Exploring the special needs of the veteran patient

american-flagPost-traumatic stress disorder. Depression. Traumatic brain injury. Vulnerability to substance abuse and suicide.

For many veterans, the war is not over when they come home. With more than 1.6 million U.S. troops deployed since 2001 for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, our nation is just beginning to learn about post-deployment health care issues our veterans face, from physical and cognitive injuries to psychological problems.

To explore the special needs of the veteran patient, DMU’s International Medicine Club invites students, health care providers and the public to a free and open event on Wednesday, September 12, from 8 to 10 a.m. in the Student Education Center Auditorium. It will feature a brief presentation followed by a panel discussion and time for questions.

Panel members will include veterans as well as Lori Drumm, D.O., M.B.A., a family practice physician with the Veterans Administration Central Iowa Health Care System, and John Wallace, Ph.D., coordinator of the Central Iowa System’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) program. Some of the topics that will be discussed are PTSD – how clinicians can address and treat it; narcotic dependence and preventing it among war veterans; the unique aspects of health care for female veterans; and exotic illnesses acquired abroad.

DMU’s International Medicine Club is a student-driven organization that periodically offers opportunities designed to promote cultural competency across health care around the world. Past events have included a presentation on health care for Native American populations and a visit to a local mosque.

Veterans make countless sacrifices, many with damaging lifelong consequences. Our nation owes it to them to give them the care they need. Learn more at this provocative and important event on September 26.

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