By Jennifer J. Salopek
After a short hiatus, Chart Review is back! Welcome to the February 2015 edition. As you prepare for Super Bowl snacks and commercials, and finding out whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, please enjoy this roundup of posts from the best blogs in academic medicine. Whether you are a student, an administrator, or a clinical faculty member; a Patriots fan or a Colts supporter, there’s sure to be something here for you to enjoy.
First up, the blog published by the Duke Community & Family Medicine program at Duke University School of Medicine. In her post, faculty member Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP, reviews a position paper published in December by the American Academy of Family Physicians, and details how the Duke program was designed with an emphasis on population health. She notes the uncertainty of curriculum designers in 2006, who wondered whether medical students would be interested in their program. In 2014, the program received 583 applications—a sure sign of broad appeal. “Our model of training brings to us an inspiring new generation of young men and women eager to leave a mark in the world,” she concludes.
On the Cases blog, which is maintained by Ves Dimov, MD, an internist and allergist at the Cleveland Clinic, he issues a compendium of top medicine articles for January 2015. Citing findings of studies ranging from teenage tobacco use to germ communication through kissing, Dimov offers a wide-ranging selection.
Cornerstone is the blog published by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The January 23 post underscores the crucial role of pediatric trauma nurses, but notes that research finds they need additional training to help families cope after a child’s injury; nurses reported feeling under-equipped to counsel parents on how to cope with difficult experiences. “The results of this survey suggest that efforts to improve trauma-informed pediatric nursing care should highlight specific skills related to helping patients and their parents manage emotional responses to difficult medical experiences,” the writer concludes.
At Medical State of Mind, Canadian resident Tom chronicles his first experience of filling out a death certificate. The import of that moment, and the care Tom took in documenting his patient’s passing, are evident in this short but moving post.
Writing at Educate the Young, Tracy Granzyk shares some of the books and articles she has read recently that convince her that we are “Changing the Narrative of Healthcare Culture.” “The repercussions of patient harm, which often include healthcare professional feelings of guilt or depression compounded by the lack of a just culture from which to manage both, can now be the ‘old’ story, and we can eagerly rewrite exactly what we want our future healthcare culture to look like,” she writes.
In the latest edition of its excellent “How I Work Smarter” series, Academic Life in Emergency Medicine profiles Felix Ankel, MD, vice president for health professions education at HealthPartners Institute. Dr. Ankel’s best time-saving tip? “Failing to plan is planning to fail. I have moved from work-life balance to work-life integration. I plan for both during both,” he says.
Veronika Bibikova, a first-year PA student at Oregon Health & Science University, authors a post on OHSU StudentSpeak, “Why I’m Here.” Her enthusiasm and passion for her new profession and for her patients is palpable as she writers, “This is why I am here. For this person directly in front of me.”
Michelle Brandt, editor of Stanford Medicine’s Scope blog, discusses a book she read over the winter holiday break: Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. A Stanford program, Academic Biomedical Career Customization (ABCC), designed in an effort to help faculty achieve balance, is praised in the book. Brandt concludes, “While grant funding for the ABCC program ended last year, folks at the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity told me that Stanford is applying the lessons and successes of the program into new work-life and work-flexibility initiatives throughout the School of Medicine.”
At Project Millennial, third-year medical student Karan Chhabra wonders, “Has Med School Changed for the Better?” “I wonder how much has…been lost,” he writes, noting that residents’ duties have gone from the bedside to the computer and that patient care has changed from a tactile task to a cognitive one. Although grateful for breaks and protected time, Chhabra worries that he and his fellow students have too little patient contact.
Another medical student, this one a first-year at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, asks, “What If I’m Not Good Enough?” Adam B. writes about the culture of secrecy that surrounds test and exam scores in medical school, and how it can make some students feel inferior. He encourages his fellow students not to fall into the trap of equating self-worth with test scores; and to be more open with one another about their academic struggles in order to form a mutually supportive environment.
Chart Review is a monthly roundup of posts from blogs about academic medicine, whether from the perspective of student, resident, faculty member, dean, or administrator. Medical schools and teaching hospitals provide fertile ground for innovative responses to health care challenges. We are pleased to highlight some of the best here, and hope you will send us your favorites as well. As always, we encourage cross-posting.