Patient Support Corps

What’s the goal?

Medical visits can be stressful and intimidating. Patients may not remember to ask all of their questions and may forget important information the health care team shared.

To address these problems, we have started the Patient Support Corps to help patients navigate their appointment, get answers to their questions and become involved in their care. The Patient Support Corps is also helping to train the next generation of health care providers to make sure they are skilled at listening to and engaging patients. 

What are the services provided?

The Patient Support Corps interns offer proven strategies:

  1. Question Listing: The student intern will help the patient develop a comprehensive question list for an upcoming visit based on set prompts. An example guide can be found here. The patient will be able to print out the Question List and bring to their visit.
  2. Information Connection: In some clinics, the Patient Support Corps interns will help connect patients with high quality medical information about their condition.
  3. Visit Recording and Note-taking. (NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE DUE TO COVID): Interns will accompany patients to their appointment record the visit and take notes, so patients do not have to worry about remembering every detail of their visit.

The Patient Support Corps interns are currently collaborating with several different groups across the hospital including Primary Care, Cancer Center, Orthopedics, and Cardiology.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, please email us at decisions@partners.org.

Who are the Patient Support Corps interns and how are they trained?

The MGH Patient Support Corps is based on the UCSF Patient Support Corps model. Student interns are trained by Patient Support Corps leaders and complete an 18-hour online module from UCSF. Diverse students are recruited from local colleges and universities in the Boston area. Interns are supervised by faculty and staff at the MGH Health Decision Sciences Center.

Learn more about our team who lead these efforts here.

What does it cost?

These services are provided to MGH patients and families free of charge.

We launched with seed funding from the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization and the Department of Medicine Phoenix grant program. We would love to expand the services with your support.

If you would like to make a donation to support this program, please email Patrick Rooney, Director of Development, at patrick.rooney@mgh.harvard.edu or call him at 857-260-4873 and indicate that you would like to support the Health Decision Sciences Center Patient Support Corps. A donation of $2,000 will support an intern for one semester.