About This Project
About half of Americans will meet criteria for a mental disorder at some time in their lives. This underscores the importance for educational efforts to focus on the recognition of mental disorders in the primary care setting. We’ve accomplished this by merging medical education with pop culture. By transforming the theater into an educational venue, our primary objective is to raise awareness of and review mental illness among primary caregivers at Rutgers-RWJMS.
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What is the context of this research?
Findings from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Project (2005) revealed that about half of Americans will meet the criteria for a mental disorder sometime in their lifetime. The total economic costs of these illnesses exceed $103.7 billion (Rice, 2006). Given that 70-80% of individuals with mental illness who seek treatment will not present to a psychiatrist, it is critical for educational efforts to focus on the awareness, detection, assessment, and management of mental disorders in the primary care setting. One potential barrier to providing professional development is engaging non-psychiatric caregivers on topics germane to psychiatry and human behavior. Our project readily addresses this barrier.
What is the significance of this project?
The significance of our project lies in the 70-80% of individuals with mental illness who seek treatment from their primary care physician. Efforts in professional development and continuing education about psychiatric issues afflicting primary care populations have routinely fallen short. Primary care providers require continuing psychiatric education to ensure that they readily recognize and effectively treat co-occurring mental illness in the patients they serve. Our project provides the necessary professional development in a way that's creative therefore assuring enthusiasm and interest among primary care physicians.
What are the goals of the project?
The main goal of our project is to raise awareness of mental illness among primary care givers at Rutgers-RWJMS. As a hospital Quality Improvement (QI) project, we will dispense surveys to medical staff to capture data pertaining to attitudes, skills, and knowledge of mental disorders seen in their patient populations. We will then implement a program where medical staff attends local entertainment events. Following each event, faculty from the Department of Psychiatry will analyze the human behavior demonstrated to reach specified teaching objectives thereby transforming the event into a teaching didactic. At the end of each academic year, we will redistribute our surveys to capture endpoint data that assess whether our program effectively changed physicians' perspectives.
As a Quality Improvement (QI) project, a subscription to Survey Monkey will assist with capturing data at the beginning of our project and after one year following implementation to measure QI outcomes.
The innovation behind our project is that we take continuing education out of the lecture hall and move it to various community venues; movie theaters and Broadway stages will serve as the venues where faculty from the Department of Psychiatry will provide professional development to medical staff of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Meet the Team
Our education team is comprised of master educators at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School lead by Dean Sherine Gabriel. Dr. Gabriel is leading the charge to merge our university's clinical (treating co-occurring mental illness) and educational missions (continuing education through art and media). This innovative collaboration with local theater groups is sure to engage teaching faculty and is critical in professional development to better serve patients in our care.
Dr. Anthony Tobia is a graduate of the West Virginia University dual Med/Psych Residency Program and is triple boarded by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, and the American Board of Internal Medicine (maintenance of certification pending). He holds academic appointments of Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine (GIM) and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School where he serves as the Associate Program Director and Director of Medical Student Education.
Nell Maloney Patel
Nell Maloney Patel is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical school and is the current Program Director for the General Surgery Residency. She completed her residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia and a Colon and Rectal Surgery Fellowship in Chicago at Cook County Hospital/University of Illinois at Chicago. She is board certified in both General Surgery and Colon and Rectal Surgery. Her clinical interests are improving educational training programs for surgical residents, multidisciplinary approaches to rectal cancer and minimally invasive surgery, including Robotics.
As faculty secretary she is working towards creating community among physician partners and looking for novel ways to promote the unique gifts of faculty. She believes strongly in collaboration and looking towards innovative and creative solutions to a variety of challenges.
I became dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in July, 2015. Prior to this role, I served as the dean of Mayo Medical School at the Mayo Clinic, where I was also professor of medicine and professor of epidemiology at Mayo Medical School since 2000 and the William J. and Charles H. Mayo endowed professor since 2005. While at the Mayo Clinic, I worked in a variety of roles for nearly 30 years, and held many key leadership positions including:chair of Mayo Clinic’s Department of Health Sciences Research, medical director of its international office, and medical director of its Office for Strategic Alliances and Business Development; and as a member of the Mayo Clinic Executive Board. I also maintained an established NIH-funded research program in the epidemiology of the rheumatic diseases.
As a Canadian, I received my undergraduate education at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the College of Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan Medical School, before earning my medical degree with distinction at the University of Saskatchewan.
Ever since childhood, I've been interested in and, to a small extent, involved in the dramatic arts. So this project allows me to bring my love of Medicine together with my love of theater and drama.
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