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Traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and/or depression training activities

Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM)

LMU-DCOM’s second-year medical school curriculum includes modules on military vaccines and diseases and on weapons of mass destruction and associated pharmacological issues. Another module discusses domestic preparedness and responses to nuclear, biological and chemical agent threats.

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM)

MSUCOM operates a brain injury rehabilitation center selected by the federal government to treat veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. For more information, see http://www.origamirehab.org/. In addition, the college has several retired military members on the faculty who conduct seminars on military medicine issues, and this year will be hiring a new faculty member with military psychiatry experience to address military-related PTSD and depression within the curriculum.

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM)

RVUCOM offers a Military Medicine track, a special curricular track that covers both military medicine and lifestyle/social issues for military members. The special track is specifically designed for students who are slated to enter active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy or Air Force, and incorporates experiences related to Medical Corps Officer military obligations, leadership and discipline, and military environments/field exercises. Some 17.9 percent of RVUCOM students are Armed Forces Health Professions (AFHP) scholarship recipients. Students attending medical school on AFHP scholarships will serve as military physicians following their graduation from medical school.

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM)

The University of New England is currently engaged in a number of related curricular projects: 1) The UNE 2012 Inter-Professional Education Collaboration (IPEC) Spring Symposium will feature a case of traumatic brain injury from initial injury through the short- and long-term recovery process. Student representatives from several health professions (Osteopathic Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Nursing, etc.) will prepare for and engage in small group discussions addressing various aspects of the case, and then will reconvene as a larger group for a case conference that includes a neuro-critical care physician and a neurologist, among others. In addition, the UNE Center for Excellence in Neurosciences, working closely with the Michael Goulet Foundation, has constructed a series of K-12 educational modules that promote brain safety and awareness of the risks of concussions and other brain injuries. The modules are delivered to various local school systems.

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Virginia and Carolinas Campuses (VCOM)

VCOM is developing a continuing medical education (CME) module for Veterans Administration (VA) physicians and others in primary care using simulated patients and video/audio recorded visits to improve the skills of physicians in addressing PTSD. The Chair of VCOM’s Psychiatry Department is a full time VA physician as well, and has created curriculum on campus as well as clinical experiences in the VA to ensure that medical students know how to address depression related to military experiences. The Dean of the college, a faculty member, and a resident physician are published in the American College of Osteopathic Family Physician’s journal, Osteopathic Family Physician, where they utilized a retrospective review of the literature to assist primary care physicians in identifying the level of traumatic brain injury (TBI), TBI’s early and long-term effects and treatment for patients with TBI.  The authors provide presentations on this topic as well. Finally, one VCOM faculty member is working on an NIH grant-funded project to determine how football helmet designs might be applied to military service member head protections.

Other Initiatives

In addition to the targeted curricular initiatives listed above, most colleges of osteopathic medicine include some training on PTSD, traumatic brain injury and depression within their curricula. And, all of the colleges have a variety of co-curricular and extracurricular activities focused on military medicine and/or future military physicians. For more information, visit the college websites.