Reducing stigma around addiction and raising the confidence of the health care students learning to interact with people who have substance use disorders: Those are goals of Project Come Together, an interdisciplinary effort created with medicine, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy and paramedic students in mind.
As one of just 20 students selected for the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) 2019 Student Scholar Award, expenses were paid for Renee Brumbaugh – a student in the Rural Medical Education (RMED) Pathway program of the College of Medicine — to attend the STFM’s 2019 Conference on Medical Student Education in Jacksonville, Florida. At the conference, Brumbaugh presented a poster on Project Come Together, along with her classmate Michaela Randall (also a third-year NEOMED student).
After the conference, Brumbaugh reflected on the need for the project: “This topic has unfortunately come to light since overdose-related deaths have become one of the leading causes of death in the young adult population. Our method of addressing this issue is to bring health care workers together in a collaboration against addiction so that we may help those suffering from the disease find hope again.
“Attending this conference helped us spread our message to others throughout the U.S., as well as gain insight into how we can improve our project and education at NEOMED. It was inspiring to meet so many people who are just as passionate about this as we are, and we hope to bring that inspiration back to NEOMED.”
Brumbaugh was saluted by the STFM for her “strong commitment to family medicine through scholastic, volunteer and leadership pursuits.” The organization also commended her “potential for a career in academic medicine.”
Michael Appleman, M.A. Ed., the assistant director of the RMED Pathway (shown in photo), also attended the conference. Afterward, he said, “As an aspiring family medicine physician, Renee’s passion for addiction issues and mental health treatment will serve her future patients and their communities well. Anyone would be fortunate to have her as their physician.”