Letters to the Editor
In Reply: I am grateful to Helmich and Koopmans for sharing important information about their experience in the Netherlands with teaching nursing homes. These authors have taken a thoughtful and comprehensive approach across the continuum of medical education, and their published findings will be valuable to medical educators in any country contemplating such a program.
I thank Kalender-Rich and Swagerty for calling attention to the exciting activities in place at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and for their important observations about these activities.
And I applaud the efforts of Gillespie and colleagues at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Their students’ narrative feedback reveals key advantages of providing opportunities for students to spend time in nursing homes.
I encourage those who are involved with such programs, and especially those who direct them, to take the lead from Helmich and Koopmans to study and write about those programs. Granted, it can be difficult to publish program descriptions and very difficult to publish program evaluations. But those involved with such programs can team up with clinical researchers or health services researchers, who have study design and methodologic skills that can be very helpful in exploring and developing how an experience with nursing home education may relate to clinical, educational, and health care delivery outcomes.
Delving deep into an experience, exploring it in a scholarly, rigorous, and critical way—perhaps in collaboration with investigators from clinical or social science disciplines—and publishing it in the indexed literature will codify accomplishments, enable scrutiny by others, and ultimately help advance thinking and practice in regard to the teaching nursing home.
Steven L. Kanter, MD
Vice dean, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Kanter was Editor-in-Chief of Academic Medicine from 2008 through 2012.