Students Complete OU-Tulsa Summer Institute

Twenty first-year medical students and 20 physician assistant students, along with 30 OU-Tulsa faculty members recently completed the first Summer Institute at the OU School of Community Medicine at OU-Tulsa.
The Institute was funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, who pledged $50 million to OU-Tulsa in February 2008 for the formation of the School of Community Medicine.
The Summer Institute was a weeklong experience that provided students with an understanding of health care needs from a community perspective. Students shadowed patients in a chronic care clinic; experienced in-depth interaction with faculty members; interviewed community leaders who work with vulnerable populations, and researched and developed their own presentations highlighting a community health care issue and their recommendations to resolve that issue.
Gerard Clancy, M.D., OU-Tulsa president and dean of the School of Community Medicine said, “The Summer Institute introduces our students to the concept of Community Medicine. It is our goal to produce multi-talented physicians who excel in patient care as well as have an understanding of the importance of the health of the entire community. Our vision is for our graduates to have the skills and abilities to implement programs that address complex health issues that affect entire populations.”
OU-Tulsa faculty members served as leaders of teams of two medical students and two physician assistant students. These teams made a total of 70 visits to agencies, community leaders, hospitals and business owners to learn more about health care in Tulsa. Faculty members participating in the Summer Institute are from various OU-Tulsa disciplines including medicine, social work, human relations, architecture, nursing, education, public health, and pharmacy.
Additionally, students broke into small groups and chose a health care problem to examine and create a plan for improvement. At the culminating event for the Institute, students presented their findings and recommendations to community leaders. Presentation topics included behavioral change for physicians and patients, “No elderly left behind”, rural community health care access, collecting data for research, cultural competencies and electronic portals for those in poverty.
Daniel Duffy, M.D., senior associate dean of the School of Community Medicine said, “The Summer Institute is the first step in realizing the vision of the School of Community Medicine. Through this process, we hope to add an additional perspective for our students and expose them to areas of community health where they can make a large impact to improve the health status of our citizens.”
The OU School of Community Medicine is the first of its kind in the nation whose explicit purpose is to improve the health status of underserved communities, both rural and urban, by providing additional community-based medical student education programs and resident training, and increasing the number of physician graduates. The School of Community Medicine remains an integral part of the OU College of Medicine.

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