Operation House Call (OHC) teaches young medical professionals essential skills to enhance the health care of persons with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). 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, including autism, 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 265 (and growing) volunteer families teaching over 1,200 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.