PS527M.211

Joining Forces Initiative

Sites: VABHS - Jamaica Plain Campus (primary site), West Roxbury Campus (secondary site)
Director(s): John Bradley, Abigail Schein
Offered: January, February, May, July, September, November
Location: NONE - No Location
Open to Exclerks: No (HMS only)
Description: Students may add themselves to the waiting list for this course during add/drop periods but not during lottery periods. Course requires preapproval by Dr. Schein at least 2 months prior (Abigail.schein@va.gov). The AAMC, along with over 100 medical schools are working with Joining Forces, a national initiative that provides Service Members and their families the healthcare opportunities and support they have earned. As part of this initiative, Harvard Medical School (HMS) and VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS) will mobilize their integrated missions in education, research, and clinical care to train physicians to meet the healthcare needs of Veterans and their families. VABHS provides a comprehensive and integrated model of mental health treatment throughout the inpatient, residential and outpatient continuum that can be utilized for the Joining Forces Initiative as a national model. Our goal is to enhance medical education to ensure that current and future physicians are trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for Veterans. This goal will be accomplished through the inclusion of an advanced clinical elective in Post-Deployment Psychiatry for HMS Medical Students to enrich their learning experiences. This elective would be based at the Jamaica Plain campus and would involve faculty collaboration between the Mental Health Service and the National Centers for PTSD. In this elective, students would be trained to assess and diagnose post-deployment mental illnesses of Returning Veterans and learn of psychosocial and psychopharmacological treatment approaches for these conditions.
Incorporation of Basic Science Content and Evidence-Based Medicine:
The four-week elective outpatient rotation is based on the Jamaica Plain Campus of VABHS. Students would join faculty psychiatrists and psychologists in outpatient clinics. Students learn to provide advanced assessments of Post-Deployment mental illnesses that include a comprehensive assessment of psychiatric presentations, current medical and neurological illnesses, past medical history, past psychiatric illnesses, mental status exam including cognitive exam, case formulation, DSM diagnoses, and discussion of treatment interventions. Additionally, didactic presentations in Post-Deployment mental illnesses would be provided that include the following topics: Assessment of PTSD, Psychosocial Treatment Approaches of PTSD, Psychopharmacological Treatment Approaches, TBI Impact on Neuropsychiatric function, Neurological Consequences of TBI and Military Evaluation of Trauma and Concussion in the War Zone. Given the complexity and possible chronicity of PTSD and mTBI in returning Veteran populations, it is critical to train the next generation of physicians about these disorders. This course aims to expand the curricular and clinical experience for these trainees in the HMS and VABHS settings.
Grade Criteria:
Honors with Distinction: Demonstration of a high degree of interest and motivation and a high degree of acquisition of clinical skill and knowledge as evidenced by: Inquisitive Participation in all aspects of the rotation. Thought provoking contributions to clinical and didactic activities. Demonstration of competence in diagnosing PTSD and TBI with a high degree of specificity. Demonstrating the ability to develop a bio-psycho-social formulation and treatment plan at the Resident level. Honors: Demonstration of a high degree of interest and motivation and a high degree of acquisition of clinical skill and knowledge as evidenced by: Active Participation in all aspects of the rotation. Active contributions to clinical and didactic activities. Demonstration of competence in diagnosing PTSD an TBI with a reasonable degree of specificity. Demonstrating the ability to develop a bio-psycho-social formulation and treatment plan at the Intern level. Satisfactory: Demonstration of a interest and motivation and acquisition of clinical skill and knowledge as evidenced by: Participation in all aspects of the rotation. Contributions to clinical and didactic activities. Demonstration of competence in diagnosing PTSD and TBI with a reasonable degree of specificity. Demonstrating the ability to develop a basic bio-psycho-social formulation and treatment plan. Unsatisfactory: Unexcused Absences Avoidance of Clinical or Academic engagement.