Sarah Cook, CSH research epidemiologist, and Chanel Bea, CSH community engagement assistant, spoke to a group of second- and third-year pediatric residents on February 9 at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU Children’s Pavilion about using community engagement and community-engaged research in medical practice.
Community-engaged research involves engaging stakeholders and community partners in designing and carrying out research studies. Cook and Bea explained the importance of using this form of research to allow the residents to better treat their patients.
“This will allow them to tailor treatment to each patient they see. By using community engagement [and community-engaged research], they will learn about the family’s experiences to provide a realistic plan of action,” Bea said.
The two went on to stress that community engagement could be used in every part of a physician’s practice.
“Their work doesn’t stop in the treatment room. It will be used in every aspect of engagement they have in their practice, period, including when they’re interacting with their staff,” Bea said.
Cook added that she hopes the residents were able to see the utility of engaging with community members and patients.
“Community-engaged research is based on principles that traditional research doesn’t necessarily have in terms of equitable relationships and meeting people where they’re at. They should see value in terms of working with community members to gain their perspective – there is inherent value in that,” Cook said.