It is with open arms that Kim Rinehart, former Director of Community Arts Connection (CAC), welcomes medical residents from UR Medicine’s Pediatric Links with the Community (PLC) intern community rotation program. CAC supports adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) with a focus on arts programming. Between one and six medical residents visit the day service location in Brighton at a time. Residents are required to attend a variety of different local community programs to spend time anywhere a patient might receive services, for example a homeless shelter or CAC.
What do the residents learn while visiting?
When residents arrive for their tour Kim Rinehart talks to them about what practice they’re going into, which could be family medicine or pediatrics. They see an overview of the Arc of Monroe’s services for adults with IDD and take information that they can use as a resource later on or pass along to a family.
After the information session they enjoy a tour of the facility, meet people we support in the program and ask questions.
Why is it important for residents to do this?
Doctors are most often the first person to recognize and diagnose IDD so having a familiarity with community services is priceless. Being able to provide a resource or make a connection may make all the difference in the world to someone.
Advice for medical residents about working with people who have IDD.
When treating a patient with IDD Kim Rinehart recommends, “Talk to the person first. People with IDD can communicate with words, pictures, or even an iPad. Don’t automatically talk to person who brings them.” Making a connection with the patient is so important because it builds trust and will help patients feel more comfortable with doctors.
Kim also advises the residents that people with IDD generally come to appointments with a lot of paperwork. She explains, “It’s just the system. We need a doctor’s order for everything.” It is also essential that directions on prescriptions are very specific.
In addition, residents are taught about Care Coordination and how families can connect with a Care Coordination Organization for supports and services locally.
It’s obvious that UR Medicine sees the value in teaching doctors what services are available within the community so they are provide beneficial resources to patients. We are grateful for an opportunity to share our knowledge and information with these professionals in hopes they will be able to help people with IDD and their families in the future.