Pediatricians nationwide are continually faced with the childhood overweight/obesity epidemic, a chronic health problem affecting approximately 30% of children in the United States. Many of the patients referred to Boston Medical Center’s ambulatory Pediatric Cardiology clinic suffer from complications of overweight/obesity, including elevated blood pressure, lipid, and glucose levels. Finding an interesting way to educate young patients and their families during clinic about maintaining healthy lifestyles can be a challenge. Through the use of “1-on-1” mentorship and an interactive e-curriculum, we will enhance patient engagement and help form a relationship between medical students and the patients involved in the Fit4You initiative. Medical students will then follow up with the patients they educated in order to monitor their progress in making healthy choices and encourage them to continue, as well as to reinforce principles of the e-book curriculum discussed in clinic.
Our mission is to enable pediatric patients to make lifestyle decisions that will benefit them now and well into the future. With this, we intend to put an end to the modern-day epidemic of childhood obesity, with a model that can be replicated in other health centers around the country. Furthermore, through working so closely with patients and their families, we aim to provide medical students with impactful and meaningful clinical experience early on in their healthcare careers.
- Increase patient and patient family awareness of the benefits of eating healthy and being active through the use of a Comprehensive Animated Resource for Education (CARE) e-book.
- Succeed in helping at-risk patients overcome childhood obesity by building relationships with them and helping them utilize resources in their community to make healthy choices.
- Give medical students the opportunity to play an important role as members of a patient’s healthcare team early on in their medical education through mentorship of pediatric patients.