In January 2012, BUSM was invited to the Joining Forces Initiative, a partnership with the White House, the Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) and more than 100 medical schools. The collaboration provides veterans and their families with healthcare opportunities and support. It strengthens medical education on issues affecting military personnel such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
As part of this initiative BUSM, which has a rich history of neurological and psychiatric scholarship, has held a number of lectures and training opportunities.
BUSM hosted Special Forces Major Gerald DePold, Physician Assistant, who spoke about the Special Forces Medic system for evaluating and managing head injuries. A lecture on TBI and neurorehabilitation was given by nationally renowned neurologist Douglas Katz, MD. In 2013, Ann McKee, MD will speak on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and the impact of blast injuries by neuropathology. These lectures enhance students’ understanding of the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and treatment of these military injuries. Additional lectures were presented on PTSD, depression and substance abuse.
Collaboration between BUSM and VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS) has resulted in the development of a specialized curriculum focused on post-deployment mental health and neurological issues. This elective will address the unique needs of our military personnel. The program is designed to provide medical education about post-deployment mental health and neurological issues to medical and graduate students ensuring that they are skilled in recognizing and treating both the physical and psychological effects of war.
BUSM has forged ahead with VABHS on another research and education activity. On June 28, the Inaugural BUSM and VABHS PTSD and TBI conference took place. This event, which was held in conjunction with Naval week, featured poster presentations on cutting-edge PTSD and CTE research conducted at area medical institutions. Rear Admiral Wagner and James Kelly MD presented “The Naval Response to PTSD and TBI.” There were more than one hundred participants and more than 35 posters. This collaborative experience served to foster the Joining Forces educational initiatives and to bring together researchers, educational leaders, and students.
BUSM also assists with the dissemination of clinical knowledge through online lecture postings to the Joining Forces iCollaborative site. A TBI slide set by Douglas Katz, MD was the first offering. Additional programming is in development including the military response to TBI and CTE.