North Carolina AHEC Program
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Faculty/Resident Physician Pair Treat Underserved Population

Doctors are first from SR-AHEC residency program to volunteer at The CARE Clinic

When Eron Manusov, MD, arrived as the director of the Duke/Southern Regional AHEC Family Medicine Residency Program last June, he stressed community service as integral to the learning process and growth of medical residents into well-trained, competent physicians. He introduced his idea to new interns and let them choose where they would serve to fulfill their community rotation curriculum requirement. Resident Philippe Bulauitan, MD, picked The CARE Clinic (Compassion, Assistance, Referral, and Education) on Robeson Street, a provider of free quality health care to uninsured, low-income adults who live in Cumberland County. Manusov joined him; on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, the two physicians were the first pair from the program to provide volunteer clinical services at The CARE Clinic through a community rotation.

Drs. Balauitan and Manusov

Photo above: Philippe Bulauitan, MD, (left) and Eron Manusov, MD, at The CARE Clinic.

“To be a physician is to serve,” Bulauitan commented on why he chose The CARE Clinic for his community rotation. “Service to the community, service to education, service to those who need it, are reasons why I practice medicine,” he said. “This experience allows the physician to serve, and it teaches us to always find opportunities to serve.” The family physician recommends The CARE Clinic rotation to his fellow residents. “Not only do you get a chance to care for patients who are grateful and need care, but you get to experience a wide variety of illness,” he said. “The warm fuzzies are great also.”

Bulauitan was impressed to find The CARE Clinic a place with all the amenities of a funded clinic. “I also found great people with a passion to care and great patients who needed care,” he said. For Manusov, The CARE Clinic offers the chance for the faculty/resident team to maximize the quality of care for patients although resources are limited. “This allows me to teach residents how to care for patients without spending a lot of money,” he said. “It shows them that we can still do an outstanding job, with less.”

Both Manusov and Tinsley Rucker, MD, volunteer clinical services director for The CARE Clinic, are excited to have the Duke/SR-AHEC residents join Womack Army Medicine Center’s Family Medicine residents, who already do their community rotations at The CARE Clinic. “This way, they will all get to know each other, get to know the physicians in the community, and hopefully convince them stay in our area to practice,” Rucker commented at the December 2011 meeting of The CARE Clinic Board of Directors.

Manusov believes that working with the military will help his residents have a better understanding of rural medicine, which is a major emphasis of the Duke/SR-AHEC program. “It makes sense to work together,” he said. “Deploying to a small base is similar to working in a rural community; we can learn a lot from the military physicians who feel very comfortable working in rural America. It’s a good approach in convincing them to work in rural communities, where there is the most need for primary care physicians.”