I am spending a couple of days in Denver as the guest of the PSE Partnership. This is a small non-profit that has received a grant from The Colorado Health Foundation to provide patient safety curriculum for medical students and residents in three 3 metropolitan area hospitals that are part of the HCA/HealthOne network. In this picture, you see Shelly Dierking, who runs PSE Partnership, with Brian Dwinnell, director of graduate medical education at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center.
The day started when I joined a small group to watch teaching rounds on a medical unit at P/SL. Dr. Erin Marcum, an internal medicine attending, was in charge, and her brood included Sara Grace, a transitional year intern, and Obiora Chidi, a third-year medical student on his first rotation in the hospital.
|Obi, Erin, and Sara consider a patient's needs|
This is a necessary part of medical education, for sure, but as I have noted elsewhere, rounding does not generally teach residents and medical students about process improvement in hospitals. So, the work done by Shelly and her colleagues is an important supplement.
Today, though, I had a chance to see an excellent teacher in action. Obiora was responsible for reporting on two patients, based on what he had learned earlier from the nurses, test results, and chart reviews. This being his first day, he was understandably nervous: You could literally see his mind churning as Erin would ask questions. But, she in turn, was an excellent practitioner of the Socratic method, gently applying and relieving pressure, allowing him to learn adaptively. As Ronald Heifetz would have admired in his book Leadership Without Easy Answers, Erin was displaying a strong aspect of leadership, "a special sort of educating in which the teacher raises problems, questions, options, interpretations, and perspectives, often without answers, gauging all the while when to push through and when to hold steady."
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, for another presentation in front of the local chapter of the IHI Open School. My hosts (seen here) were Wendy Madigosky, the faculty lead and the director of the Foundations of Doctoring Curriculum, and Daniel Stoll, a first year medical student and president of the local chapter. Again, the topics of the day were quality and safety improvement, transparency, and front-line process improvement, but also with a strong emphasis on engaging patients and families in hospital decision-making.
All in all, it was a very full day and rewarding for me and, I hope, the students and faculty with whom I met. I was left, though, with one unanswered question: What on earth is this sculpture on the Anschutz Campus supposed to symbolize, if anything?