OSU-COM partners with NSUOCO for interprofessional education opportunity
Thursday, October 7, 2021
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The Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry have partnered together for interprofessional education opportunities.
OSU-COM in Tulsa and the OSU-COM at the Cherokee Nation location in Tahlequah recently hosted NSUOCO for joint lectures and hands-on training.
Faculty, residents and fourth-year students from NSUOCO assisted OSU medical students and physician assistant students in learning the basics of an eye exam including exam techniques, proper equipment utilization and triaging patients with ocular complaints.
“NSUOCO is very excited to have this opportunity for cross-disciplinary cooperation. It is a great chance for the students and faculty of each program to increase their knowledge of different sub-specialties,” said Dr. Jeff Miller, assistant dean for Academic Affairs at NSU Oklahoma College of Optometry.
Kelsi Batioja was one of the OSU medical students who took part in the interprofessional education event with NSUOCO on Sept. 30.
“I think it’s really great. They spend all their time studying the eye,” said Batioja, a second-year medical student at OSU-COM at the Cherokee Nation. “The hands-on learning helps me and they’re great about explaining things to me. It’s nice interacting with people from other fields.”
For the NSUOCO students, faculty and staff, the partnership gives them the chance to work with future physicians and reinforce the techniques and knowledge they’ve learned by teaching it to others.
“I think it’s a great way to learn from each other and meet each other. Make those connections and learn more about what the other profession does,” said Sarah Melinders, a fourth-year NSUOCO student.
For both NSUOCO and OSU-COM students, the partnership is an opportunity to learn alongside other health care professionals and students for the good of Oklahoma patients, said Dr. Nicole Farrar, chair of the Interprofessional Education Committee and interim chair of the Department of Medical Education.
These partnerships are important for building a foundational understanding of the different health care professions and how they contribute to patient care. The goals of interprofessional education include teaching our students how to work with other professions and developing an understanding of how they function as part of the health care team.
In the past, training programs didn’t normally introduce students to other health care professions as part of their education, Farrar said. It wasn’t until after they started practicing medicine that they learned of other professions and their expertise, possibly missing opportunities to consult on cases at the detriment of patients.
“The partnership with NSUOCO introduces our students to another resource in their future practice,” she said. “As we work to meet the health care needs of rural and underserved Oklahoma, our students need to expand their view of how to improve that care. If our students are aware that these other professions are available to meet patients’ needs they are more likely to reach out and make those referrals.”