Elisseou will continue to refine the framework and, with Puranam and Nandi, collect data on its effectiveness in the medical education and patient care settings. They will publish a description of their workshop this month in Medical Education as part of the journal’s series on innovation in medical education. The team also will present the data they’ve collected at internal medicine grand rounds at the Providence VA; run a webinar for the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Services; and plan to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed academic journal in the near future.
Already, Nandi and Puranam have noticed a cultural shift at school. They say their peers regularly share observations of the impact that the new practices have on their interactions with patients. Ultimately they envision trauma-informed care becoming an integral part of medical education beyond a single lecture or workshop. Nandi hopes it will be “the lens through which the Doctoring curriculum looks.”
Elisseou echoes that hope, finding inspiration in a potential ripple effect across the medical field. “That’s what makes me wake up early and go to bed late working on this—knowing that this can have an impact on real patients,” she says. The development, refinement, and integration of the trauma-informed physical exam framework will achieve a much simpler mission, she adds. “As long as we approach our patients with love, the outcome will usually be OK,” Elisseou says. “My hope in teaching the trauma-informed physical exam is to promote skills that communicate compassion, to have an impact on the way our patients feel when they are with us—I want them to feel safe, to feel loved. The mission of my life is love.”