Physician Assistant students at Pacific University gain hands-on experience using ReelDx

For Brent Norris, assistant professor at Pacific University, nothing has been more satisfying than combining his love of medicine with his love for teaching. He enjoys working with students in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program as they prepare for a future professional career.

When he arrived at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, Norris saw that the school had ReelDx available, but it wasn’t being used by most of the faculty. However, once he saw firsthand how easy it was to use and the benefits for students, he quickly incorporated it into his curriculum.

“I use ReelDx to demonstrate certain procedures to my students,” said Norris. “Using ReelDx allows me to focus on diagnostics with students, especially with some of the tricky ailments that patients can have.”

Expanding the learning process

Teaching students how to diagnose and treat medical issues can be tricky. Patients can display confusing symptoms and taking multiple medications can make it difficult for trainees to make an accurate diagnosis. This is where ReelDx videos can be incredibly helpful.

“One of my favorite case studies that I shared with my students involved an elderly patient. He was suffering from constipation and had a history of back problems which meant that he was taking different narcotics to ease his pain. In reality, he was suffering from a form of colon cancer that was related to an earlier prostate condition. Since the students don’t know the patient’s full medical history or treatments, the ReelDx videos helped them gain better insight into the true source of the problem. In addition, it helps get the students to discuss if they think the patient’s current treatment is the best option and the impact that the medications may or may not be having. This type of deductive reasoning and analysis is invaluable.”

Faculty adoption is on the rise

While many people can feel overwhelmed by working with new technology, the faculty at Pacific University continues to find new ways to use ReelDx. Professor Norris states that many faculty members have adopted ReelDx because the technology platform is full of real patient videos which serve as case studies.

“It takes a lot of time for a teacher to prepare patient case studies,” said Norris. “It’s not easy to align a patient’s symptoms with the physical ailment along with their vital signs. Many of my colleagues have said that they appreciate the time savings that ReelDx offers and how accurate the patient scenarios are.”

Training students on ReelDx

Students who enter the physician assistant program aren’t just thrown to the wolves when it comes to using ReelDx. Professor Norris leads an introductory course that shows students how to use ReelDx, the features that they will need to understand, and how the ReelDx videos are used at other schools. This type of training helps students become more comfortable as they begin using ReelDx, especially since each student learns differently.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video to hear how Professor Norris and the faculty at Pacific University are using ReelDx to improve collaboration between the students and the faculty, and help train a new generation of physician assistants.

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