The latest unit in the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s distinctive Population, Patient, Physician and Professionalism course, or P4, utilized the experiences of one minority population to help the Class of 2023 understand the health care delivery system in the context of culturally sensitive care.
“Using the relatively new Health Systems Science curriculum published by the American Medical Association, our first-year students explored challenges of the health care delivery system in relation to the LGBTQ+ population,” said Associate Professor of Pediatrics Nakia Allen, M.D., who directs the P4 course. “Though the idea is not novel, our instructional design and delivery may be.”
On Jan. 16, the medical students attended a recorded lecture and patient panel of health care providers, participated in small group case studies, and worked to identify gaps in the health care delivery system as it relates to LGBTQ+ population health.
“This is necessary. This is essential. As a future practitioner, to be uninformed is a terrible thing. I like the fact that they’re starting us early. They’re having us look into ourselves and question our own biases that we may have,” said student Lucki Word.
The small group studies were facilitated by five interdisciplinary health care professionals who shared articles showing the effects of a pediatrician who wouldn’t care for a baby with two moms; a loved one kept from a partner’s dying bedside, the mom of a transgender boy called a girl by staff, and other stories in which the LGBTQ+ population’s health was negatively impacted due to professional bias.
“As a minority myself, it made me think about the health disparities affecting the LGBTQ population,” added student Flavio Bonilla.
Corktown Health Center Chief Development Officer Patrick Yankee served as a facilitator. Corktown Health Center is a medical home in Detroit focused on serving the LGBTQ+ community.
“It is profound to me. This is a great opportunity to train the next generation of clinicians. The best part of my job at Corktown is working with the medical students at Wayne State,” Yankee said.
Students also identified improvements to the care of the LGBTQ+ using the Triple Aim Framework created by the Institute for Health Care Improvement. The Triple Aim describes an approach to optimizing health system performance through three dimensions – improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing the per capita cost of health care.
“It has been really helpful thinking about things you may not have thought about before,” said Lindsay Jenkins, a Class of 2023 student.
P4 is a Year 1 to Year 2 segment that emphasizes the evolving professional identity of a physician connected to patients and populations. The course exposes students to their roles as clinician, leader, interprofessional collaborator, scholar and systems analyst through large-group sessions, small-group sessions, online modules, self-directed reflective assignments and clinical opportunities in the community.