Together Everyone Achieves More
Most of residency is spent learning about how kids grow and develop. Residents also learn about the medical care of many different diseases and conditions. However, TEAM is unusual because its focus is not on the specifics of any one disease. Instead its focus is on the experience of having and treating special health care needs.
During TEAM activities, residents learn about both medical and non-medical needs of patients and families. They are often surprised that children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) need many different services and supports to thrive at home.
TEAM is short for Together Everyone Achieves More. Making sure kids have the right services takes a team of physicians and non-physicians as well as friends and family members working together. Children do best when their family and the child’s main doctor co-lead that team. TEAM gives residents ideas and strategies that help them partner with families and lead the team.
Residents enjoy many TEAM activities, but their favorite has always been the home visit. Families of CYSHCN, who volunteer to be TEAM family teachers, lead the home visit. They invite residents into their homes to discuss issues that are common no matter what the special health care need is. For example, they learn about community services and resources, home equipment and supplies, school, and the importance of giving and receiving support from other families through parent to parent connections.
By the end of the program, residents realize that CYSHCN are like all children and families. They have hopes, dreams, strengths and possibilities. Families need doctors who help understand their challenges, see their child’s potential and partner with families and others. This helps the entire family live the best life possible.