MedEd

Going the Extra Mile

by: Monica Shah Have you ever encountered a patient whose attitude towards recovery is inspirational? Someone whose appreciation makes the other tough cases bearable? As a medical student doing research on sleep and functional recovery during and after hospitalization at the University of Chicago Hospital, I’ve encountered a few of those patients. These are the patients who really understand that the research we are conducting is designed to help improve their hospital stay and give them a chance to voice their complaints about what conditions are bothering them and potentially negatively impacting their recovery. However, to meet such patients, it took some work on my end. We all know that trying to enroll patients for any study is difficult. When I am on patient floors, I realize the complexities of consenting patients. Usually, I have a narrow window to discuss our study while simultaneously trying to use a convincing tone…

On Research and the Circus

by Mimi Zander The other week I had the pleasure of attending a cat circus. It was a stage show of 10-15 cats (plus a chicken, a groundhog, and 2 curious rats) walking on tight ropes, completing dangerous jumps, and a cat band complete with drums, guitar, and cow bell. In the beginning of the show the cat herder, Samatha Martin told the audience that before we get to the really great stuff, the next few minutes will be a segment called the "Lowering of the Audience’s Expectations." We would witness tricks that weren't quite ready for prime time by cats that were not as well behaved as some of the more senior performers. One cat refused to push a shopping cart. Another cat refused to jump through two very literal hoops. The cat wranglers on stage were completely poised and pleasant while their performers sat quietly on stage, not…

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

by Frank Zadravecz, MPH This story intrigues me, not so much its time-tested message on good versus evil, rather strangely its reflections on scientific inquiry. Robert Louis Stevenson paints the character Dr. Hastie Lanyon as a man committed to deductive reasoning and logic, conveniently the antithesis of Dr. Jekyll. After Lanyon witnesses Jekyll’s transformation from the grotesque Mr. Hyde, he makes this honest comment about pursuing knowledge: “I sometimes think if we knew all, we should be more glad to get away.” Medicine challenges us to become physician-scientists along the life course of our study, but at times this duality feels unwieldy, similar to a rewrite where Jekyll, M.D. became Hyde, Ph.D. Our research findings may make perfect sense scientifically yet seem impossible to implement clinically. Our long held teachings might make for seamless clinical workflow yet lack the support of cruel, hard data. Physician-science tries to know the “all”…

Wake Up! How Hospital Noise Is Preventing Sleep & Recovery

by Monica Shah When I first stepped onto patient floors, I noticed the amount of commotion, from alarms beeping to staff conversations to loud knocks on patient doors. I couldn’t help but think, I wish I had some ear plugs! That was when it hit me that if I was feeling jolted just by visiting patient floors, what were patients thinking, especially those trying to sleep through this chaos? What impact does this commotion have on patient outcomes and their recoveries? I am excited that I am going to find out that answer through my research project at the University of Chicago Hospital investigating sleep and functional recovery for older patients during hospital stay and post discharge. This study uses a variety of initial evaluation sleep surveys to look at patient’s sleep quality over the past month. We then do daily follow ups to assess patient’s sleep quality each night…

Reimagining the Sounds of the Hospital: Theory to Practice

By Mimi Zander During my undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, I studied English, women's and gender studies, and literary theory. As part of The Institute for Women's Leadership Scholars Program, during class discussions, we would circle back to the idea of bridging theory and practice. The first step is identifying the problem. The next step is to discuss, research, and theorize about the problem. Finally, we need to leave our safe academic bubble and enact the solutions that we colorfully described to each other and our professors. I am finding this framework to be enormously helpful in unpacking the work I am doing at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) as part of the Society of Hospital Medicine's Student Scholars program. My work at CHOP tackles step one and two in a scientifically rigorous way: identify alarm fatigue in our hospital and determine how it occurs on our floors. What…
...23456...1020...