Our family has had the opportunity to participate in a program through UMDNJ Medical School for about 13 years. We enjoy this program immensely and feel that it has the potential to make changes in future medical doctors. Doctors get very little education about particular disabilities and the program at the Boggs Center is really doing their part to make sure the medical professionals coming out of their university are better prepared than others.
I received a call that the program had been identified as a unique facet of medical training that would be featured in an upcoming documentary that Sara Lee Kessler is putting together regarding the provision of healthcare for adults with developmental disabilities. The finished product will be aired on public television in NJ and the Philadelphia area. The documentary is including this program as a model of how physicians are being prepared to provide care for individuals with developmental disabilities.
The woman who runs this program for the medical students called to ask if our family would be willing to participate in the filming of the documentary and if Dennis and I agree to be interviewed about our concerns for Ethan’s future. Of course! Me and my family on TV – oh, alright! No one had to twist my arm.
The producer asked Dennis and I questions about why we do the program, about some of our experiences with medical professionals (both good and bad), and what we hope the medical students will leave our house knowing. The questions were faced-paced and I hope I did not say ‘um’ or ‘uh’ too many times. As much as I liked the process, I am certain that I will not like seeing myself on TV. I know someone who will, though.
I will continue to invite medical students into our home – and cameras too if you have any!