For the past 7 years, the LA AETC has partnered with the UCLA Department of Family Medicine to train more than 75 Spanish-speaking physicians that are part of the department’s International Medical Graduate (IMG) program. These IMG students will ultimately be family medicine residents and then family medicine physicians in underserved areas of California.
Each IMG student sees HIV patients at a Ryan White Clinic in Los Angeles and takes courses in the following HIV-related topics that are critical to addressing the epidemic in these communities:
- Routine HIV (and HCV) screening
- Antiretroviral medication management
- Managing Comorbidities, including substance abuse and mental health
Recently we have added course work on Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. One of our IMGs even developed his own curriculum for addressing PrEP in a department of Family Medicine primary care program.
We then go to the residency programs where the IMGs are matched to provide refresher courses and monitor their HIV testing practices. We are extremely proud to have 2 IMG graduates who want to be HIV specialists, one of whom was accepted to the USC 2-year HIV Fellowship this year. Because of the LA AETC working with these physicians over the years, tens of thousands of underserved patients throughout California will have better access to culturally competent Spanish-speaking HIV physicians, will be tested and referred earlier, and new infections will be decreased. This program will end June 30, 2018 without continued support for the AETCs.