The University of Iowa Department of Family Medicine has received a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to help train resident physicians and to improve clinical outcomes for people with physical and behavioral health problems.
UI Family Medicine residents will work with other professionals to develop systematic methods to screen for specific chronic conditions. Residents will also work with community agencies to recruit patients with mental illness who do not have a primary care physician in an effort to improve primary care for people with persistent mental illness.
George Bergus, associate director for education in the UI Department of Family Medicine, and Kate Thoma, associate director of the Family Medicine Residency Program, will serve as principal investigators for the study.
The research will take a unique, holistic approach by integrating the treatment of physical and behavioral health in both the clinical education and clinical practices of physicians. Until now, physical disease and mental illness were often treated as separate concerns.