2014 Grant Winners


Empowering the Village to Raise a Child: Creating a Professional Pipeline for the Promotion of Child Advocacy and Social Justice

Project Leader: 
Renee Poulin Kinman, MD, Co-Director of Pediatric Scholars Program at UCSF-Fresno.

Project Description:

For this project, the UCSF-Fresno Pediatrics Residency Program will partner with Fresno Unified School District and other community members (including Fresno State University) to develop and implement a longitudinal child advocacy and social justice curriculum for trainees along a health professions pipeline that promotes the health of middle and high school students, their families, and the local community. The program will target college students (including pre-medical and physical therapy students), third year medical students, pediatric and family practice residents, faculty (both pediatric and family practice faculty as well as middle and high school faculty), and other members of the local community.

The overall purpose of this collaborative effort is to foster the development of lifelong advocacy skills through skill-building seminars in advocacy, and by participation in school-based projects addressing the needs of the local community. By serving a community known for its ethnic, cultural, and language diversity, high poverty rate, and lack of access to healthy foods, our learners will experience first-hand the health disparities facing the community and will acquire skills in working to eliminate these disparities. This will allow them to gain insight into how health professionals can be strong advocates for their community and how their advocacy can benefit the community as a whole.


The Use of Theater to Foster Empathy and Tolerance Of Ambiguity in Medicine

Project Leaders: 
Salvatore Mangione, MD, Thomas Jefferson University. Director, Physical Diagnosis Course; Director, History of Medicine Course; Coordinator of Foundations of Clinical Medicine.

Project Description:

Theater can be used to improve empathy and provide meaning to what otherwise would be utterly meaningless. Theater is also uniquely suited to teach about life’s uncertainties, since great drama is typically rife with ambiguity. Be it the mystery Oedipus tries to solve or the nature of Beckett's elusive Godot, some of theater's most powerful stories center on characters taking action in the face of uncertainty.

Empathy and tolerance of ambiguity are the cornerstone of professionalism, yet they are neither taught nor tested in medical training. We have recently shown that watching drama might increase empathy, and we are now asking whether writing and performing drama might actually achieve a longer-lasting effect. To this end we'll join forces with the Lantern Theater Company of Philadelphia in helping physicians, students, nurses and residents metabolize the pain of their daily experience into theatrical vignettes to then be staged in an end-of-the-year performance. Participants will be tested on empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, burnout and other important personal domains.


Development and Evaluation of a Mobile Medical Professionalism Assessment Application

Project Leader: 
Juan C. Cendan, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, Assistant Dean for Simulation, University of Central Florida, College of Medicine

Project Description:

The research team will develop a mobile application which will allow for the systematic capture of commendable actions, or remediable lapses, in professional behavior in medical trainees. The technology will be linked to recognized medical professionalism attributes. Recording and reporting processes will involve redundancies to protect the trainee from potential sources of bias or misinterpretations, yet allow for ease of reporting, collection on complete data sets of behavior and facilitation of discussions regarding the topics of medical professionalism.

Specifically, this pilot project will assess the acceptance of PROMOBES by end users. The team also aims to demonstrate increased knowledge and understanding of the domains of professionalism in trainees, faculty and community preceptors. Finally, the team will investigate the impact of PROMOBES on professionalism perspectives and attitudes of both trainees and faculty. The eventual goal would be to create an environment where the application could be accessible to all (360O) and where self-regulation of professionalism was evident in trainees and active faculty.


Promoting Residents’ Professionalism:  A Competencies-Based Curriculum to Improve Relational Coordination and Patient-Centered Care

Project Leader:
Peter Dillon, MD. MSc; Dan Shapiro, PhD; Jan Philips, MSN, RN; Katherine Valenziano, DMH, MSN, BSN

Project Description:

Focused on team-based competencies, this project will provide first year residents in medicine and surgery and graduate nurse residents with the training needed to become effective members of a well-functioning interdisciplinary patient care team. The framework for the program is structured on relational coordination which is defined as the coordination of interdependent tasks within a network of interdependent people who perform them. It is based on the tenets of shared goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect. The program deliberately targets new practioners who by learning how to frame collegial conversations that share goals and respect will begin to alter the hierarchical culture that currently exists in healthcare.

The training curriculum will (1) identify key collaborative care competencies for first year residents and graduate nurse residents, (2) include opportunities to practice those competencies through simulation and small group exercises, and (3) provide support through modeling and evaluation to ensure integration and deployment of those competencies. We hypothesize that (1) residents and graduate nurses who engage in the training will increase their collaborative care competencies as measured by relational coordination metrics, (2) patients will report improved relationships with their care team as measured by relational coordination metrics, and (3) patient satisfaction will increase on those services where collaborative care teams engage in daily rounds.

This two year study has important implications for patient care and safety as well as the daily practice of medicine and surgery.


Enhancing Communication and Professionalism in Surgical Care: Piloting Peer-Based Coaching and Feedback Skills

Project Leader: 
Lauren DeCaporale-Ryan, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center.

Project Description:

This project will develop and pilot a model for peer-based observation and feedback regarding professionalism and patient-and-family-centered communication for faculty surgeons at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The project is an extension of the URMC Faculty Coaching Program and will occur in the inpatient surgical setting. The focus will be on enhancement of faculty’s skills and attitudes about patient-centered communication and self-management of related behaviors.

The curriculum will include a 2-hour teaching module focused on the processes of observation and the provision of feedback. Upon completion of the module, surgeons will be paired and participate in a structured, peer-based coaching process that will include goal setting, observation, and debriefing that is learner-facilitated and supported by an expert coach (from the URMC Faculty Coaching Program). Each surgeon will have the opportunity to both give and receive feedback to each other on patient communication skills. The objective of these educational activities is to improve specific behavioral skills that improve patient care, team-based care, and relationships with colleagues and trainees. The ultimate aim is to create a pilot program for peer coaching implementation that can be adopted by other disciplines and departments throughout the medical center.

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