Paula Carvalho, M.D. ’84, Res. ’87, FCCP, pulmonary section head and head of the ICU at the Boise VA Medical Center in Idaho and UW professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, agrees that WWAMI is crucial to retaining doctors in the region. But at one point, this self-described “Seattle-centric” medical student was reluctant to leave the Seattle campus. Would she learn as much about medicine outside of the city as she had in it?
Then came her obstetrics-gynecology rotation in Anchorage, Alaska. “I absolutely loved it,” says Carvalho. Ob-gyn was followed by other rotations — including pulmonary medicine — in Boise, Idaho. “Then I really got hooked,” she says.
Today, Carvalho designs innovative learning experiences for first- and second-year residents, third- and fourth-year medical students and trainees completing advanced pulmonary fellowships, among others. For example, she started a critical-care medicine curriculum a few years ago for medical students, one that prepares them for starting an internship.
Carvalho also works directly with UW Medicine faculty like Brian Ross, M.D. ’83, Res. ’87, UW professor in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, to teach trainees. Boise is a satellite site for the UW Medicine-based Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies (ISIS), which uses sophisticated mannequins and computer models to offer medical training. Using such simulation exercises allows trainees to hone specific skills, like placing a central line for long-term intravenous drug therapy, doing a lumbar puncture, or caring for patients receiving mechanical ventilation.
The trainees appreciate these programs, Carvalho says. Last year, the fourth-year students (who are a little anxious when they arrive), wrote her a thank-you card. “We’re no longer afraid to be interns,” it said.