Fellowships help to advance humanistic care for underserved communities

5 Jul 2021

Three UQ Ochsner medical students are among 24 selected from across the nation as the 2021 Gold Student Summer Fellows.

These summer fellowships provide an opportunity for medical students to deepen their understanding of the challenges of health inequities, enhance culturally responsive practice and address community health needs.

Fourth year medical student, Tyler Kidd said that as a student at the first international medical school to have a chapter at the Gold Humanism Society, it means a great deal to receive this award.

Tyler, Rana Mehdizadeh and Taryn Lai were selected for their telehealth outreach project, which will provide support to patients in New Orleans with limited access to healthcare, who are low-health literate and at high-risk.

Tyler Kidd
Rana Mehdizadeh
Taryn Lai

“We have worked hard to develop a project that serves our community and hope that someday it can be used as a model for patient care,” Tyler said.

“I believe this is a great opportunity to improve and further develop virtual healthcare services especially in the time of a global pandemic.

“Even without a pandemic, I believe virtual healthcare services are essential to reaching out to underserved and rural communities.

“Hopefully with the work undertaken in this project, we can help our patients learn more about chronic diseases and their prevention.”

Mentor and Internal Medicine physician, Dr Kathy Jo Carstarphen said this project addresses equity, community, access to care and improving health outcomes of vulnerable patients.

“Our student team is definitely developing the skills to become compassionate, relationship-centered physicians,” said Dr Carstarphen.

Over the summer Tyler, Rana and Taryn will train patients on the user-friendly telehealth iPads, perform real-time tech support for patients as they log into the virtual visits and perform student-led virtual visit encounters with an emphasis on disease education.

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