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Utilizing Collaboration In The Medical Field

When starting your career in the medical field, it is important to think about the various ways you can collaborate with other medical professionals. One place where collaboration is key is when considering feeding abilities and swallowing disorders with your patients.

For concerns with swallowing disorders, you will want to consult a medical speech-language pathologist (SLP). SLPs have comprehensive training in the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders, and in an inpatient setting, they will make recommendations of diet texture, need for swallowing therapy, or compensatory swallowing strategies for your patient after evaluating them.

But what if your patient is loosing weight because of their specific diet? This would be a great time to consult a nutritionist. They will be able to recommend foods/strategies such that a patient will be able to meet their caloric and nutritional needs even if they have specific restrictions, possibly due to their swallowing difficulties.

As future physicians, it is our role to work as a member of a team with other medical professionals. Here are a few examples of how we may do this in a clinical setting, but these professional relationships go far beyond this instance. Every day is an opportunity for collaboration in order to better serve our patients.

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