As the osteopathic profession continues to transform, advancements in osteopathic medical education (OME) are reflected in the new generation of future physicians. T
oday, training tomorrows leaders expands beyond education in basic science and medicine, demanding integration of modern health perspectives and new approaches to issues of priority to millennials—issues such as social responsibility, interprofessional collaboration, and humanism. We can all learn from the perspectives of our proactive, socially conscious DOs of the future.
Social Responsibility: Generation of DOers
There have been no shortages of riveting headlines for the past few months, if not years. Mass murders, car bombings, racial tension, hate crimes, political scandals, and social injustice are everyday norms. Not only do we hear about these events on the nightly news, we view them LIVE on social media.
It is easy to feel hopeless and dejected in times like these, as if nothing you do will make a difference. You may feel compelled to do something, but have no idea where to start. You may even be tempted to quiet that sentiment, as medical school and the responsibilities that come with it tend to drown out everything else. I encourage you: Don’t do it!
This excerpt is from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) fourth-year student Bianca Hall’s recent article “Doctors that DO,” which highlights the emphasis on social responsibility that exists among our future physicians. The article discusses the generation of doers that make up today’s classes of osteopathic medical students, explaining that “As aspiring osteopathic physicians, we all have a little of the A.T. Still spirit in us; we deliberately chose this path, and are inherently change agents. We are doctors that DO. Activism, social responsibility, advocacy, and ingenuity are at the core of our profession.”
“Discover your passion, explore your cause, and lead the way because we are doctors that DO.”
Hall goes on to describe how osteopathic physicians come from a long legacy of “DOers”:
"We belong to a group of people who did not just sit and watch the world around them, but actively participated in and created the changes they wanted to see in society. As our time to transition from medical students to physicians rapidly approaches, I encourage you to be active. Do not allow your pursuit of medicine to isolate you from the world in which you live. Let medicine be your vehicle for change. Our campuses vary greatly, but find ways to get involved. Learn about the needs of your community, participate in student organizations locally and nationally that support initiatives that interest you, join professional societies, probe your attendings and professors, converse with your peers, and engage your patients—there is no action that is too small. We are the change agents of today."
RowanSOM students participating in the Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative
Better Together: Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has joined with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and Primary Care Progress for the past three years to provide teams of students from schools across the country to participate in a six- month project of the Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative. Developed by Jeffrey Brenner, MD, and the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, “healthcare hotspotting” uses data to identify “super-utilizer” patients. These individuals have complex, chronic medical conditions that result in frequent ER admissions and subsequently drive much of the cost in our health care system.
Co-authored by a group of RowanSOM students, “Barriers to Good Health: An Interprofessional Learning Collaborative” highlights the successful outcomes of the overlapping of technology with practice, and the importance of collaboration and recognizing the equally important roles of team members in order to successfully provide patient care.
“With this opportunity, we will be able to work as an interdisciplinary team to better understand these patients’ problems, identify the resources they need, and design effective interventions,” the students describe.
“As the first osteopathic medical school to be chosen for this initiative, and with a diverse interdisciplinary team, we are extremely excited to integrate our ideas and assist our patients in achieving their optimal health. Our participation in this initiative will allow each of us to gain a better understanding of our roles as health care professionals, while increasing our knowledge in working as an interdisciplinary team to provide holistic care to our patients. Ultimately, this will expand our knowledge base beyond the clinical exam room in order to successfully empower others to achieve good health. No matter where our careers may take us, the importance of identifying patient barriers to health care, understanding the patient’s perspective, and finding our role in their care is of utmost importance. Doing so will ensure our success as future health care professionals and will enable us to continuously advocate for our patients.”
Humanism in OME
Heritage College student group launches art/lit journal
A new student group at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), Dublin, has published the first issue of its online literary/arts journal, ARTery. The journal, produced by the Humanism in Medicine club, accepts submissions from students and faculty at all three Heritage College campuses. The first issue featured examples of poetry, essays, paintings, photography, and more, some with a medical theme.
The Humanism in Medicine club was launched last year in parallel with a new Heritage College Chapter of the prestigious Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), which is a project of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The aim of GHHS, which inducts third- and fourth-year medical students, is to recognize individuals who are exemplars of humanistic patient care and who can serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine.
Heritage College student promotes physician gender equity
At a recent national congress of medical students and residents, a student from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) spoke up for physician gender pay equity.
Ohio’s delegation to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Congress of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students included delegate Jessica Tucker, a fourth-year OU-HCOM student. The delegation, supported by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, comprised two medical students and two residents. Tucker introduced and defended four resolutions, calling on AAFP to address the wage gap between male and female physicians, which research suggests cannot be accounted for by productivity or other professional factors. The student/resident congress passed the resolutions, and they will now be considered by the AAFP Congress of Delegates.