Thursday, October 20, 2016

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) Fall Open Houses

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) will be hosting our Fall 2016 Open Houses at our three This is a great opportunity for students to visit each campus, our anatomy labs, simulation centers, speak with students and more!

More details and signups can be found here on the website:

Auburn Campus
Auburn, Alabama
Friday, October 28th from 12-3pm

Carolinas Campus
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Friday, November 4th from 1-5pm

Virginia Campus
Blacksburg, Virginia
Saturday, November 5th from 12-4pm

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine Pre- Med Outreach Day

Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine’s  I.D.E.A. Council (Inclusion/Diversity/Equity/Action) will be hosting a Pre-Medical Outreach Day for its annual Diversity Week. This is an amazing opportunity for high school students from diverse backgrounds. Activities include:
  • “Simulated Emergency Room Lab” which includes learning about suturing, intubation, and other clinical skills
  • Hear from the co-founder of the organization “White Coats for Black Doctors”, Jenay A. Powell
Date: Friday, November 4th, 2016
Time:  8:30AM - 3:00PM
Location: Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, 42 East Laurel Road, Stratford, NJ 08084

There are only 100 spots available so register today!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thomas Jefferson University Open House

Jefferson is an academic medical center with a focus on interprofessional healthcare education. Students interact with peers in other programs across campus throughout their time at Jefferson, and they leave us ready to get to work on a diverse healthcare team.
Academic Programs include: Medicine, Physician Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, & many more!

Date: Saturday, October 22, 2016
Time: 9:00am
Location: Thomas Jefferson University, Dorrance H. Hamilton Building, 1001 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107

Program Highlights:
  • Academic Breakout Sessions - Meet with faculty and current students and discover more about curriculum and clinical experiences. 
  • Admissions - Talk with Admissions staff and learn about the admissions process, admissions criteria, prerequisite coursework and the credit evaluation process.
  • Financial Aid - Meet with representatives and learn more about funding your education.
  • Campus and Residence Hall Tours

Friday, October 14, 2016

Application Junpstart Program

Are you planning to apply to any of the following health professional programs in 2017-18? Just curious about the components of applying in the future?  
  • Dentistry 
  • Medicine 
  • Occupational Therapy 
  • Optometry 
  • Pharmacy 
  • Physical Therapy 
  • Physician Assistant 
  • Podiatry 
  • Veterinary Medicine
Don't miss this opportunity to jumpstart your application! 
Pre-Health Advisors will discuss:  
  • How to assess your candidacy 
  • Required application components 
  • Importance of timing 
  • Recent UVA application trends
Date: Tuesday, October 18th and Wednesday, October 19th
Time: Tuesday, 5:30-6:30pm and Wednesday, 6:30pm-7:30pm
Location: Monroe Hall 124

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Social Histories: Interprofessional Clinician Storytelling

Please join the UVA Compassionate Care Initiative for the 2nd Annual "Social Histories" event. The event consists of an interprofessional panel of doctors, nurses and social workers. Learn about providing more present, safe care to patients. FREE Sticks Dinner provided; event is open to all!

Date: Wednesday, October 19th
Time: 7-9 p.m. 
Location: McLeod Hall Auditorium

Summer Health Professions Education Program

The Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) program, a free, six-week summer enrichment program for college freshman and sophomore students interested in medicine and dentistry, has been shaping careers and changing the lives of pre-medical and pre-dental college students for more than 27 years. For the first time, the program is expanding to also accept students interested in a variety of health professions, such as nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, and public health.

Formerly SMDEP, the program is now the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP). SHPEP provides students interested in health careers with an educational opportunity during the summer that sets a solid foundation in the sciences, and more importantly, is guaranteed to make a lasting impression.
SHPEP is open to college freshmen and sophomores who identify as underrepresented minorities in the health care professions, and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Spanning 12 different states, applicants have the option to choose a program site close to home or visit other sites across the country. During the program, students will participate in classes emphasizing the basic sciences and math, career development activities, clinical exposure, and workshops in financial planning and health policy. This program also provides a unique opportunity to meet with other students interested in exploring various health professions, live on a college campus, and connect with the school’s faculty and admissions officers.

While the program is only six weeks long, your summer experience won’t end after completing SHPEP. With over 22,000 alumni to date, building a strong alumni network is a priority for the program. SHPEP program staff make concerted efforts to connect and engage with alumni and transform their summer experiences into lifelong connections throughout their personal and professional careers.

For 27 summers, the program has supported students’ exploration of their career dreams. We are looking forward to our next cohort of scholars in 2017. Join us in our efforts to advance diversity in the health professions – apply for the 2017 program (the application opens November 1) and help us spread the word. 

For more information about the program and how to apply, visit

VCU School of Dentistry Upcoming Events

VCU School of Dentistry SNDA Impression Day
Date: Saturday, November 12th
Register Here
The mission of the SNDA at VCU School of Dentistry is to promote minority enrollment and retention, to deliver improved healthcare to the underserved, to help create and sustain a healthy learning environment for dental students, and to educate students on their social, moral, and ethical obligations.

The VCU School of Dentistry SNDA will hosting its annual Impressions Day program on Saturday, November 12, 2016. The SNDA will be accepting applications for the 2016 Impressions Program on a rolling basis through Sunday, October 30, 2016. Applicants will be notified via email of their acceptance or rejection ten business days after their application is received. A $25 non-refundable programming fee will be due within 48 hours of your acceptance to secure your seat in the program. The acceptance email will contain information on how to pay the programming fee.

VCU School of Dentistry Open House
Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm.
Location: VCU School of Dentistry, 520 N. 12th St., Richmond, VA 23298
Register Here 
They will be going over the basics of the D.D.S. program, as well as the admissions requirements and the application process. Attendees will also have chance to tour the dental school facilities.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Accelerating Change in Healthcare - Part III

This article is a portion of the following publication:
Sorenson, T.D. (2016). Accelerating Change in Healthcare: Considerations for the Health Professions Pipeline. The Advisor: Journal of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, 36(3), 9-13.

 Implications for Future Health Care Professionals

So what does all of this mean for future health care professionals? For one, it may mean considering a broader scope of traits desired in "ideal" candidates for the health professions.

What traits do we typically seek? When I did a cursory search of advice to potential candidates for the health professions, I found the following traits described as being most desirable: strong communication and problem solving skills, empathy, emotional stability, flexibility, attention to detail and mature interpersonal skills. It's hard to argue with this list. At my school, we would certainly like to see all of our incoming students hold these traits. So when we think about the "ideal" candidate, we aren't thinking about changing the list of traits we look for. What we need to do is add to it.

After reading my description of the evolving dynamics in health care delivery (Part I & Part II), what would YOU add to this list? 

Here are the four characteristics I would add: 
  • Understanding that lines are blurring - Students seeking a career in the health professions should understand that professional roles are changing. Overlap in responsibilities between types of practitioners is becoming more common. As a result, students should take a broad perspective when evaluating career options to find the best fit. Someone who thinks they want to become a physician may want to also look closely at nursing or pharmacy. Both of these professions are assuming roles that have traditionally been associated primarily with physician roles. And this may not be apparent unless a student goes out of their way to discover how these roles are evolving. Additionally, students should understand there are disciplines in health care they may not have heard of previously in part because they are new and emerging. An example might be health informatics -- because it is not traditionally a public facing role and is a relatively new discipline, it may not be on the radar of individuals for whom a career in health care is a goal.
  • Demonstrate a Team Mindset - The ideal health professions candidate of the future will have a fundamental belief that teams can achieve more than individuals. They will genuinely express an appreciation for the process of teamwork. The days of any health care practitioner working in isolation or being fully responsible for care are diminishing. The best candidates will have demonstrated through their curricular and extra-curricular activities that they are about team-oriented goals, shared successes, and demonstrating a faith in the abilities in those with whom they work.
  • Commitment to Challenge Process - In an adaptive environment, the status quo is not sufficient. The way we do things today will not likely produce the success desired in the future. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated that they constantly seek to make things better, they are willing to assume responsibility for finding new ways of producing success. When we consider extracurricular involvement of candidates going through the admissions process at my school, we don't simply look at what candidates did with respect to extracurricular activities, but HOW they did it. Were they someone who was simply involved and engaged in work that was the norm for the group? Or were they someone who felt compelled to help all of the groups they worked with commit to excellence even if that meant a need to invest the time and energy necessary to find new ways of working. We are looking for people who are committed to "making things better," not simply "getting things done."
  • Adaptability and Versatility - Because no one can predict with specificity what the future of health care will look like, candidates should be comfortable with the fact that change is inevitable. It is an exciting time to be in the health professions if one embraces the opportunities that are emerging. Vision and imagination will help one take advantage of these opportunities. Resilience will be necessary when things inevitably don't go specifically as planned. Adaptability and versatility underlie these skills. Those who have traits will likely be most energized in the dynamic environment of health care. They will be those front line "adaptive leaders" who help produce systems improvement that support optimal health care for the patients served. 
The environmental changes sparked by the Affordable Care Act are disrupting the roles of health care professionals. This dynamic influences the skills required of practitioners in the future. A dynamic and rewarding career in the health care requires candidates to see beyond, "I like science and I want to help people." 

The author of this article, Dr. Todd Sorenson, is Professor and Associate Department Head, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. 

Accelerating Change in Healthcare - Part II

This article is a portion of the following publication:
Sorenson, T.D. (2016). Accelerating Change in Healthcare: Considerations for the Health Professions Pipeline. The Advisor: Journal of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, 366(3), 9-13.

 "I like science and I want to help people." 

Anyone who has interviewed candidates for a health professions program has heard this refrain when they ask the question, "Why do you want to pursue a career in [medicine / dentistry / pharmacy / nursing /etc.]?" 

For me personally, I've heard some version of this declaration in nearly every interview I've completed over the past several years. This is not to say this is an inappropriate answer. Certainly we want to admit students whoa re strong in the sciences and have an innate desire to serve others. But as our healthcare system evolves, the best health care practitioners will be those that embrace a role that extends beyond having strong clinical knowledge and skills that they will apply with a patient-centered mindset. I would see a candidate in a unique light if I heard revised declarations such as the following: 
  • "I like science, I want to help people AND I want to learn how we build systems of care that ensure that my patients receive the highest quality services possible"
  • "I like science, I want to help people AND I want to be part of an interprofessional team that works together to apply its collective knowledge and talents to deliver great care."
  • "I like science, I want to help people AND I want to provide leadership on the frontlines of care to constantly find ways in which we can serve patients better." 
These statements reflect three important trends that are influencing how health care is being delivered and how traditional roles of individual health professions are being disrupted.

Emphasizing Quality over Quantity: Today, most health care services are paid for in a "fee-for-service" model. A patient experiences a medical appointment, has a procedure or requires a stay in a health care facility and then the patient or third party (government or insurance company) pays a fee for the services received. It doesn't matter whether the service produces an effective outcome nor does it matter how many times the patients receive the service - each time a service is rendered, a fee is paid. In this model, quantity of service delivery is incentivized and expectations for quality are diminished.

The introduction of the Affordable Care Act has created a significant focus on shifting health care payment models such that quality is emphasized. As a result, payment models that typically require physicians to be the provider of a service and the entity billing for the service are changing. Hospitals and clinics are finding opportunities whereby they receive payments for managing the care of a payer's beneficiaries and have more flexibility in determining which practitioners can provide the services a patient needs. In turn, the payer is also setting expectations for achieving quality benchmarks, creating "report cards" for organizations and individual health care providers based on defined quality metrics and providing enhanced payments when those benchmarks are achieved. As health care organizations experience this increased flexibility in service delivery while being held accountable for higher expectations in quality, they are rethinking how they are deploying health care personnel. As mentioned previously, an emerging theme is "deploy the lowest cost personnel who can produce the best outcome." An example of this is that in primary care clinics certain chronic disease management activities are being managed by nurses, nurse practitioners, or pharmacists. This in turn allows physicians to spend more of their time engaged in more complicated diagnostic and management responsibilities.

Interdependent Teams are the Future: This rationalization of service delivery across different practitioners with distinct but complimentary skill sets is producing an environment in which teams of health care practitioners are working more closely together and becoming interdependent on each other's contributions. Less frequent is a scenario whereby a patient's care is delivered solely by a physician. Health science knowledge has exploded over the past decade and no single individual can adequately manage and apply it in increasingly complex health situations. The best sports teams are comprised of a group of individuals with unique talents, roles and responsibilities working in an orchestrated manner to achieve a common goal and health care teams are embracing a similar approach. As a result, health professions programs are increasingly investing in development of learning opportunities that bring together multiple disciplines to teach these groups of learners/practitioners to understand each others' roles, how to work effectively in teams, and ultimately produce better health outcomes through collaboration.

Adaptive Leadership Will Create the Systems of the Future: While what I'm describing is currently occurring in today's healthcare environment, it admittedly is not yet the norm in health care. We are in the midst of a period where the changes that will make team-based care and an emphasis on quality the normal way of doing business. The third idea contained in my rephrased "I like science and helping people" statements is leadership - a specific form of leadership that will drive these changes forward. Adaptive leadership is a leadership model that is effective when a group finds that:
  1. its deeply held beliefs are being challenged; 
  2. the values that made it successful in the past are becoming less relevant; 
  3. legitimate yet competing perspectives about the strategies to pursue change are emerging. 
These three characterizations are certainly true of the healthcare environment today.

When faced with adaptive challenges, a group doesn't know exactly how it needs to change its work. It needs to experiment to find the solutions. There is no "authority" that has the answers needed. This environment feels less safe because the outcome is unknown - it feels illusive. This is where most health care organizations are today. The rules that guide the health care system have changed and are continuing to evolve. Health care organizations need to adapt within an environment that isn't stable. No one has "the answer" for how to respond and the future is ambiguous. To adapt and thrive in this environment, testing new ways of working is a necessity and that experimentation must be managed by the health care professionals who are on the front lines. Working in tandem with the formal organizational leadership, more than ever health care practitioners need to hold a mindset that "change" is the new normal and they have an opportunity to produce the activities that will find the adaptations critical for future success.

Stay tuned for part III of this article: Implications for Future Health Care Professionals

The author of this article, Dr. Todd Sorenson, is Professor and Associate Department Head, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Accelerating Change in Healthcare - Part I

This article is a portion of the following publication:
Sorenson, T. D. (2016). Accelerating Change in Healthcare: Considerations for the Health Professions Pipeline. The Advisor: Journal of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, 36(3), 9-13. 

An Era of Change Precipitated by the Affordable Care Act 
Our healthcare system is undergoing the most dynamic period of change since possibly the 1960s, when the Medicare program was created. The stimulus for this change is of course the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama on March 23rd, 2010.

The Affordable Care Act was constructed around three core principles:
  1. increasing access to affordable care;
  2. increasing consumer protections; 
  3. improving quality and lowering costs. 
From my vantage point, the first two principles have received the greatest attention in the general media. But for the typical health care practitioner, the most impactful of these has been policy reforms that emphasize quality and cost containment. The focus on quality and cost - with the expectation of increasing value of health care services - is changing how health providers and healthcare organizations are paid, which is in turn reshaping the work of health care professionals.

Quickly disappearing are the days of simply providing a service and getting paid for it - a system that produced an emphasis on the volume of service delivered more so than the quality of those services. More and more, the performance of health care providers is being measured and payment policies are being aligned with attainment of quality thresholds. This is causing health care organizations to rethink how services are delivered and by whom. The general tenet emerging is that services should be delivered by the personnel that can produce the best outcome at the lowest cost. This dynamic will change the role of health care practitioners over the next decade and in ways that can't be fully projected. As mentioned above, a challenge for individuals interested in health careers is that they are often unfamiliar with these changes, likely haven't experienced them personally and therefore are possibly not including this in their considerations of a health professions career.

To illustrate this, take the following quiz. As you go through this list, note which statements are true of you or one of your immediate family members:
  • I (or an immediate family member) have received care in a "minute clinic" (urgent care provided by nurse practitioner or physician assistant located in a pharmacy or non-health care retail space. 
  • I have a nurse practitioner as my primary care provider...I only see a physician when referred for a specific need. 
  • I have had my medication prescription adjusted by a pharmacist who met with me in a medical clinic
  • I have received an immunization from a dentist.
  • I have had an "e-visit" with a physician (symptoms evaluated via web-based communications only). 
  • I have received a prescription for a medication without seeing the prescriber in person.
  • I have worked with someone who is a "care coordinator" for my primary care clinic.
  • I have met someone who has the title "community paramedic." 
I'm sure some of these are more likely to be true than others. But each of these statements represent ways in which healthcare is being provided today that wasn't prevalent or didn't exist prior to 2010. Each of these statements is representative of the trends that are pushing for role changes in health care delivery. These trends are supported by goals to incrase patient access to services, provide care in more efficient ways, and align work with individuals that have the knowledge and skills to deliver services with high quality and produce value in the health care system.

Stay tuned for part II of this article: "I like science and I want to help people" - But what else?
Make sure to follow along!

The author of this article, Dr. Todd Sorenson, is Professor and Associate Department Head, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.