Junior Doctors of Health: an interprofessional service-learning project addressing childhood obesity and encouraging health care career choices
While much literature describes programmatic success of clinical service-learning opportunities, this initiative integrates student learning across a comprehensive discipline set (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Administration, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant), providing preventive health education and role modeling to low-income elementary-school children. Junior Doctors of Health© (JDOH), a health education curriculum taught by Medical University of South Carolina students, addresses childhood obesity and encourages child interest in health professional (HP) and biomedical science (BS) careers. Of the 78 surveyed HP/BS students, over 80% agreed JDOH was worthwhile for their professional development, increased their appreciation and ability as an interprofessional team member, improved their understanding and interest in underserved communities, and provided them with valuable childhood-obesity prevention information. With the increased need for childhood-obesity prevention and team building among students of various health and science professions, recommendations are offered to others interested in creating or collaborating to build similar service-learning initiatives.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21927772