Such an incredible day! I’m amazed by the stories I’ve heard so far and the people I’ve met. It’s so comforting and inspiring to meet residents from all different programs from various parts of the country and realize that we all have the same issues and in some cases the same ideas for solutions. If we can all take back to our home programs even one or two of the things we learn from each other here, we’re already going to be so much closer to reaching our common goal of improved patient safety and transparency in medicine. I’m so grateful for this experience and am really looking forward to the rest of the week!
First posted on Educate the Young, June 3rd, 2013
June has always been a very exciting month for me. For the last eight years, Tim McDonald and I have journeyed west to Telluride, CO, a beautiful mountain town known by many for its skiing than summer activities. For those outside CO, Telluride may be one of the best kept secrets around. We often choose to take the scenic six hour journey from the Denver airport to Telluride each June, making our way up the mountain to run our annual Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable and Summer Camps, and to be reminded of the power of the peaceful surroundings we will be teaching in for the next 2-3 weeks. Over the years, people have asked me “Why Telluride?” My response has always been the same – “Why not?” Be it the “old west feel” of the town, or the magic… Continue reading
I’m a second year medical student at the University of Missouri, and I’m currently working at an internal medicine practice in St Louis. I’d like to share a recent patient safety story with you.
The patient was an elderly gentleman who had been a long time patient of the doc I’m working with. He had a heart attack a few years ago and has been seeing a cardiologist since then. He recently began experiencing chest pain on exertion, so he went to the cardiologist for an angiogram and possibly angioplasty. He needed two stents.
He had an appointment with us about a week after his angioplasty, and I reviewed the cardiologist’s report before interviewing him. After reading a summary of his blocked arteries and location of the stents, I was shocked (in a good way!) to see this addition at the end: “Adverse event–catheter pierced a small coronary… Continue reading
There is nothing more powerful than a personal experience. Helen Haskell represented this at the Telluride Patient Safety Roundtable. Her son, Lewis, died of medical misdiagnosis which inhibited the team from providing appropriate life saving treatment, his story was recounted in a video produced by Drs. Mayer, McDonald and the team at Solid Line Media. The story and the courage Helen has to continually attend the conference and provide a first-hand experience of an unsafe medical system was by far the most memorable things about the week. There were lots of memorable things about the week, including the views from the gondola required to scale the mountains and the dedication of the faculty members, but Helen’s story will continue to stay with me. I am hoping that her son’s memory can act as a guiding force for all of us. A memory we can return to when we have lost… Continue reading
Upon returning to UT medical center from Telluride, I was filled with motivation and a new sense of purpose. Something had changed in me out there. I used to be more of a ‘thinker’ (forever told I would be good as an internist) and not so much of a “doer.” I struggled with this during my third year of medical school because I saw so many areas of improvement but often sat near the sidelines gathering information rather than jumping in and stimulating change. At Telluride I was so encouraged by the perspective of the senior faculty; the fact that they found similar aspects of the clinical world frustrating or inefficient and were looking for a collaborative team to face these challenges reinforced my perspective and encouraged me to take action. Telluride gave me a better vision of the organization and hierarchy of a hospital as well as the tools… Continue reading
I finally was able to get my burrito, but not without trouble. We showed up to town after a long afternoon of biking down the mountain around 5 pm. The problem with that is the taco stand closes at 5 pm. So I raced over to the stand only to find it closed, but the back door, which also served as the entrance, was still open. I ran up to it and asked the man inside if he would make me anything that he hadn’t put away for the day or ran out of. He agreed and made me a burrito and I had no idea what was in it, but I loved every bite. I cannot wait until I get to come back to Telluride again, this place is by far one of my favorite places to visit in the world; the people, the food, the atmosphere, it is… Continue reading
There’s an old adage in medical education “see one, do one, teach one.” I don’t particularly subscribe to it in a literal sense because I think training requires a more intensive learning process than that. But sometimes it does apply quite nicely. A perfect example of this was on Wednesday when I helped run a session about shared decision making and informed consent at our new house staff orientation. The session consisted of a viewing of the video of Michael Skolnik’s story followed by a moderated discussion with the house staff. The idea came out of a casual conversation with my hospital’s Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. I thought it would be a helpful to new residents to think about these important issues before they really start on the wards and she let me run with it. Just two weeks out… Continue reading
Every medical student should read “Why Hospitals Should Fly”. More than once. The book not only provides practical solutions to the real problems we identify at the heart of Patient Safety, but also provides a constant reassurance and motivation of why we are making those changes. Today’s brainstorming session took us all by surprise. For the first time this week, we all connected on a completely different level; we were able to acknowledge the strengths of a particular project, but also raise the hurdles to implementation. In a few hours we had really transformed our minds to see that the changes we want to see in healthcare are possible.
The hike and dinner provided much more informal settings for us to discuss these issues. What I love about a group like this is that a conversation between one student and either Dave or Tim quickly becomes a small group all… Continue reading
The hike today was amazing. We set our today at the bottom of the mountain with reservations of conquering the challenge ahead of us. Some of us were unsure if we would make it to the top. We already had moments of being short of breath just from the altitude. The hike symbolized the challenges we will face as we move forward to implement change and increase patient safety. At times we walked together; similar to when we are all in agreement with a change. At times we also walked up hill alone, similar to when we do not have buy in for a change and we carry the burden to move it forward alone. The journey seamed long at times and it was hard to know how far we had left to go, and felt unsure of how far we had come.… Continue reading
Wednesdays, or the third day in Telluride, has become my favorite day of the weeks spent here at the Patient Safety Educational Roundtable and Student Summer Camps. It is because on Wednesday mornings, the group gathers unofficially at Baked In Telluride for coffee, a burrito or sweet treat before heading to the foot of Bear Creek Trail, our official meeting place, to start the annual (this year three-time) trek up to the waterfall. It has proven to be a great team-building experience over and over again–as we gasp through our excitement, sharing new ideas and unfailing awe of the mountains surrounding us.
What struck me in particular on yesterday’s hike, in addition to the inspiring conversation with my hiking partner Stephanie, was though I have been on this same trail three times in the last year, it is never the same. This year, the mountainside has been left dry and… Continue reading