Journal Club forum connects athletic training students with physician expertise

Feb 27, 2015

For athletic training majors at North Central College, learning extends well beyond textbooks and classrooms. Students learn directly from practicing physicians.

In addition to clinical rotations, internships and ongoing treatment of hundreds of student-athletes involved in competitive sports, athletic training students have the opportunity to meet with orthopaedic surgeons/physicians who come to campus to share their expertise.

Inspired by Dr. Kenneth Sanders, North Central’s team physician and medical director, the Journal Club is a forum where selected students meet with orthopaedic surgeons/physicians and discuss current research studies related to a specific topic. Shoulder instability was the topic for the winter term forum. Physicians shared how they diagnose and treat their patients, and students and physicians exchanged questions.

“We’re here to educate the students on what the practical aspects are so they have an understanding behind the rehab they’re learning to perform,” said Sanders. “We’re explaining what’s being done surgically so students know what they’re dealing with and trying to accomplish.” With Sanders were five fellow partners and surgeons with the DuPage Medical Group Orthopaedic/Sports Medicine practice.

Students are invited to participate in the forum based on their clinical and academic performance. Eight attended the winter meeting; three were selected in advance to review professional articles related to shoulder instability.

Gregory Garofalo ’15 reviewed a study, titled “Arthroscopic stabilization for recurrent shoulder instability with moderate glenoid bone defect in patients with moderate to low functional demand.” In the discussion that followed, Garofalo said he recognized he’s learning the same techniques in his college curriculum that physicians use in evaluating their own patients.

“I saw firsthand that the physicians believe in the athletic training profession and realized what an integral part we can play in the health care field,” said Garofalo. “The confidence they show in North Central’s athletic training program builds my confidence as a future professional and confirms that I chose the right college to pursue this profession.”

Larynn Shumaker’s ’15 (photo, far right) also reviewed a study. “It was helpful to hear the physicians speak about why and how they do the techniques they do for certain athletes and the different injuries. I gained more knowledge on how to approach speaking to athletes in the athletic training room before I have consultations with physicians,” she said.

For Nate Zarembski ’16 (photo, second from left), who reviewed a study on posterior shoulder instability, “The opportunity to talk directly with physicians expanded my knowledge to bring the best possible care and treatments for my patients. It motivated me even more to continue forward in my career choice and increase my knowledge and experience,” he said.

Started in fall 2014, the Journal Club with its physician forum is “an example of the collaborative efforts between our athletic training program and practicing surgeons in the community,” said Heidi Mathews, professor and chair of health and physical education and director of athletic training education program. The participating physicians included Sanders and Drs. Greg Dairyko (photo above, far left), Julio Gonzalez, Samuel Park, Raghu Pulluru and Vijay Thangamani.  

“I believe opportunities like these are critical to the knowledge base I hope to carry with me into my future career as a health care professional,” said Zarembski.

Click here to learn more about North Central’s athletic training program.