Dr. Arthur Levine proposed:
“A program to match medical students with moderately complex patients in order to develop a longitudinal relationship over the four years of medical education.
The goal of the LAP program is to help students to appreciate the value of continuity of relationships within the health care system. These relationships will serve as a reminder to students throughout their medical education that the purpose of all their learning is to serve real people in need. Students will examine the interactions, intersections, and gaps between the various specialties and health professions that serve their patient while learning to serve as a coordinator of care for a complex patient case. Students will develop both written and oral skills to facilitate coordination of care and evolve from a lay advocate role into a more sophisticated advocate from within the health care community over the course of their medical school training.
Patients and their families will benefit from a continuous relationship with an advocate within the health care community who understands the breadth and complexity of their needs and experiences and who serves as a repository of knowledge about the historical evolution of the patient’s case. Patients who do not otherwise have a “nurse or doctor in the family” will especially benefit from having a close relationship with a health care provider “in-training” that knows them well, and who stands with the family when relating to the health care team.”