Faculty Spotlight: Bruce Peyser, MD

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Peyser CroppedThe Australian Outback isn't the first place that springs to mind when thinking of advancing the state of medical education, but that's where the subject of our next Faculty Spotlight has headed. Bruce Peyser, MD, talks to us about what he's doing in Alice Springs, and how it will build better physician-resident relationships.

How long have you been at Duke? How long have you been at the division?
I’ve been at both the Duke and the division for 10 years.

What are your responsibilities within the division? What does a typical day for you look like?
I spend most of my day teaching in some fashion. I’m the Medical Director at Duke Primary Care at Pickett Road, where I see patients for six half-day sessions a week. While I’m seeing patients, I usually have a nurse practitioner as well as second- or third-year medical students with me. I love to work with learners.

When I am not seeing patients, I do some administrative work for the clinic admin work for clinic. I also teach courses for second- and third-year medical students.

By the time we publish this interview, you’ll be in Australia for a conference on longitudinal teaching. Tell me more about this conference.
I’ll be in Australia for the Global Community Engaged Medical Education Muster, from October 27-30. We’ll be in Alice Springs, right in the center of the country, surrounded by desert in all directions. This conference is a group of educators who primarily teach medical students and residents.

What is longitudinal teaching? How does it compare to traditional forms of teaching residents?
Medical students typically spend their clinical year doing blocks of rotations in different locations. In longitudinal teaching, students get assigned to work in different offices once a week for a year.

With the admission up front that I’m biased toward this model of teaching, I find that students have a better perception of what the individual specialties are really like and a little more realistic view of what it’s like to deal with patients.

Instead of just seeing patients once in hospital, students work with me and see how patients deal with chronic illnesses over time.- Instead of just seeing a particular patient once, they might see that patient 5 or 6 times.
Longitudinal teaching also allows students the luxury of working with preceptors who get to know them really well. After working with a student for 30 or 40 sessions a year I develop a deep understanding of what that student knows and what he or she needs to work on.

What sort of role will you have in this conference?
In addition to attending I’ll also be leading a series of three discussions. The first one is called “Feedback on the Fly,” which focuses on an app we developed to record feedback from learners to improve student assessment. The second discussion is “Learning and Teaching after Dark.” This describes ways to teach and and interact with students after they’ve gone home from clinics or working in the hospital. The third discussion I’m leading is called “Moving Mountains,” where I talk about how we as clinicians can best attempt to bring about change within institutions.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside the division?
I would say my main passion or hobby is exercise; I especially love to cycle. I’m on bike as much as I can, most often in the area around Lake Jordan.