Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camp

Day 1 reflection

Learning about the barriers to patient safety over the past year made overcoming them seems like such a daunting, impossible task. The magnitude of the task hasn’t changed, but after listening to everyone’s admirable accomplishments at the introductions this morning, I am much more confident we, as the future generation of providers, can collectively tackle the problem of patient safety. I am excited and honored to share this educational experience with such an accomplished group of people. Today has been a very educational session and I anticipate the rest of the camp to be nothing short of that.

I really enjoyed the small group break out session where we had to discuss the barriers and benefits of admitting errors to patients. I was intrigued by the stories my teammates brought from the clinic into the discussion. Some of them reinforced the tribal nature… Continue reading


As I sit here thinking about our first day at the Telluride East Conference, I am struck by the fact that there are even this many people that feel as strongly about patient safety as I do. It is reassuring to know that there are others from all walks of life advocating for the same things. Even more impressive are the patient advocates that devote their lives to promote patient safety in their own way/venue. I am thoroughly impressed by the selflessness and poise it takes for them to educate the budding healthcare professionals as opposed to berate the system for its flaws.

While the healthcare system has flaws, so does everything in life. The great thing is when there is something we can do about it, even if it is challenging!

Telluride East kicks off at Turf Valley #TPSER10

Student_Icebreakers2Our third 2014 session for the Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camps is kicking off this morning with student introductions and safety moments. We have another impressive group of future patient safety leaders gathering to increase the growing size of our own Dumbledore’s Army of sorts. Many have been chosen to participate because of academic success and leadership, and a passion for patient safety, but the extracurricular talents never cease to amaze and impress. We have with us:

  • A concert pianist
  • A philosopher athlete
  • A landscape/home improvement aficianado
  • Binge Netflix watchers
  • Musicians
  • A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation intern
  • A Classical guitarist
  • Scientists
  • Public health researchers
  • An ICU nurse/ED nursing manager
  • Georgetown medical students
  • Scuba/kayaking guides/fans
  • Biomedical scientists
  • An International basketball player
  • An Irish dancer
  • An MBA/MPH graduate
  • A key/Lock collector
  • A Neurobiology major
  • A Human factors researcher
  • Peace corps in Kenya

Student_IcebreakersThe group that has come to Turf Valley this week… Continue reading

Beat Average and What is Old is New

by Shirley Conrad RN

Yeah, I know the World Cup has captured the world’s attention in recent weeks but for me the greatest sporting event is the Tour de France. Every year I worry about how to carry on with my life for the three weeks it takes the riders to ride the 2276 miles. I watch more TV in these three weeks than I do all year long.

This year, however, I am fresh from returning from the 10th Annual Telluride Summer Camp and therefore my safety and quality hats are still firmly planted on my head. Perhaps you know the feeling of running incoming data through a specific filter to see what comes of it. Actually, I am certain many of you do. Recently Roger took an unexpected emergency on his flight home from Telluride and turned it into a safety event complete with a debriefing, Richard found… Continue reading

Thinking about the Medical Language

It has been just about a week since I returned from Telluride to Boston. Although the altitude change is welcome, the excitement of the conference is still keeping me awake at night. One such topic is the power and impact of our medical language. We heard a powerful story about the impact of a casual word thrown into a patient’s chart and how that created an anchoring bias that ultimately cost a child’s life — unnecessarily. That story was profound, but I’ll focus on this one aspect of it now. What struck me is my own transformation over the past year. As I’ve really become immersed in the world of medicine — because intern year is nothing if not an “immersion” experience– the language I think in has fundamentally changed. Most of my day is spent either talking about patients to other providers in Medicalese or documenting in the same… Continue reading

The Fear of Sacrifice

In many ways, this has been an awe-inspiring, fantastic week (if I did a root cause analysis, I’d say there isn’t one cause, but many: all of my colleagues who are here with me).

But, I wanted to share a more sobering experience I had this evening. Today focused on more of the breakdowns in communication, transparency, and trust that cause patient harm. And, then, as if those problems weren’t enough, we ended the day on a video of a litigation commercial for malpractice (he doesn’t wear socks!). It leaves you with a feeling of uneasiness, with a smattering of cynicism and despair sprinkled in there too. Not only do I have to confront a broken system, bad politics, misaligned cultures (and this just within medicine), but I have to do it while some pretty terrible sounding people are trying to take advantage of that and put me out of… Continue reading

Telluride 10th Anniversary Patient Safety Summer Camps Kick Off Monday, June 9th

Mountains in the background on Bear Creek hike

On Monday, June 9th the Telluride Patient Safety Summer Camps will begin their 10th year, thanks in part to the generous and continued support of The Doctors Company Foundation (@doctorscompany), COPIC, CIR (@CIRSEIU) and MedStar Health (@MedStarHealth, @MedStarSafety). As the yearly preparations come to a close for faculty, including Summer Camp creator, Dave Mayer MD (@dmayer33), the trek and education are set to begin once again. This year, anticipated attendance will include 130 resident physicians, medical and nursing students and faculty from as far off as Australia.

It’s true that change in healthcare can sometimes feel like dog years passing, but it only takes a week at the patient safety summer camps in Telluride to remind us that educating the young is also ripe with rejuvenation for the older generation if open to the wisdom, passion and idealism of youth. As the social… Continue reading

Telluride Experience 2021 Dates

CMF Session 1*: 8/23 - 8/26
TDCF Scholars Session 2: 8/30 – 9/2

*Session exclusive to the COPIC Medical Foundation Residents.
Bennathan Scholars Session 3: 9/9 - 9/12