Dr. Todd Fredricks is a physician, medical educator and veteran who draws on his 25 years of military experience and his practice of family and emergency medicine to inform his efforts to improve health care for veterans.
These efforts have included his collaboration with Brian Plow, associate professor in the School of Media Arts & Studies in OHIO’s Scripps College of Communication, to create Media in Medicine, a collaborative project that brings together visual media, the arts and medicine to create and teach through storytelling. One of the first productions of this interdisciplinary partnership is “The Veterans Project,” a 90-minute documentary film that uses stories of veterans and health care professionals to highlight the challenges many combat and service-wounded veterans face when seeking care from military, VA and civilian health care systems.
The film, which was an official selection of the 2018 Columbus International Film & Animation Festival and won “Best of Competition” for faculty long-form documentary at the 2018 Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts, has been used to assess and enhance health professions students’ understanding of veterans’ unique health care needs. The project was inspired by research in which Fredricks, a U.S. Army Colonel and medical officer with the West Virginia National Guard, found that many civilian doctors feel uncomfortable or inexperienced dealing with health-related exposures and risks that veterans might encounter.
Another Media in Medicine project, “Dogs of War,” now in production and planned for release in 2020, will be an examination of the unique relationship between wounded veterans and their service dogs. This film will combine interviews with veterans, experts in the service dog industry and advocates to demonstrate the unique partnership of these animals and their owners.
Dr. Fredricks’ research focuses on translating lessons learned in caring for veterans to the wider medical community. This includes educating civilian health care professionals about life-saving emergency medicine techniques that have been developed by the military.
He has published papers in peer-reviewed journals on topics including military perspectives for medical education and civilian physicians’ perceptions of veterans' issues related to health care.