Often, residents and practicing physicians at hospitals have very little experience with Tourette Syndrome (TS) because little attention is paid to the inherited, misdiagnosed, misunderstood neurological disorder during their time in medical school.
Approximately 30 pediatric residents at Goryeb Children’s Hospital attended the June 2 Patient-Centered Medical Education (PCME) Program presented by the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS) and walked away with a better understanding of TS.
Presented by the Nowacki family and College of New Jersey student Grace Hawruck, the PCME offered a general overview of Tourette Syndrome, which affects 1 in 100 children and adults.
Anna Nowacki and her sons, Joseph and Jacob, spoke about their journey from discovery to diagnosis and finding support at NJCTS. Grace Hawruk shared her story of transitioning to life as a successful college student.
“It’s amazing how we as teenagers can teach doctors and residents,” said Hawruk. “Sharing our stories now can help doctors when they come across a patient with TS. Getting up in front of people and talking about my TS is a confidence boost and I always leave so proud of myself, other kids sharing their stories, and NJCTS knowing that we are making a difference in the Tourette community.”
The goal of the Patient-Centered Medical Education program is to help residents and physicians enhance their understanding of the perspectives, stresses, and needs of those with neurological disorders such as TS to improve patient encounters. NJCTS works with hospitals throughout New Jersey to present these education sessions. In addition to Goryeb Children’s Hospital, PCME presentations have been facilitated at Cooper University Hospital, St. Mary’s Hoboken University Medical Center, Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Children’s Specialized Hospital, and JFK Medical Center.
For more information about the Patient-Centered Medical Education Program, contact NJCTS Education Outreach Coordinator Gina Maria Jones at 908-575-7350 or visit www.njcts.org.