Healing and Learning Go Hand-in-Hand at BTV

It takes some excellent partnerships to ensure Butterfield is able to offer outstanding services directly on its campus. One of those relationships is with the Northwest Regional Campus of the University of Arkansas Medical School, and the benefits clearly flow two ways for both organizations.

Lead physician Dr. Larry Wright, an internist and geriatrician, and internist Dr. William Swindell provide convenient primary healthcare services to BTV residents, Carriage Club members and staff through a clinic located in the heart of the Commons building. In addition, internal medicine resident physicians who are currently studying on the UAMS campus in Fayetteville are assigned rotations at Butterfield.

We caught up with Dr. Wright, who serves as associate director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program in addition to seeing his patients in the UAMS Clinic at BTV, to learn how the medical school’s residency program is evolving.

LIFE: How are rotations for the Internal Medicine residency program changing for the new class of UAMS resident doctors?

DR. WRIGHT: In addition to the two resident physicians assigned to the UAMS Clinic at BTV, there will be an extra resident assigned specifically to the Health Care Center and the Special Care Center. That extra resident will cover all patient care in both of the long-term-care units for two consecutive weeks at a time. Another change is that a much smaller pool of resident physicians will come to the BTV clinic – a total of eight residents will rotate in two at a time for two weeks at a time. Each of the two-person teams is then scheduled to return to the BTV clinic six weeks later. Over the span of a year, each individual resident physician assigned to Butterfield will be on site for a total of six two-week blocks, or twelve weeks total.
The primary reason for changing how the schedule is managed is to provide a continuity in the patient care learning experience for each of the UAMS resident physicians. When a BTV clinic patient is scheduled for follow-up appointments, there is much greater likelihood of setting the next appointment with the same resident or another with whom the patient is already familiar.

How does the changing rotation schedule impact the UAMS Clinic at Butterfield Trail Village?

The resident physicians assigned to a rotation in the BTV clinic should no longer experience interruptions related to patient care in the Health Care Center and the Special Care Center. Since the BTV clinic resident physicians won’t be called upon to participate in rounds in the long-term-care setting, they will have more available clinic appointment slots to accommodate independent living patients, Carriage Club members and BTV staff members. The new schedule will allow BTV folks to get to know the clinic resident physicians much better since each will be on the campus multiple times a year.

How does gaining experience at the Butterfield UAMS Clinic directly benefit UAMS resident physicians?

Our resident physicians in training benefit immensely through interaction with Butterfield patients. They have the opportunity to participate in the care of very well older adults who are active and healthy – even into their 90s – as well as patients with complex medical conditions. In addition, they learn firsthand the potential and the limitations aging brings for so many older adults. Also important is the encouragement these doctors in training receive from people at BTV during a very stressful but meaningful time in their lives. This is deeply appreciated by the resident physicians and by their faculty.