University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Caring for Refugee Patients: An Interprofessional Course in Resettlement, Medical Intake, and Culture

Alana Petrassi, MD; Melissa Chiu, MD; Kelsey Porada, MA; Bryan Johnston, MD; Michael Toppe, PA-C; Michael Oldani, PhD, MS; Caitlin Kaeppler, MD

WMJ. 2022;121(2):145-148

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Introduction: Refugees access health care at rates similar to US citizens. Many clinicians, however, do not feel prepared to care for them. This study evaluated whether an interprofessional presentation could improve knowledge of refugee health and cross-cultural comfort.

Methods: The session consisted of a lecture and 3 small-group sessions. Students from various health care programs attended via Zoom. Participants completed pre- and postsurveys to assess cross-cultural comfort and knowledge of refugee health.

Results: Of 161 attendees, 63 completed the presurvey (39%) and 49 completed the postsurvey (30%). All 9 knowledge questions demonstrated statistically significant improvements, while only 1 cross-cultural question showed significant improvement.

Discussion: The session improved knowledge of refugee health but not cross-cultural comfort, indicating the need for further interventions.

Author Affiliations: Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Petrassi, Chiu); Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin (Porada, Kaeppler); Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Johnston); Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wisconsin (Toppe, Oldani).
Corresponding Author: Alana Petrassi, email
Funding/Support: This work was supported with funding from a Refugee Health Promotion Grant from the Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Refugee Health Program.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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