background image
of the
he students' experience is indicative of how the
medical school's initiative is expanding to incorporate
a broader spectrum of learning opportunities. Initially
a full-day, eight-hour session during students' fourth
year, the program is evolving, in part due to students' desire
for earlier exposure to the training, so they could apply the
principles during their third-year clerkships.
"We are trying to pull the thread, not waiting until the
last year of medical school. Instead, we will be introducing
the concepts throughout the curriculum," says Dr. Like.
"We need to integrate this training seamlessly, just as we
teach our students to work with patients with limited
English proficiency, limited health literacy, victims of
health care disparities--from the very first days of medical
school," stresses Dr. Terregino.
Pre-reading assignments in the curriculum will address
cultural differences between branches of the military--why,
for example, it would be inappropriate to refer to a U.S.
Marine as a "soldier." (He or she is a marine; soldiers serve
in the U.S. Army.) Student guidebooks are being enhanced
to incorporate questions about military service as part of
the history and physical. And the medical school is com-
mitted to expanding the reach of the program in other
ways--in particular, focusing on training interdisciplinary
teams of professionals at hospitals and health systems.
Dr. Terregino firmly believes that all health care workers
need to receive this type of training and hopes that, in the
same way New Jersey was a leader in cultural competency
training, it can be at the forefront of training health care
professionals to better care for those who serve or have
served in the military. This type of interprofessional in-
volvement and learning is critical to the success of the pro-
gram, since each member of the health care team has a role
to play in providing the best care, whether it be the triage
nurse, physician, social worker, pharmacist, or physical
therapist, among others, she says.
"We brought together colleagues from pharmacy, nurs-
ing, social work, psychology, physician assistant programs,
and physical therapists as part of the training," she says.
"We used our faculty in neuroscience, pharmacy, psychia-
try, and physiatry to deliver a meaningful session on trau-
matic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. We
modeled for our 400 learners faculty interprofessionalism
in tackling the issues."
Dr. Like and his colleagues have been very pleased with
the positive feedback from faculty and learners and great-
ly appreciate the growing interest in the program, both
within and outside of Rutgers, as well as by the press and
media. "We hope to attract further support to build on and
disseminate the training program in New Jersey, regional-
ly, and nationally, in order to improve the health and well-
being of our nation's veteran population," Dr. Like says.
As one of the first medical schools in the country to offer
this type of program, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
continues to be a leader on these issues. Working in collabo-
ration with the Steptoe Group, Warrior Centric Health will
become one of the signature programs of the medical school's
newly established Institute for Excellence in Education and
its Academy of Medical Educators, says Dr. Terregino, who
also serves as the institute's founding director.
"Our medical students are getting ready to treat every-
one, and whether we are aware of them or not, this in-
cludes veterans," Parks says. "As long as we are going to
call our young men and women into service, we need to be
ready to treat them when they come home. This is our duty
as Americans and as health care providers."
24 Robert WoodJohnson
The War After:
Combat to Campus
new Rutgers documentary reveals more about the
issues veterans face returning to civilian life. The
trailer for The War After: Combat to Campus, from
the Rutgers Center for Digital Filmmaking in part-
nership with Rutgers Veteran and Military Services and the
Rutgers Office of Student Affairs, has been used in Robert
Wood Johnson Medical School's Joining Forces training
sessions. The film's initial screening on campus was held
February 12 at 7 p.m. at the Nicholas Music Center in New
Brunswick, in conjunction with the Mason Gross School
of the Arts. Additional information can be found at