Parting Gifts - Please watch this great video, linked to the article here. (Click on the photo in the article to start the video.) It is about the anatomical gifts program at Boston University Medical School. http://www.bu.edu/bostonia/fall09/parting-gifts/
When might we begin a meaningful conversation with medical students on advance care and end of life planning?
Most medical schools in the US teach anatomy via dissection of donated bodies. The gross anatomy lab is a fundamental course taught during the 1st year of school. Some students see the cadaver as their "first patient." As each cadaver has been donated to a medical school as part of a person's end of life plan, might this be an opportunity to present this important topic for discussion? As students honor those that made this amazing gift to their education might this conversation be presented as a first exposure to the topics of death, dying, advance care planning and end of life planning?
Might bringing this conversation to students early in their education and building on it during their clinical training be a practical and useful approach, one that graduates physicians who are comfortable, knowledgable and prepared to have these necessary and important discussions with patients under their care? Might this approach also move the conversation out into the community as students are open and eager to learn, and share what they are learning with others?
[Students are excited to learn and to apply what they are learning. They often apply what they are learning to their own experience. They ask questions. They will ask questions to others as they move forward in their clinical education.]
Might some of the great ideas presented on this challenge be useful tools when having conversations with medical students?
@Death Over Dinner - They are currently working on an edition for medical personnel.
Update: July 7, 2016
Implementation - Some thoughts on how and when to implement this work.
Two sessions at the end of the gross anatomy class can be held during which EOL planning and concepts related to this can be discussed. Advanced directive forms, laws and their variation from state to state can be introduced briefly to give students an overview. Students can be introduced to these concepts using the My Gift of Grace Card Game during class sessions, working in small groups.
Students can actively learn about this work. How?
- By interviewing each other, followed by a reflective writing exercise which can then be shared with the group. They can also do a drawing exercise, such as graphic comics, also to be shared. (Timing of this to be determined. Does it belong in the Intro section in a Gross Anatomy Class or later in a course on interviewing skills and history taking? Both?
(Thanks MK Czerwiec for your great build!)