DMU Clinic takes care of community

When central Iowa takes in an influx of refugees, DMU Clinic is there to provide physical examinations and any needed immunizations as required by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

When undergraduates or other individuals interested in health care careers seek job-shadowing experiences, DMU Clinic welcomes them, too.

“Our providers are all very open and willing to help,” says Ginger Cox, clinic manager for osteopathic manual medicine, family practice and ophthalmology.

Examining refugees presents challenges in language barriers, lack of medical records and the time required to evaluate each person, Cox notes. Many have children who are missing immunizations. But providing the service provides benefits, too.

“Our first influx of refugees were mostly from Sudan, some of whom have stayed with us,” she says. “Our students participate in their care and gain exposure to diseases they otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s a great learning experience.

Job-shadowers also gain important learning opportunities in DMU Clinic, including in the Foot & Ankle Institute. Requests for such opportunities are increasing because many medical centers have quit accepting job-shadowers, who require a significant time commitment among staff. Patients also have to agree in advance to allow a shadower to observe their care.

Still, DMU Clinic providers and staff remain deeply committed to taking on prospective care-givers. “We feel it’s our responsibility since we’re a medical school, and we require our students to have some shadowing experience,” says Cox. “And almost every provider who has a shadower also has a DMU student, who can act as a mentor. It’s a neat thing to see.”

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