Psychiatry 2022

Medical Student Wellbeing Curriculum Evaluation

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Lisa Merlo
Email: lmerlo@ufl.edu
Phone Number: (352) 294-4932
Project Category: CQI
International Component or Travel: No

Research Project Description:

In order to facilitate the development of competent, compassionate physicians who find balance and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives, the UFCOM has integrated a provider-patient wellness curriculum within the longitudinal Collaborative Learning Group experience. For this MSRP project, the student research assistant will work on IRB-approved educational research related to this program. Specifically, the student will help with evaluating and revising existing educational modules, as well as developing additional modules for implementation and evaluation. Data will be used to prepare submissions for publication in a medical education journal such as MedEdPORTAL. It is expected that the student will have opportunities for authorship.

Assessment of Medical Student Wellbeing in Florida

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Lisa Merlo
Email: lmerlo@ufl.edu
Phone Number: (352) 294-4932
Project Category: Translational
International Component or Travel: No

Research Project Description:

In order to better understand factors currently affecting medical student wellbeing in the State of Florida, this project will survey students across all 10 medical schools. Items will assess mental and emotional wellbeing, burnout, stress, exposure to harassment/discrimination/bullying, coping strategies, substance use, institutional supports, etc. The MSRP student will assist with analysis of the survey results, and will contribute to preparation of abstracts for conference presentation. It is expected that the student will have the opportunity for authorship on a peer-reviewed scientific publication.

Increasing cooperation with medical and hygiene procedures

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Takahiro Soda
Email: takahirosoda@ufl.edu
Phone Number: (352) 294-4880
Project Category: Clinical
International Component or Travel: No

Research Project Description:

Some individuals with autism and/or intellectual/developmental disabilities display challenging behavior in the context of medical or hygiene procedures. Previous research has evaluated methods such as stimulus fading and differential reinforcement of alternative behavior to increase cooperation with these procedures (Shabani & Fisher, 2006). The current study will attempt to replicate and extend these methods to further refine treatments for cooperation with medical and/or hygiene procedures. This clinical-research project is closely in partnership with the UF Health Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment; there are at present no supplemental funding sources. The medical student might participate in baseline, treatment, or post-treatment sessions, score videos of challenging behavior, or assist in graphing and data analysis using single-subject design.

Disparities in standard of care in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Faculty Mentor’s Name: Dr. Takahiro Soda
Email: takahirosoda@ufl.edu
Phone Number: (352) 294-4880
Project Category: CQI
International Component or Travel: No

Research Project Description:

Autism Spectrum Disorder affects 1 in every 44 individuals in the Unites States. Interventions do exist to alter the developmental trajectory of individuals with ASD, however it is important that these interventions be done during key developmental phases in a persons life, making early recognition and diagnosis crucial for the treatment of this disorder.
Historically, rates of diagnosis as well as the age in which the diagnosis is made have varied widely by sex, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status including whether the individual resides in a rural area. Studies have also shown that this disparity can be overcome with systemic interventions.

The University of Florida Health System serves as the primary–>tertiary care health system for a large geographical area in North and Central Florida, much of which is rural. Preliminary review of records have identified such disparities with regards to the rates of diagnosis, application of recommended evaluations. The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment will implement a series of PDSA cycles incorporating input from key stakeholders including local parents of kids with ASD, primary care providers that work in the communities that we serve as well as seek input from other institutions that have successfully worked to reduce these disparities so that the standard of care can be successfully implemented for all of our patients.

Medical Students will play a key role in the collection/ analysis of data related to the standard of care treatments. There will be opportunities to go to the field with partners from the Center for Autism and Related Disorders to understand the barriers individuals with ASD/ families while they seek diagnostic clarification in rural communities and will have opportunities to suggest and develop plans to help implement changes to improve the successful detection, diagnosis, and care for individuals with ASD.