Community health becoming part of medical school curriculum

Ohio State University’s medical college teaches its students how to work with community populations, learning about the value of addressing health disparities in the process, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Where once community-based programming had been considered public health, integrating community service and population health into medical education curriculum makes for better doctors, the program director told the publication.

Through this program, medical students teach nutrition to Somali middle schoolers once a week, learning how to put preventive medicine into practice and also serving as powerful role models for the young students. They also interact with various community agencies to gain experience defining needs of various populations, then developing and implementing programs to address those needs. For example, the medical students have created projects to tackle hepatitis B among Asian populations, assess methods used to reach HIV/AIDS patients, decrease smoking in pregnant women and support senior citizens as they navigate the health care system.

Health stakeholders reflect on mistakes, opportunities with diabetes care

We know less than we think we do about diabetes prevention and while interventions often delay diabetes, they don’t ultimately prevent it, said a group of policymakers, researchers, clinicians and health experts in a recent Politico report. Diabetes also warrants comprehensive, community-centered care, they said. The group also admitted that the health community had wrongly focused for too long on lowering fat intake to prevent heart disease, leading to a diet rich in carbohydrates and sugar, which in turn contributes to diabetes.

With a new case of diabetes diagnosed every 21 seconds in the United States, the condition has become an epidemic, says Politico.

“The challenge is finding ways of preventing diabetes when possible and managing it optimally when prevention fails,” the publication said. 

Immigrant doctors volunteer often, comprise large chunk of physician workforce

In the third installment of Georgia Health News’ series on immigrant doctors practicing in the state, the publication focused on how foreign-born physicians often staff clinics on a pro-bono basis — most of the volunteer doctors at local free clinics are foreign born, the publication said — and it also highlighted how immigrant physicians comprise a sizeable chunk of U.S. physician workforce.

According to the American Medical Association, 18 percent of practicing physicians and medical residents in the U.S. were born in other countries. This comes as the U.S. physician shortage is expected to swell to up to 120,000 physicians by 2030, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. 

“Foreign-born physicians help fill the gaps, especially in primary care,” the publication said.