vinny-arora

Vinny Arora, MD, MPP

Vineet Arora MD, MPP is Director of GME Clinical Learning Environment Innovation and Assistant Dean for Scholarship and Discovery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Arora’s scholarly work focuses on resident duty hours, patient handoffs, medical professionalism, and quality of hospital care. Her work has appeared in JAMA, the Annals of Internal Medicine, The New York Times, CNN, and US News & World Report. Dr. Arora blogs about her experiences in medical education at FutureDocsBlog.com

http://futuredocsblog.com/

From SXSW to SHM: Our Tour to Promote Value Conversations Between Doctors & Patients

At a movie premiere for the new Terrence Malick flick, “Song to Song”, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Rooney Mara walked the red carpet to flashing cameras and screaming fans in front of the famous Paramount Theatre in Austin. The next day, down the street, to a lot less fanfare, our Costs of Care team – Neel Shah and both of us – took the stage at the annual SXSW festival for own version of a premiere. We were about to step out of the normal medical conference crowd (i.e. no screaming fans but some with #pinksocks on) and see for the first time if videos we made depicting scenarios of doctors and patients confronting healthcare costs would translate to the real world. Would it work, or would the critics, like with the “Song to Song” premier, give us a rotten tomato? Luckily, we had a very positive response, and our session was dubbed one of the most interactive on Twitter and even garnered a tremendously generous “Best Picture” nod from the healthcare round-up by Medical Marketing & Media (not exactly the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, but we will take it!). In our first “public”-facing debut, it was clear that the public increasingly wants physicians to address costs of care with them – conversations that have been historically controversial. The patients in the room wanted to...

Cultivating Creativity in Medical Training. FedEx Style.

Over the holidays, I took full advantage of this opportunity to read a book from start to finish.  I chose Daniel Pink’s Drive.  It was actually recommended by @Medrants and I read it partly to understand why pay-for-performance often fails to accomplish its goals for complex tasks, such as patient care.  However, the thing I found most interesting about this book was the way in which creativity is deliberately inspired and cultivated by industry. I could not help but think about why we don’t deliberately nurture creativity in medical trainees.  Why am I so interested in creativity?  Perhaps it is the countless trainees I have come across who are recruited to medical school and residency because of their commitment to service who also happen to have an exceptionally creative spirit.  Unfortunately, I worry too many of them have their spirit squashed during traditional medical training.   I am not alone.  I have seen experts argue the need to go from the traditional medical education that is fundamentally oppressive, inhibits critical thinking, and rewards conformity.   Apart from the criticism, it is of course understandable why medical training does not cultivate creativity.  Traditional medical practice does not value creativity.  Patients don’t equate ‘creative doctors’ as the ‘best doctors’.  In fact, doctors who may be overly creative are accused of quackery. So, why bother with cultivating creativity in medical training? Well, for one thing, creativity is tightly...

The “Horror Room”

  The University of Chicago has developed a “horror room” to help new interns brush up on what could go wrong in a patient’s hospital room. The horror room is setup with a manikin in the bed and “horrors” or mistakes in the room that the intern is supposed to pick up on. These horrors range from a patient’s bed rail being down, or a wrong medication hanging from an IV pole, to allergy risks that are present in the room. Educators at The University of Chicago are hoping that the simulation will help interns improve upon their situational awareness to ultimately help improve patient...

What Happens in Vegas…Can Be Used to Teach Costs of Care

Funded with a grant from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, Costs of Care has partnered with medical educators at Harvard Medical School and the University of Chicago (that would be us!) to start addressing this problem. We are developing a series of web-based medical education videos that use clinical vignettes to illustrate core principles of cost-consideration, including how to communicate with patients about avoiding unnecessary care and reducing overused or misused tests and procedures.  As part of the project launch, we released a new teaser video today called “What if Your Hotel Bill Was Like a Hospital Bill?”. The video is a tongue-in-cheek depiction of the challenges patients face in deciphering medical expenses, and their additional confusion when they learn doctors are not trained to consider costs.  – Excerpt from Costs of Care Press Release by Dr. Neel Shah   How does this relate to Vegas? On a recent trip to Las Vegas with my family for the holidays, I was in the Bellagio lobby admiring the Chihuly glass ceiling.  While that was impressive, I was also watching the clerks check in and out the long lines of visitors to the hotel.  The staff explained any charges on the bill, confirmed that the bill agrees with the expectations of the patron and then finalized the transaction, printing a copy on the spot for the traveler before they got in the cab...

5 Ways We Can Reduce “The July Effect”

July is just around the corner and with it, freshly minted med school grads are flooding internship programs. Many are familiar with the old adage about not getting sick in July because of new interns. But the truth is that new interns start this week! Yet, you don’t hear much about the “late June effect.”  So is the July effect overblown or true? Well, there have been many studies – so many so that there was a recent systematic review co-authored by one of my own co-interns a long time ago. While I am sure it was hard to synthesize the studies of often sub-par quality, the review does state “studies with higher-quality designs and larger sample sizes more often showed increased mortality and decreased efficiency at time of changeover.” The study I recall best examined over 25 years worth of death records and found a pattern. Of the 240,000 deaths due to medication errors, mortality rates were higher in July, especially in counties with teaching hospitals. I’m not sure death certificates are an accurate way of diagnosing cause of death…but that’s another story. The question, thus, becomes: what can be done to ensure July is as safe as possible? While it’s not possible for patients to time their illnesses, there may be other ways to do so. Though there is scant literature on this topic, over the last several years, I have had...

Cleaning the Graffiti in Healthcare

I just left the most unusual conference I have ever attended. First, it was small – 25 people. Second, it was all women. Third, it was all senior healthcare leaders who have done amazing things…make that trail-blazing things. Moreover, I found myself surrounded by women who were journalists at major news outlets, retired military officers from the highest ranks, senior leaders (in some cases the senior most leader!) at major federal and state healthcare agencies, Fortune 500 companies, large health systems, healthcare foundations, national advocacy organizations. It’s no surprise the name “Amazon warrior” resonated with this group! Finally, the conference was all about identifying our “living legacy”. Legacy seems like a strange word when you are living…it’s even stranger when you feel like you haven’t done anything yet! So, how did I get invited you (and I) are wondering? After all, I was the youngest person in the room, which as an aside, is a very unusual context when you work with students and residents for big chunks of the day. So, believe it or not, I was invited by in large part due to my… social media presence! After reviewing the list of participants, the organizers realized something was missing, and that something was someone younger who also had a social media presence. And whoever said tweeting is a waste of time? While there is much I could say,...

How Are You Going to Spend Your “Last Summer” of Medical School?

The summer between first year and second year of medical school is sometimes referred to as the “last summer” since it is the last time students can travel or take off before they start the journey towards USMLE Step 1 and then their third year clerkships. With the angst building, first year medical students are actively deciding in the dead of winter what they will do over the summer. One popular decision is to do research – this is not uncommon since residency programs are increasingly competitive and look for students who have a commitment to scholarly work. However, there are a plethora of other things students could do as well. As tonight is our “Intro to our Summer Research Program” for Pritzker medical students, I thought I would share some of the most common questions I get about the “Last Summer”: 1. Should I do research in a competitive field? The answer here is to do substantive research that you are interested in with a “CAPE” mentor (Capable, Available, Project interests you, Easy to get along with). As my pre-med advisor once told me, “Mickey Mouse” research is not going to look good to anyone (no offense Mickey). The key is to find something you are passionate about – after all you have to tell this story on your interview trail of why you chose to do this...

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