Students in the inaugural class of the Ohio University-Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Cleveland campus take part in orientation. The school earned recognition for developing a three-year primary care program, which starts in 2018.
Student orientation at OU-HCOM Cleveland
Training transformation

Innovating medical education: 3 COMs receive $75,000 grants from AMA

MSUCOM, ATSU-SOMA and OU-HCOM Cleveland join a medical school consortium that’s working to reshape how future doctors are taught.

Three colleges of osteopathic medicine were recently selected to join the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium. Each school will receive a three-year, $75,000 grant and the chance to share educational data and best practices with the consortium’s 32 medical schools. The grant will support a specific educational initiative at each school; here’s a closer look.

Patient safety at MSUCOM

Imagine you’re treating a hospital patient who experiences an adverse event. How should you frame your apology? That’s one of the topics in the patient safety curriculum that’s starting this year at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) in East Lansing.

Saroj Misra, DO, discusses MSUCOM’s patient safety curriculum with Rachel Nixon, DO, a core clinical curriculum director at St. John Macomb hospital in Warren, Michigan. (Photo provided by Dr. Misra)

Students will also learn root cause analysis, or how to identify the root cause of a negative outcome. The end goal is to stop patient safety problems before they happen by shoring up weak spots in hospital processes. “By training our students in the basic tenets of patient safety, we hope they will be better prepared to change the culture of the hospitals they work in once they enter residency,” explains Saroj Misra, DO, the director of MSUCOM’s clinical clerkship curriculum.

The patient safety curriculum will launch this year with some third-year students. Starting next year, the curriculum will be taught to all third-years.

3-year primary care education at OU-HCOM Cleveland

In 2018, the Ohio University-Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) Cleveland will launch a demonstration project in which eight students who’ve committed to primary care will complete medical school in three years instead of four. Upon graduating from medical school, they’ll have automatic acceptance to a family medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic.

The three-year medical school curriculum is taking shape in tandem with the rollout of new models of care at the Cleveland Clinic, says Isaac Kirstein, DO, the dean of OU-HCOM Cleveland. First-year students in the program will learn to perform tasks such as rooming patients and drawing blood, gradually taking on more responsibility. Throughout medical school and residency, they’ll treat the same patient group.

“Our partner in this endeavor, the Cleveland Clinic, realizes the importance of population health. This program will produce the exact kind of expert physicians who they will want to hire,” says Dr. Kirstein. “We want our learners to become leaders in providing care that’s about keeping communities healthy in addition to treating the acutely ill.”

Community-oriented care at ATSU-SOMA

In Portland, Oregon, students from the A. T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) in Mesa recently began training needle exchange program visitors how to use naloxone to reverse an overdose. Less than a year after the project was launched, at least a dozen overdoses had been reversed thanks to the instruction the students had provided.

Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD

The project was part of ATSU-SOMA’s community-oriented care program, in which students spend their second through fourth years of instruction embedded in community health centers, where they conduct primary care and public health research. The experience teaches students to partner effectively with community health professionals and patients, according to professor Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD, who oversees second-year students’ research projects. “These skills are directly linked to holistic, whole-person, whole-community care,” she says.

A graduate of the program, Matthew Nelson, DO, MPH, researched the experiences of HIV-positive patients as a student.

“I’m very thankful for getting a head start on clinical skills such as how to perform a physical exam, how to distill data into something meaningful, and how to share that information with your attending physician and peers,” says Dr. Nelson, who is now a family medicine resident in Grand Junction, Colorado.

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