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WesternU COMP professor receives Outstanding Contribution to Medicine award

by Rodney Tanaka

March 4, 2024

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Dr. Carrie Bacon

The Riverside County Medical Association (RCMA) presented the Outstanding Contribution to Medicine award to Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine Carrie Bacon, MD. She is the founding Program Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Southwest Healthcare Medical Education Consortium, based in Temecula.

As an academic affiliate, COMP supports the residency program with many resources, including e-library access, expertise with various research projects and didactics, OSCE and simulation facilities. The residency program and institution also serve as a clinical training site for many WesternU students during their third and fourth years.

Dr. Bacon received the award at RCMA’s 2024 Installation of Officers and Annual Awards Dinner on Jan. 19, 2024 at Mission Inn in Riverside, California.

“I am incredibly grateful to have been chosen for this award,” Bacon said. “It’s a tremendous honor for our Family Medicine program and I hope it brings awareness to our specialty and our region’s need for great Family Medicine doctors!”

This program was created to help alleviate Riverside County’s need for high-quality family medicine physicians and boasts a 100% board certification pass rate and has retained 67% of its graduates in Riverside County, according to an RCMA news release.

A major priority for the residency program is to help idealistic new physicians develop skills to maintain their joy and humanity in medicine, Bacon said. Many physicians deal with imposter syndrome, a demand for perfectionism, and stress, fears and anxiety that often result in maladaptive coping mechanisms, which can have devastating professional and personal consequences.

Burnout is arguably one of the biggest threats to our profession and the quality of care we are able to provide to our patients. I’ve personally struggled with burnout and want to do what I can to help my peers and the doctors with whom I have the privilege of training develop the skills to maintain their joy in our amazing profession,” Bacon said. “Our program tries to combat these elements through fostering openness and honest communication and connection with the hope that those who are struggling have a community of physicians to go to for support. I try to regularly remind my residents that before being a physician, they are a human and their emotional, physical, and spiritual health needs to be nurtured and prioritized.”

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