Sexual assault trauma care training

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Sexual violence affects one in three of all female patients, and one in four of male patients, yet it is a subject that has been sorely minimized in healthcare education to date.

One student, Kylene Daily, was determined to change that at her school, The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

During her third year as a medical student in the Ohio State Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), Kylene noticed that, while sexual assault protocols were included in a student’s third year of the college’s program, there was no formal inclusion of the consequences and complexities of sexual assault in the medical school curriculum. That awareness prompted her to offer a solution that would eventually win her the “Community Supporter of the Year Award” from the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO).

Encouragement from faculty and classmates

With the help of classmate Tiffany Loftus and the guidance of faculty supporters and mentors along the way, Kylene set about developing a plan to create a 10-hour extracurricular course on trauma-informed care for sexual assault survivors and presented the plan to college leadership. The course was reviewed, accepted and eventually incorporated into the fourth year of the LSI Curriculum as a team-based learning (TBL) exercise.

Kylene’s supporters included Lawrence S. Kirschner, MD, PhD, professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Ohio State. Dr. Kirschner has supported efforts at the college to increase students’ understanding of the ethical and social aspects of not only biomedical research, but also of important health issues, including sexual assault.

“In today’s era of Title IX, the #MeToo movement, and the upswing in violence against the LGBTQ community, we need to be preparing our future physicians to care for victims of abuse, and to do it in a respectful and medically appropriate way that provides the best and most compassionate care to these individuals,” Kirschner says. “We train our MSTP students to identify gaps in understanding and use their knowledge and passion to fill them, be it in the lab, the clinic, or the curriculum. We are proud to support Kylene’s initiative and engagement with this problem, as her efforts will serve to improve the lives of our students, our patients and, hopefully, will spread throughout medical education to benefit others outside of the OSU Community.”

Implementing sexual assault care training elsewhere

Currently a student in the college’s Biomedical Science Graduate Program (BSGP), Kylene remains committed to educating others about the importance of sexual assault care training. She continues to moderate the 30-minute sexual assault portion of the TBL in the LSI curriculum and, with help from faculty physician Katherine Rivlin, MD, has created an online learning module for students as part of a sexual and domestic violence patient panel. She and Tiffany were asked to present their work at the annual conference held by the Generalists in Medical Education in Austin, Texas, in November 2018. Currently, their efforts are being written as a publication and are expected to be submitted to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology as a “Call to Action,” encouraging other medical educators and physicians with experience in trauma-informed care to teach all medical students, regardless of intended specialty, about this essential issue.