The USF Honors College & Dept. of Anthropology Undergraduate Course Led by Jason Wilson, MD, Emergency Medicine & Roberta Baer, PhD, Anthropology, is now in full swing & entering the third year. Check out the USF Magazine Article below about the course & look for the students in the ED completing their participant observation exercises with patients, physicians & staff in the waiting room! Soon, the students will move into interviews with patients that have suffered gun shot wounds and add qualitative data to the field of firearm safety research after non-lethal injuries.
Roberta Baer and Jason Wilson were featured on the Anthro Alert Podcast in October 2017. Some of the insights from the faculty and students follow:
“Our explicit goal in this class was to train pre-medical students to have a better understanding and valuation of the patient perspective in the physician-patient encounter. These issues are at the core of the subfield of applied medical anthropology...While students were required to shadow physicians, they were also required to shadow patients, which we have learned is a key activity in developing an understanding of the patient experience. The class used what they learned to put together a leaflet for patients about common misunderstandings of how the Emergency Room works, and then evaluated the perceptions of the leaflet. Reflection activities about their experiences were also required" - Baer
“The course pushed me to thinking outside of the box and into new perspectives…While putting together all of the research the class has done this semester has been hectic, it has also been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life" - Student
One student noted: “I learned most importantly not to lose sight of how much of an impact you can have as a physician on a patient’s life, both for the good and the bad.
“Never could I have imagined what this class would teach me about medicine and about myself… Despite dreading the 4 hour patient shadowing assignment since syllabus day, looking back, it was probably my favorite assignment of the class… Mainly the patients taught me that their health wasn’t something separate from their lives. Their health was something that affected them every day and really influenced the person they had come to be, and how the interactions they would have in the ER would impact their coming days and weeks.” - Student 2017
“In reality, the majority of people who come to the ER do not have fascinating, rare or life-threatening problems. People come with chest pain, back pain, social pain. They come just in case, or because nowhere else will take them. This causes the true gap in models: expectations. Physicians simply want to make sure someone is healthy enough to leave. Patients want to find out what is wrong with them and fix it." Student 2017