Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE)
The Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE) is a unique part of the undergraduate medical education curriculum at the UCR School of Medicine. The program bridges the gap between classroom learning and clinical application by providing our first-, second-, and third-year students hands-on clinical experience with community-based primary care providers throughout Inland Southern California.
In addition to introducing our students to the diverse patient populations that reflect today’s health care delivery system, the program creates sustained mentor-mentee relationships between our students and primary care providers in our region. It takes advantage of partnerships with a variety of practice groups, community clinics (including federally qualified health centers), and hospitals.
LACE is integrated with public health, clinical reasoning, biostatistics, and epidemiology coursework.
An Active, Ongoing Clinical Experience
The LACE program replaces the traditional “shadowing” preceptorship with a program that emphasizes continuity and progressive learning across a three-year span.
As our medical students interact with attending physicians, peers and other health professionals, they have the opportunity to participate in continuity of care and observe longer-term outcomes associated with the health care decisions they make. This gives our students an experiential advantage compared to students in short-block rotations where follow-up can be limited.
Through these interactions, students integrate their acquired knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, etc. as they work directly with patients. They develop skills and knowledge related to patient history-taking, physical exams, presentation, doctor-patient interaction and communication to improve a variety of core clinical competencies.
Participating outpatient practices are primary care-focused and selected for their suitability to expose students to the ambulatory delivery of care within the Inland Empire community.
Educational Goals and Outcomes
The educational objectives of LACE include our core competencies and educational program objectives that are required for matriculation, including:
- Patient Care
- Knowledge for Practice
- Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills
- Systems-Based Practice
- Interprofessional Collaboration
- Personal and Professional Development
Preceptors at each site will serve to assist students by providing formative feedback concerning their performance. Students will also complete a Practice Improvement Project (PIP) over the course of three years to improve the provision of health care at their LACE sites and will attend and present this work at the annual Quality Improvement Conference.