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8095 Innovation Park Drive, Fairfax, VA 22031

Senior patient greeted by medical resident

University of Virginia Patient-Student Partnership

Patients and Students Working Together to Improve Patient Health and Outcomes

How the Program Works

For two years, your student will be an active member of your medical team and can:

  • Go with you to doctor visits
  • Talk with your healthcare team about your needs and act as a patient advocate
  • Set and help you reach health goals
  • Call or visit you at home
  • Help you understand how to take your medicines the right way

The University of Virginia Patient-Student Partnership is open to those who receive ongoing care from Inova Health System and who live within 45 minutes of Falls Church, VA.

Patients: Register Here

PSP Enrollment Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of this program?

The PSP's goal is to train future doctors as patient advocates, while patients teach students about healthcare through patients' eyes. The program gives students contact with patients and prepares the students to communicate health information effectively. Students learn to understand patients' needs and challenges to become doctors who provide compassionate care.

As a patient partner, what is expected of me?

We expect that as a patient partner, you want to have a relationship with a medical student and will share your medical history with the student. We expect you to be available for phone calls and to allow the student to attend some appointments and see you in the hospital if you are admitted. The student will have access to your medical record to see upcoming appointments.

What is expected of the student partner?

The student partner will contact you once a month by phone, email, FaceTime/Zoom or your preferred method of contact. The student will meet you at clinic appointments when the student’s schedule permits and will visit if you are admitted to the hospital.

How can a student partner help me?

Your student can help you access resources, organize your medications and be an advocate for good health. The student is not your doctor.

How will this affect my healthcare?

Your participation in PSP will not change your relationship with your doctor and will not affect your medical care. The student will never make any decisions or provide any recommendations about your care, but the student will participate in discussions between you and your doctor. The student will not give you any medical advice. The student will have access to your chart to see when you have appointments and can communicate with your healthcare team.

If there is an emergency, what should I do?

Always contact your main doctor with any urgent concerns.

  • Do not rely on the student to relay important information to your doctor(s)
  • Do not call your student if you have a medical emergency.
  • Do not leave messages about your medical condition on your student’s or the coordinator's voicemail

Please note: Your participation is voluntary, and you can decide to withdraw from the program at any time.

Thank you for helping train the doctors of tomorrow to be the best they can be. The insights your student gains from the experiences with you will be invaluable to your student’s training.

More Information:

Contact us:

Susan Schenck
Program Coordinator
Patient-Student Partnership Program
University of Virginia School of Medicine,
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus

John Paul Verderese, MD
Patient-Student Partnership Program
Associate Professor of Medical Education
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Inova Fairfax Medical Campus

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