The UNM School of Medicine's Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation brought together 10 orthopedic clinicians and more than 30 occupational and physical therapists for a nationally renowned wound care course.
The course titled, “Doctors Demystify,” was held for the first time in Albuquerque at UNM's Domenici Center for Health Sciences Education.
Bringing together clinicians and therapists under one roof is an important goal, says Deana Mercer, MD, a pediatric hand surgeon and associate professor at UNM Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation. “We collaborate on patient care but we are on different parts of campus,” Mercer says.
Mercer and a team of specialty surgeons shared some of their best practices in a various areas including trauma, hip, knee, hand reconstructive surgery, and sports medicine.
The interactive exchange also gave experienced clinicians like Mercer an opportunity to learn from new and upcoming therapists. “It’s an opportunity not just to teach them but to also learn from them,” says Mercer, who is also a shoulder and elbow surgeon.
“Their approach to wound care is different than our approach,” Mercer noted. “Their teaching is more amenable to thinking outside the box than ours might be.”
Mercer says the course helps therapists provide enhanced patient care and share their knowledge with peers. “We really push for open access,” she says.
“It’s good to have this platform to ask questions,” says Matt Huffman, an occupational therapist at UNM Hospital.
Huffman is learning the ropes in wound care and answers a lot of questions from patients and their families. “The more information we can provide to them, it will help to put them at ease, Huffman says. “It will make a big difference.”
In 1990, Roy A. Meals, a clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at University of California, Los Angeles, initiated the continuing education course. Every year it brings together more than 1,200 occupational and physical therapists.