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MD students join Penn State Dickinson Law students for COVID-19 co-learning exercise

Students enrolled in Penn State Dickinson Law’s Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) Clinic focus on identifying and addressing the socio-legal causes of poor health in order to prevent negative legal, financial and health consequences for their clients. During the COVID-19 pandemic, health disparities due to socioeconomic status have come into sharp focus.

In a recent interprofessional education collaboration between the MLP Clinic and Penn State College of Medicine, law students and medical students learned from one another about how members of each profession are trained to address these challenges.

Through the partnership, N. Benjamin Fredrick, MD, a professor of family and community medicine, public health sciences, and humanities at the College of Medicine, invited Medha Makhlouf, assistant professor of law at Dickinson Law, to lecture on COVID-19 and health inequities during his four-week virtual “Health System and Equity” elective. The elective focused on coronavirus and was offered to all third-year medical students.

Makhlouf agreed and also proposed a related IPE activity for Dickinson Law and College of Medicine students. In her lecture to the more than 190 medical students, Makhlouf introduced the MLP Clinic’s work, described how COVID-19 has impacted their clients, and summarized recent changes in law and policy that address pandemic-related concerns of vulnerable populations.

After the lecture, the medical students received case studies of MLP Clinic clients drafted by Dickinson Law students. The medical students analyzed a case and wrote up their observations and recommendations. The next day, each Dickinson Law student met with the group of 15 to 20 medical students who had analyzed their case study to discuss their observations.

Read more about the initiative in this Penn State News story.

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