Dr Vineet Arora on the Role of Health Care Professionals, Medical Schools in Addressing Misinformation

Individual clinicians can lead efforts to build trust in science and distribute accurate information, but medical schools also have an important role to play in training health care professionals to communicate with the public, according to Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP, dean for medical education at UChicago Medicine.

Individual clinicians can lead efforts to build trust in science and distribute accurate information, but medical schools also have an important role to play in training health care professionals to communicate with the public, according to Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP, dean for medical education at UChicago Medicine.

Transcript

Can you discuss some takeaways of your work on how health care professionals can address misinformation and build trust in science?

Yeah, so during the pandemic, I actually had a baby during the pandemic, March 30th of 2020. So yeah, think about what you were doing at that time and what I was doing! And, you know, while my husband is the head of the hospitalist program, standing up COVID units, I was having a baby in our obstetrics unit. Being on the sidelines was very hard, and so I wanted to contribute, but I noticed that I actually had a role in my community. While I was interacting with my neighbors and people while I was at home, I was realizing that a lot of the information that people were getting and I was still seeing on email in the hospital was just not permeating to my neighborhood or my nonmedical friends. And in fact, they were getting a lot of information, bad information from other sources.

And so I really started to think closely about how I can use my platform to lead in that space and starting to think about how we can do a better job of making sure people get good information. So, along with several of my colleagues across Chicagoland and other academic centers and in the community, we started a program called IMPACT, Illinois Medical Professionals Action Collaborative Team, to really put out good information and also address and crowdsource needs like helping vaccinate hardest-hit communities in Chicago, all volunteer based through a nonprofit that continues today.

Then through that, I started to think as I became dean for medical education and sort of transitioned out of that role into this one, as the Surgeon General was declaring misinformation a public health crisis, what is it that medical schools should do and health professional schools should do to address misinformation? We know that if we don’t teach our clinicians to communicate well to the public, it could actually make misinformation worse. And so, one of the things we started doing here is pioneering courses to teach about scientific literacy and communication to the public with a science communicator.

It's been very exciting to do this work, but also to see students and nurses now and pharmacists, as we’ve expanded with an Association of American Medical Colleges grant to include other disciplines, and see how this training not just empowers frontline clinicians to have these conversations around vaccines or reproductive health or whatever it is, but also makes them feel better about their ability to address the situation in their community and with their patients. And so, I’m very excited about that workstream and hope it continues.

Related Videos
Screenshot of Sancy Leachman, MD, PhD, smiling
Jeremy Wigginton, MD
Screenshot of Eva Parker, MD, smiling during an interview
Screenshot of Eleonora Lad, MD, PhD, smiling
Davey B. Daniel, MD, Chief Medical Officer, OneOncology
Debra Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President, Texas Oncology
Michael Burger
Jeffrey Casberg
Amy Valley, Vice President for Clinical Strategy and Technology Solutions, Cardinal Health
Ben Jones, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy, US Oncology Network
Related Content
© 2023 MJH Life Sciences
AJMC®
All rights reserved.