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It takes a village: volunteers teach future healthcare professionals how to connect with patients

It’s a common occurrence: Patients leave the doctor’s office more confused than when they arrived. Healthcare practitioners are good at their jobs, but often lack the communication skills needed to work with patients and explain their decisions.

That’s why the University of Minnesota has partnered with the community to teach pharmacy, medical and nursing students how to connect with their patients through affective communication.

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education

Pharmacy and Dentistry students come together to solve common problem

At first glance, dentists and pharmacists seem quite different. One works with the mouth, the other focuses on medications. But look again, and they face a common challenge.

“Dentists and pharmacists work in specialized health fields and they aren’t often thought of as part of someone’s primary care team,” said Amy Pittenger, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Pharmacy.

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education

Emergency situation: What to do if your pet is having a medical emergency

Photo Credit: Flickr, http://flic.kr/p/i2t3UK

Everyone knows what to do for a medical emergency: call 911. But what if a pet is having a medical emergency? How can you tell when it’s serious?

Health Talk sat down with Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian Kelly Tart, D.V.M., of the Veterinary Medical Center to talk about how to recognize medical emergencies in pets and what to do about it.

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beyond-minnesota

Improving dental therapy education in Rwanda

Photos courtesy of Karl Self

Karl Self, D.D.S., leads CPR training for faculty at the University of Rwanda

When the U.S.-based Rwanda Human Resources for Health (HRH), was tasked with rebuilding Rwanda’s only dentistry school, leaders faced a dilemma.

Dental therapists had practiced in Rwanda for several years, but their education wasn’t viewed as quite up-to-standard. HRH wanted to improve the education of dental therapy students to provide higher quality care in a clinical setting. But they didn’t have any experience with dental therapy.

They sought out Karl Self, D.D.S, Director of Dental Therapy at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry – the only dental school in the United States to train dental therapists.

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beyond-minnesota

In the News: U students map Fish Town, Liberia, contribute to Ebola relief efforts

With Ebola and infectious disease response at the top of mind, University of Minnesota students and professors are evaluating what students can learn from and contribute to the west African pandemic response.

A group of juniors in the University of Minnesota’s bachelor of science in nursing program, for one, is creating maps of previously uncharted areas of Guinea and southern Liberia. Their contribution to crowd-sourced mapping tool, OpenStreetMap, is an example of a small – but vital – effort in responding to public health crises like Ebola.

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education

50 years out: Will your genes define your Rx?

Photo: Flickr user net_efekt/CC 2.0/flic.kr/p/4ahq13

Tylenol should relieve pain, cough suppressants should ease cough and serious ailments should reliably respond to vital medication. But when a prescribed medicine doesn’t do its intended job, it can be difficult to decide who or what is to blame.

It doesn’t help that sometimes the problem doesn’t lie within the medicine or the doctor; it can lie within your genes.

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