Missouri Medical Review Fall 2009 : Page 28

Nine-year-old Remingtyn Bealmer hugs the tiger given to her at the 2009 Legacy Teachers Luncheon. Emily Stuart, a third-year MU medical student, was on her clinical rotation in pediatrics when Bealmer was hospitalized in August 2008 after being kicked by a horse. Stuart wrote an essay about Bealmer’s family as part of the Legacy Teachers Program. Celebrating Patients as Teachers Unique program recognizes lessons that patients and families share with students After she was kicked in the head by her horse last year, 9-year-old Remingtyn Bealmer had to re-learn how to walk and feed herself, as well as many of the other activities that healthy children enjoy. In the process, she became an extraordinary teacher to the medical students involved in her care at the University of Missouri. In April, the School of Medicine celebrated the important role that patients like Remingtyn and their families play in the education of medical students with its fourth annual Legacy Teachers Luncheon. Unique to MU, the Legacy Teachers Program invites third-year medical 28 Missouri Medical review Fall 2009 students to submit essays, artwork or poetry about lessons they learned from a patient. The luncheon ceremony recognizes patients who, by allowing medical students to be involved in their care, improve education and advance health care for future generations. “The Legacy Teachers Program provides a way for students to thank and honor these very special teachers,” said Linda Headrick, MD, the medical school’s senior associate dean for education and faculty development. “It also helps students learn to reflect on their experiences and develop a better appreciation for patient-centered

Celebrating Patients As Teachers

Unique program recognizes lessons that patients and families share with students<br /> <br /> After she was kicked in the head by her horse last year, 9-year-old Remingtyn Bealmer had to re-learn how to walk and feed herself, as well as many of the other activities that healthy children enjoy. In the process, she became an extraordinary teacher to the medical students involved in her care at the University of Missouri.<br /> <br /> In April, the School of Medicine celebrated the important role that patients like Remingtyn and their families play in the education of medical students with its fourth annual Legacy Teachers Luncheon. Unique to MU, the Legacy Teachers Program invites third-year medical students to submit essays, artwork or poetry about lessons they learned from a patient. The luncheon ceremony recognizes patients who, by allowing medical students to be involved in their care, improve education and advance health care for future generations.<br /> <br /> “The Legacy Teachers Program provides a way for students to thank and honor these very special teachers,” said Linda Headrick, MD, the medical school’s senior associate dean for education and faculty development. “It also helps students learn to reflect on their experiences and develop a better appreciation for patient-centered Care. This care includes respect for individual patient values, preferences and needs, as well as shared decisionmaking and active patient participation. The Legacy Teachers Program is one of the ways we ensure that our graduates’ care will be marked by compassion, empathy and patient advocacy.” Medical student Emily Stuart was on a clinical rotation in pediatrics at the time of Remingtyn’s accident.<br /> <br /> When the girl regained consciousness four days after her surgery to treat an open skull fracture, Stuart visited her daily. Stuart was so moved by her experience, that she chose to write an essay about the girl and her family as part of the Legacy Teachers Program.<br /> <br /> Stuart recalled the Bealmers’ positive attitudes and their active involvement with Remingtyn’s care. She said her experience caring for this family helps illustrate the balance between learning medical knowledge and learning about patients as individuals.<br /> <br /> “I need to learn as much as I possibly can from textbooks, but I also need to be a compassionate doctor,” said Stuart, who wants to become a pediatrician. “It’s not just what I think patients need. I need to talk to the patients and their families to truly learn what they really need.” Coming together for the Legacy Teachers Luncheon on April 16 gave Stuart the chance to re-connect with the Bealmer family and see how much Remingtyn, now 10 years old, has improved. After months of physical therapy, the girl has made an almost complete recovery and maintains her passion for horses, despite the accident.<br /> <br /> Remingtyn’s mother, Tyena Bealmer, said during their time at University Hospital she was impressed with the time students took to answer any questions, and to care, not just for the physical needs of the family.<br /> <br /> “They always took the time and cared, not just about how her incision looked, but about how her heart was doing,” Tyena Bealmer said.<br /> <br /> Since it was initiated in 2006, student submissions to the Legacy Teachers Program have increased from four to<br /> <br /> 23. Today, nearly a quarter of the third-year class submits essays, artwork or poetry to the Legacy Teachers Program.<br /> <br /> Surveys of participating second-year medical students show that more than 60 percent believe the program has provided them with new insights about providing patientcentered care.<br /> <br /> The Fifth Annual Legacy Teachers Luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 15, 2010, at the University of Missouri in the University Club at Reynolds Alumni Center. Alumni are invited to attend. For more information, please contact program co-founder and organizer Elizabeth Garrett, MD ’79, at 573-882-0974 or garrette@health.missouri.edu. For more information about contributing to the Legacy Teachers Program through its newly established endowment fund, please contact Sue Dunkin, School of Medicine Foundation executive director, at (573) 882-5371 or toll-free at 1-866-260-4517.<br /> <br /> —Natalie Fieleke

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