Unique program allows medical students to make house calls with hospice patients

The program is part of a long-time partnership between the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:31 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Over the last 40 years, Hospice of Northwest Ohio has helped tens of thousands of people with end of life care, and for more than 20 of those years, the organization has had a special partnership with The University of Toledo College of Medicine.

The program introduces third-year medical students to the work of Hospice of Northwest Ohio as part of their Internal Medicine rotation. This kind of partnership is not part of training at all medical schools and there’s another unique component to it.

“Since most of the care hospice provides is done at home with the patients, this is the only opportunity I know if through medical school, that gives the students the experience of house calls,” says UT’s Dr. Chris Lynn, who has been part of the partnership from the beginning. “There are a lot of misconceptions about hospice care, and this gives them a personal experience with the philosophy. Many of them will have an opportunity to see patients during their careers who would benefit from this kind of care.”

“I think it helps the students look at a patient as a whole, and realize the physical aspect of a patient is not everything,” says Nikki Doseck, a Nurse Practitioner who has been at Hospice of Northwest Ohio for the last five years. “Emotional and spiritual aspects of a person play a big part in things too. I had one student come up to me after and tell me she was interested in becoming a hospice doctor because of the experience.”

Hospice of Northwest Ohio has helped about 65,000 people and their families with end of life care since it began forty years ago. It now averages about 2,500 patients a year.

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