Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine made a commitment 20 years ago to better educate pediatricians-in-training in caring for children with special health care needs.

Project DOCC (Delivery of Chronic Care) was born out of a national curriculum designed by parents of children with special needs. Since 1998, Marshall has trained nearly 1,000 medical students and 250 resident physicians in pediatrics, family medicine and medicine-pediatrics through Project DOCC.

“Project DOCC brings compassion and knowledge together in a format that changes the way our pediatricians-in-training are able to relate to their patients and their families,” said James M. Lewis, M.D., director of Project DOCC and professor of pediatrics at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “After 20 years, we’ve seen the elements of Project DOCC put into action as our graduates transition into their own practices in West Virginia and throughout the country.”

Project DOCC provides Marshall medical students with a heightened level of education and awareness for its trainees while promoting physician/patient partnerships that pave the way to better care for children and support for their families. The initiative relies on experienced parent volunteers, or “family faculty,” to share what they have learned from caring for a child with special health care needs. Parents engage as trainers in virtual home visits, interviews and lecture-style training sessions.

Additional information about Project DOCC training and volunteer opportunities is available by calling Shellie Mellert at 304-691-1393.

Originally from Michele McKnight for Marshall University Communications