Approximately 30 School of Medicine students from years 3 to 6 joined TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz in providing free “15 Minute Physicals” on Oct. 30 at the Research Medical Center Brookside Campus.
Nearly 150 volunteers performed more than 800 physicals throughout the day. Amanda Augustine, MS 3, and Katelyn Davis, MS 4, worked together at a screening station and said they saw the need in Kansas City for this event. “It was important because a lot of the people we saw had no access to care,” Augustine said. “They were able to get the vital numbers that could be the most threatening to their health, but also some that are the easiest to change.”
Davis said her favorite part of the day was meeting a wide variety of patients and learning more about what they are going through. “I was really surprised to hear how much these simple lab tests cost without insurance,” she said. “I talked to a patient who went in for lab tests and as a result, was prescribed medication. She didn’t go back to get the tests again to check for improvements because it was too expensive.”
Augustine and Davis helped a woman who underwent a double mastectomy but had not been back to the doctor since for fear of bad news. “She was very nervous about her lab results,” Davis said. “We were so excited when she had great results on the screenings!”
When student volunteers discovered an alarming situation with a patient or had questions, supervising physicians, such as Darryl Nelson, M.D., ’86, were there to help. Nelson, chief medical officer of HCA Midwest Health System, said this event was a great way for patients, students and physicians to learn more about each other.
“We look for opportunities to engage across the community, from provider to those in need,” Nelson said. “Folks may be uneasy to see a doctor, so an event like this can be life-changing for them. This is also a great way to expose medical students to this patient population.”
Kansas City was the sixth destination for the nationwide event and the only one that will be featured on the two-time Emmy® Award-winning, nationally syndicated The Dr. Oz Show, which airs locally on KMBC Channel 9 at 4 p.m. Patients pre-registered and provided their medical history on The Dr. Oz Show website. With that information in hand, they first spent five minutes at a station where volunteer medical and nursing students screened them for public health indicators such as glucose levels, cholesterol (triglyceride, HDL, LCL and total) and BMI.
In partnership with HCA Midwest Health System, Alere, Inc., and PracticeFusion, the “15 Minute Physicals” provide results, trends and averages in real time throughout the day. The next 10 minutes of the physical included a visit to a consultation desk where patients received advice and analysis of their test results. Volunteers offered information on local health care providers for follow-up care before patients exited.
At 3 p.m., Oz presented Mayor “Sly” Sylvester James with a report card containing the results of data collected from registrants during the day. This showed that four out of 10 patients seen had high blood pressure, 72 percent were overweight or obese and 13 percent were morbidly obese. The one area where Kansas City did well was getting plenty of sleep.
Oz said medical students are an important element of the event. “We love having med students at our ‘15 Minute Physicals’ because of their dedication and enthusiasm to patient care,” he said. “It helps them understand their mission in medicine, which is why we have them as part of the med unit for The Dr. Oz Show.”