Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Loyola Stritch School of Medicine Helps Bridge the Gap for Future Military Physicians

MAYWOOD, Ill. – Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is playing an integral role in providing specialized training and support for medical students who are preparing to serve as physicians in the U.S. military. Loyola is the only medical school in the Chicago area to offer a targeted mentor program and lecture series twice a year that provides insight into the unique role of caring for the health needs of veterans, service members and military families.

“The structure of the military and caring for fellow soldiers and their families is very different than physicians caring for the civilian population,” said Patricia McNally, Ed.D., assistant dean, medical education at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and faculty adviser for military medical students. “Just by the nature of what they are doing, whether they are serving with a deployed unit or on base, their environment, patient population and lifestyle, will be very different than their colleagues who are not in the military. We hope to help bridge that gap in their training so they are better prepared to serve the men and women of the military."

This year’s lecture series will focus on a multidisciplinary approach to treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD has been determined as an area in critical need of education for current and future physicians.

Special guest presenter Col. Peter G. Napolitano, MD, MC, USA, who is a Stritch grad, will use Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (STEPPS) to help students understand their role as a military physician in team building. The Department of Defense Patient Safety Program developed the Team STEPPS program to produce highly effective teams that optimize the use of information, people and resources to achieve the best outcomes for patients.

Two lectures will be offered. Nurses, doctors, social workers and other caregivers are welcome to attend a lecture on Nov. 9. Medical school students from throughout northern Illinois have been invited to the Nov. 10 lecture.

“Part of who we are as a medical school is to prepare our students to lead extraordinary lives and help them reach their full potential as physicians wherever they go. The students who choose to serve our country are amazing and it’s our responsibility to ensure they receive the best possible training to serve the military and our country,” McNally said.

In addition to the lectures, students are paired with physician mentors who are either active in the military or retired to help answer questions and give them a perspective on their role as a military physician.

“We are very fortunate at Loyola to have a wonderful partnership with the Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital as well as numerous physicians on staff who are either currently serving or have served in the military,” McNally said.

Started four years ago, the program helps future military physicians better understand, diagnose and treat the needs of veterans, service members and military families.

“This is not an easy road and I have the greatest respect for these men and women who have made this choice. It is an honor to be able to serve them,” McNally said.

If you are a health-care professional and wish to attend the Nov. 9 lecture, please contact Dr. Patricia McNally at pmcnally@lumc.edu or call (708) 216-4998.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), located on a 61-acre campus in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH), on a 36-acre campus in Melrose Park, and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. At the heart of LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that houses the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, a burn center, a children's hospital, Loyola Outpatient Center, and Loyola Oral Health Center. The campus also is home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. The GMH campus includes a 254-licensed-bed community hospital, a Professional Office Building with 150 private practice clinics, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 22 states from coast to coast with 93 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations — including home care, hospice, PACE and senior living facilities — that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually.