The Mini Doc Program
Community Oriented Health Education on the Leeward Coast of Oahu, Hawaii
Unlike the traditional medical school equation of 2+2 or even 3 + 1 model, SOMA has initiated a unique “1+3” model, in which students are placed in the clinical setting much earlier.
During their first year on the Mesa campus, students’ coursework is supplemented with standardized patient interactions, simulations, medical skills, and osteopathic manipulative medicine. Then, beginning in year 2, students begin rotating with preceptors in one of eleven community campuses around the nation. While didactic instruction continues, patient interaction, professionalism, ethics, preventive medicine, and communication skills are emphasized in years 2-4.
This “1+3” model produces better prepared doctors and gives our graduates a significant head start on their medical careers.
The Mini Doc program was an educational intervention focused on providing underprivileged elementary students with knowledge on healthy living. Equipped with this information, “Mini- Docs” were encouraged to share what they had learned with their family and friends with the intention that the topics covered would reach the larger Waianae community.
Steps for Implementation
Second year medical students (OMSIIs) from ATSU-SOMA worked with teachers and administrators from Kamaile Academy to determine the most pressing problems faced by the community. Lesson plans were designed by OMSIIs in collaboration with Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center. Topics included nutrition, exercise, emotional well-being, hygiene, and disease. Lessons were presented weekly to five, third-grade classrooms. Mini- Docs were given a form to bring home weekly with instructions to have a family or community member document what they learned from the Mini-Doc. Surveys were given to students in the program and to classroom teachers at the conclusion of the eight-week program.
Benchmarks for Monitoring Results
Weekly “Mini-Doc” forms and survey results were evaluated at the conclusion of the program. Participants involved were queried and data was extrapolated based on responses.
Ninety-eight students participated in the program, 59 surveys were returned (60.20%). Forty- eight students reported sharing information learned in the program (81.36%) and 11 did not report sharing (18.64%). Students reported sharing to family (26; 54.17%), friends (1; 2.08%), community (4; 8.33%), and unknown (17; 35.42%).
Topics shared included healthy eating habits, hand washing, dangers of smoking, kindness towards others, exercise, and anatomy.
Six teachers were queried and all surveys were returned, all provided positive feedback.
Conclusions on Replicating in Other Health Centers
The Mini Doc program was successful in meeting its goals of improving the health literacy of elementary aged children and in disseminating that knowledge to the community. In its current form, the program has been tailored to meet the unique cultural and socioeconomic environment that exists on Leeward Oahu. We believe it would be equally as effective in other underserved Pacific Island communities. Further, we assert that the basic educational framework of the Mini Doc program could be implemented by other health centers if the material is adapted to meet the individual needs of the communities they serve.
There were several limitations concerning data collection of with the project. The majority of the data collected was based on subjective responses from 3rd grade students, which may not be the most reliable source of information. Another limitation was the amount of time allotted deliver educational materials to the participants. In order to make a greater impact on the community at large a long term program would have to be utilized. A third limitation is the lack of training for the medical students in educating third grade students.