NWHSU hosts physician and nursing students

Rob Karwath for NWHSU | December 05, 2018

Medical and nursing students from the University of Minnesota visited Northwestern Health Sciences University to learn about our programs.

We’re all in this together—for our patients.

That is health care’s modern mantra. What once was an industry highly segregated by treatment approaches and caregiver skills has heard the call to put patients at the center—and to help them with care that works, often across treatments and disciplines.

That thinking was on display last week at Northwestern Health Sciences University, where about 170 second-year medical students and 35 advance-practice nursing students—both from the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus—spent parts of two days working and sharing learnings with students in the health professions taught and practiced at NWHSU.

This was the 16th year that NWHSU has hosted the U. of M. medical students—a relationship that began with a National Institutes of Health grant to encourage medically-based care programs and caregivers to learn more about complementary and integrative care and caregivers.

Similarly, this was the sixth year that the U. of M. nursing students have visited NWHSU, sharing what they do and learning what NWHSU students in massage, chiropractic acupuncture and other programs do—as well as how they might work more frequently and better together.

“The goal of both events is to broaden the thinking of medical and nursing students to include the health-care professionals we are training,” said Dale Healey, Dean of NWHSU’s College of Health and Wellness. “Our hope is that when they are in practice, they will think of working with a chiropractor, acupuncturist or massage therapist more than they might have without this event.”

As the students learn about each other’s experience and training, they find that they share at least one major attribute: A passion for caring for others and improving health.

“As more health-care delivery models turn to team-based care, these exposure events are one way we are promoting the incorporation of massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture and Chinese medicine into clinical practice,” Healey said.

At Wednesday’s visit, the medical students received a 20-minute introduction to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, followed by an event in the gym where they experienced needling, cupping, tuina, herbs and other modalities. The morning concluded with a discussion by a panel of experts, including an acupuncturist and a medical doctor, sharing thoughts on different approaches to patient care.

The advance nursing students started their Thursday visit with similar introductory information about chiropractic, Chinese medicine, acupuncture and massage therapy. Their day concluded with a discussion led by NWHSU’s Director of Integrative Care Michele Renee and U. of M. nursing faculty member Debbie Ringdahl.