Stories about: Ariel Winn

Bringing mentors back into medicine: Promoting career guidance for medical residents

doctors discussing mentoring mentorship
(Tyler Olsen/Shutterstock)

A supportive mentor can make a huge impact on a novice physician’s confidence and career trajectory. Proven benefits range from a higher promotion rate to improved job satisfaction. One study from Harvard Medical School found that residents with mentors were twice as likely to report “excellent career preparation,” and 93 percent said it’s important to have a mentor during residency.

Unfortunately, only half of the residents who took part in that study could actually name a current or past mentor.

“You used to see senior physicians, mid-career doctors, residents and fellows all eating together in the cafeteria,” says Theodore Sectish, MD, Director of Education for the Boston Combined Residency Program (BCRP), a joint training effort of Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center. “Now it’s more likely that people eat at their desks. You just don’t see those kinds of organic interactions.” …Read More

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Medical education for the modern world: Communication is key

communication hospital rounds residency medical training

While today’s doctors-in-training learn the most advanced clinical treatments and diagnostic methods, they may be missing out on something equally important: communication skills.

“Care delivery is moving towards a team-oriented model,” says Theodore Sectish, MD, director of education for the Boston Combined Residency Program (BRCP, a joint pediatric training program of Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center). “We need to do a better job of training doctors to work with other clinicians and use standardized language.”

Poor communication can have a significant impact on patient outcomes. As Sectish points out, “Communication errors are the number one cause for sentinel events.” (A sentinel event is a death or serious injury in a health care setting that is unrelated to the natural course of the patient’s illness.)

And it’s not just discussions among clinicians that are important. Physicians must also be trained to translate complex medical information into a clear, comprehensible message for patients and families.

Recognizing that the era of maverick physicians working alone is over, hospital residency programs are developing initiatives to better prepare young doctors for the collaborative, patient-centered model of modern health care. …Read More

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