Big ideas

Osteopathic medical students win AMA’s Medical Education Innovation Challenge

Two students from MWU/CCOM win the inaugural contest for proposing a curriculum that trains physicians to address health care disparities.

When envisioning the medical school of the future, two former public school teachers who are now osteopathic medical students saw a service-oriented medical education curriculum that focused on arming students with the skills to address health care disparities in their communities.

Nicole Paprocki, OMS I, and Carol Platt, OMS I, who attend the Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, Illinois, submitted their idea to the American Medical Association’s inaugural Medical Education Innovation Challenge. In March, they won third place in the contest and $1,000 in prize money.

Nicole Paprocki and Carol Platt discuss their award-winning idea.

In the above video, Paprocki and Platt propose a curriculum in which students work with a community-based organization for all four years of medical school. In the first year of training, students will learn why health care disparities exist and reflect upon the biases they may be have as physicians-in-training.

“As a first-year capstone, students will work in teams to conduct community needs assessments and develop a project or program that addresses a health care disparity with a community partner,” said Paprocki in the video. “This will be the beginning of a four-year sustainable relationship with the community.”

In developing their idea, Platt and Paprocki drew upon their previous experience as teachers in the Chicago Public Schools system.

“We have seen firsthand the impact of health care disparities on our students, their families and communities,” said Platt in the video.

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