Do you have patients in your practice with intractable health problems who don’t seem to improve? Highly complex patients with multiple and debilitating challenges? It’s possible to shed new light on these patients with a better understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma-Informed Care (TIC).
A consensus of scientific research demonstrates that cumulative adversity, especially when experienced during childhood, is a root cause to some of the most harmful, persistent, and expensive health challenges facing our patients. Early detection and intervention can help prevent or reduce the health risks associated with ACEs.
In January, CAFP announced a new peer-to-peer learning initiative, Family Medicine Initiative on Trauma-Informed Care (ACES FIT). Funded by the Office of the California Surgeon General, the Department of Health Care Services and ACEs Aware, this initiative is designed to raise awareness and develop practical, realistic trauma-informed approaches in family medicine.
CAFP will offer one ACEs Fit workshop in each CAFP District between January and May 2021. To date, we’ve conducted two workshops (Districts 2 and 7) and have four more scheduled on the event registration site.
The workshop program was developed by Dr. Anna Askari, Dr. Erika Roshanravan, Dr. Adia Scrubb, and Dr. Brent Sugimoto. Consisting of two sessions, two weeks apart, the workshops are taught by all four faculty members. In the first session, we lay the groundwork and get everyone up to speed on ACEs and TIC. In between sessions, family physicians try the ACEs screen on themselves and on a complex patient, via chart review. In the second session we work in small groups to discuss their experience and think creatively about a case. Throughout, our faculty provide valuable resources and suggestions, while colleagues share local resources with each other.
Here are a few quotes from physicians who’ve participated in the workshops so far:
“I have a better understanding now of why some patients suck up so much of my time and why I feel so drained after seeing them.”
“This is empowering!”
“This workshop is a real opportunity for me to see how to deal more effectively with my difficult patients.”
“We are dealing with ACEs in our patients, even if we’re not screening for ACEs.”
“I can see how this trauma-informed approach makes the patient feel safe.”
“I’m going to try screening for various groups of patients, one group at a time (for example, all of my chronic pain patients first). That will make the screening work more manageable and I’ll get the benefit of juxtaposed conversations where I can pass insights gathered from one patient interaction to another.”
The calendar of FIT workshops can be found on the CAFP website. If you have questions, please contact Jerri Davis or Robin Heyden.
Join us for one of the upcoming ACEs FIT workshops!