The Wayne State University School of Medicine is among 100 medical schools across the country to commit to supporting the ideals behind the United States’ Joining Forces Initiative.
The government initiative was created by President Barack Obama to enhance the wellness of America’s veterans, service members and their families by mobilizing all segments of society to give them the opportunities and support they have earned.
WSU will join with others to strengthen the supportive community of physicians and health care professionals dedicated to improving the health of the military and its members. The announcement was made earlier this month in Richmond, Va., at an event attended by first lady Michelle Obama.
The John D. Dingell Veteran Affairs Medical Center in midtown Detroit participates as an affiliated hospital in many of WSU’s residency programs, said VA Chief of Staff Scott Gruber, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.S., F.C.P., F.A.C.H.E., who is also associate dean for Veterans Affairs and Professor of Surgery for the WSU School of Medicine.
The combined VAMC and Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center offers third-year medical students clerkship rotations in Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry and Neurology.
“Our medical students gain additional knowledge about caring for the special needs of our veterans during their clinical time at the VAMC, under the supervision of knowledgeable and caring VA physicians,” said Maryjean Schenk, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., vice dean of Medical Education and professor of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences.
Participating medical schools have committed to enhancing medical education to ensure that all physicians are trained in the unique clinical challenges of caring for military service members, veterans and their families.
The most common, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, include traumatic brain injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, mental illnesses such as depression, chronic pain, occupation and environmental exposures such as anthrax and exposure to asbestos, hearing loss and vision loss.
As part of the national partnership, WSU will share the most up-to-date diagnostic and therapeutic information on TBI and PTSD, as well as expand the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for this group. Joint research is being performed in the areas of TBI and PTSD, with joint recruitment of researchers under way.
The VAMC and WSU have already spearheaded joint recruitment of academic faculty in various clinical departments, most notably in the current rejuvenation and expansion of the Department of Anesthesiology. It included the appointment of Douglas Bacon, M.D., M.A., to chair the department in November 2011.
Dr. Bacon came to WSU from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he was professor of Anesthesiology and History of Medicine for the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He also served as chief of Anesthesiology Service at Veterans Affairs Healthcare Network Upstate New York at Buffalo, N.Y.