Ann Arbor, MI, August 16, 2019 - School is back in session at the University of Michigan and with that, 177 new 'white-coat' inductees are starting their first year of medical school. As part of their learning, these aspiring young doctors are partnering with patients and families to better understand 'patient-centered' care by spending time with families in their every day lives and at their doctors appointments.
Olivia Ohmer, a member of KIDS Michigan, through the Teen Advisory Council (TAC) at C.S. Mott Children's hospital is one of several young patients to open her home to sharing insight and learning. Says Ohmer, "This experience is great as it allows med students to see what it is like to be a patient. They get to see that my care doesn't stop when I leave the hospital, but that I am managing it even while I am at school, at golf or hanging out with my friends."
Partnering first-year medical students to patients helps to build compassion, understanding, and empathy. Ohmer toured the students through her daily routine as well as shared how she works to help others through collaborating with new ideas to improve the hospital and creating new ways of thinking about her medical condition.
The medical students enjoy it too. Working with patients and families, helps to better teach
the science of human health and illness in the real world. Medical students also build their skills as critical thinkers and collaborative future leaders when they work with other patients and families.
"Sharing what I do can help teach what it means to be a kid first and a patient second. I hope that med students learn how to talk to kids and ask not just about their condition but also, about the fun things they are doing. Patients are people." shared Ohmer.
If you are interested in working with medical students, contact your local hospital or university to see if there is a program near you. Future doctors and patients will be grateful for the support.