Implementation of a Trauma-Informed Care Elective in Medical Education
Keywords:Medical Education, Trauma-Informed Care, Innovation
AbstractBackground: Education about the harm trauma does to one’s health is lacking in traditional medical school curricula. The goal of our elective extracurricular course on trauma-informed care (TIC) was to provide students with experience, knowledge, and resources to care for future patients who may have lived through traumatic experiences. Methods: We created a semester-long elective TIC course for first year medical students at a large, public medical school. We developed one - and one retrospective /post-course survey for studentsusing a mix of sliding scale and free text responses to capture student evaluations of the course. ANOVA was used for statistical analysis. Results: Of the 11 students who completed the retrospective - and post- surveys, there was a significant increase in student’s rating of their knowledge regarding impact of trauma on health by the end of the course (retro : 45.55+24.73, post: 81.64+11.79). Importantly, the group felt significantly more comfortable screening for intimate partner violence (retro : 34.09+31.05, post: 77.00+23.81), performing a physical exam for patient’s experiencing intimate partner violence (retro : 17.55+22.17, post: 67.27+18.35), accessing resources for patients experiencing addiction and recovery (retro : 35.00+32.25, post: 76.82+17.79), and caring for patients who have had adverse childhood experiences (retro : 28.27+32.18, post: 66.36+21.46). Discussion: This study is limited in a small sample size and the biases that accompany survey-based qualitative studies. It can only be interpreted in the context of a large public medical school in the southern United States. Conclusion: An elective course on TIC can be a way to make medical students feel more comfortable providing trauma-informed care. Additional research is needed to evaluate the long-term influence of a TIC course on medical students’ patient interactions.
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