patient population, practice infrastructure/capacity, time, and provider fears/concerns. Seventy-nine percent of non-prescriber PCPs said that they would provide OBOT if the identified barriers were removed."

“Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Vermont: Lessons Learned from Primary Care Physicians.” (PDF)

An Inter-Professional Exploration of Cuba’s Primary Healthcare System

This presentation gives an overview of learning from a June 2014 trip to Cuba by faculty in the Larner Colleges of Medicine, Social Work, and College of Nursing and Health Sciences; medical students, a dental student, a dental technician, a social work graduate student, a nurse practitioner student; and members of the Burlington College faculty. The purpose of the course was to gain a better understanding of the Cuban health system, particularly the role of primary care, and the interaction between primary care, public health and the community. Cuba has a well-regarded system of population health and primary care.

Exploring Cuba's Primary Healthcare System (PDF)