Operation House Call

Operation House Call

Project Description

Operation House Call (OHC) teaches young medical professionals essential skills to enhance the health care of persons with intellectual/developmental disability. Offered by The Arc of Massachusetts, OHC turns to families, parents and individual self-advocates as educators in a health care field that seldom focuses on more than making a diagnosis. It is a rare and important training opportunity. Through OHC, students begin to build confidence and interest in working with individuals with I/DD and their families.

At the Boston University School of Medicine OHC is a requirement for all third year medical students in their pediatric rotation; it has been a popular and valued course since 1991, initiated by two professors of medicine, including a pediatric neurologist whose brother has autism. In 2011, The Arc of Mass began OHC at Tufts Medical School and the Simmons School of Health Sciences. In the Fall of 2015, OHC began a program at Yale School of Nursing.

The Arc is grateful to our network of volunteer families. They provide the opportunity for students to have experiential learning through home visits. In Massachusetts, OHC now has 177 volunteer families teaching over 320 medical professionals every year. OHC is expanding geographically and The Arc is working on legislation to support the need for this important work with our medical community.

A Boston University School of Medicine, 3rd year Pediatrics student, reflects on her home visit experience:
“Such a dedicated and compassionate family like this deserves an equally dedicated team of physicians to do everything possible”

A Yale School of Nursing student writes:
“Perhaps [OHC] could become part of the core curriculum so it could reach more students? It was a really powerful session in a brief period!”

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