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Expanding Recruitment Outreach for Hepatitis B Virus Screenings of Medical School students through I

Whitney Stuard

UT Southwestern Medical School


Background: Approximately two million Americans are chronic Hepatitis B Virus carriers. Through education and increased outreach to medical students, our project aims to increase medical student involvement in HBV education/screening in the community. A study by the Lewin group found 80% of Hepatologists work in academic settings rather than out in the community. A study in 2011 found that although medical student volunteerism is wide-spread educational impact was often limited, detrimental to future involvement. To address the need of medical student education and involvement in HBV outreach to at risk populations, the DFW Hepatitis B Free Project was established in 2010 and this past year implemented five initiatives to expand outreach. Methods: Five areas were chosen to implement changes: 1)An educational event, “Hepatitis Week” where Hepatology physicians present to students, was moved from the Spring semester to the Fall semester. Student attendance was then analyzed, and officer application numbers were compared to prior years. 2)Educational training to run the screenings. 3)Efforts to diversify our student group and achieve a more equal male and female ratio were undertaken during officer recruitment and educational events. 4)Creating more inclusive environments through providing food and accessible rooms for meetings. 5)Increase our publicity and education of faculty about our project. This included updating our website and social media. Results: Through these five implementations, the DFW Hepatitis B Free Project has grown in number to 61 members with an improved male to female ratio nearing 1:1. Furthermore, the resulting demographic composition of the new officer cohort was more diversified with representation from Asian American, Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic ethnicity compared to previous cohorts, which were primarily Asian American nearing 95%. The educational event "Hepatitis Week" in the first semester of medical school increased medical student officer applications and involvement by one third. Conclusions: Educating the medical school community about HBV is a important first step in teaching the importance of community outreach and promote long-term involvement. The number of students interested and involved in our project has increased with more gender and ethnic diversity, compared to previous years, signifying early educational events, training, and publicity raises awareness and allows expanded outreach

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