Editor’s note: As SHM celebrates the “Year of the Hospitalist,” we’re putting the spotlight on some of our most active members who are making substantial contributions to hospital medicine. You can get involved, too! Log on to www.hospitalmedicine.org/yoth for more information on how you can join the yearlong celebration and help SHM improve the care of hospitalized patients.
This month, The Hospitalist spotlights Aram Namavar, MS, a recipient of SHM’s Student Hospitalist Scholar Grant and a second-year medical student at Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine. Namavar is one of the first students to sit on an SHM committee as part of the Physicians in Training (PIT) Committee, which is focused on ensuring the successful transition of medical students and residents into the practice of hospital medicine. He recently started a hospital medicine special interest group at his medical school and is playing an active role in the launch of SHM’s new Students Community on the Hospital Medicine Exchange (HMX).
What piqued your interest in hospital medicine as you were choosing a specialty?
Originally, I had envisioned my career in medicine through the lens of the head orthopedic surgeon for the Los Angeles Lakers. As I transitioned to [the University of California, Los Angeles] from high school, I started to pave this path. There is a sports medicine internship program offered to second-year students, and as a first-year student, I knew I needed to make the right connections to get this prestigious internship position. As a means of networking, I volunteered to do laundry for the UCLA football team for my entire first year at UCLA.
The laundry room was located right next to the training room, so I had the opportunity to meet the orthopedic surgeons and training staff. After spending some time in this program, I felt that there were aspects to a career in orthopedics that did not fit with my personality, such as what I felt was limited patient interaction and ability to impact multiple domains of their care outside of surgery. I pivoted and began volunteering at UCLA Health and was exposed to a plethora of medical specialties and patient populations. Through the self-discovery of my potential career path, I also discovered myself and my values. I realized that I desired flexibility and versatility in my career to engage in clinical, leadership, mentorship, research, education, and advocacy roles, all of which are possible in hospital medicine. I am now certain that my career in medicine will lead me to become an academic hospitalist.
Can you tell us about your quality improvement project that you initiated as a result of winning the SHM Student Hospitalist Scholar Grant?
This summer has been a very enriching experience for my personal and professional development. My main project is focused on patient-centered readmissions and has three components. I am promoting a patient-centered approach to readmissions through examination of the role that decisional conflict plays in hospital readmissions.
In shared decision-making models, decisional conflict is a measure of uncertainty, readiness, and comfort level in making a decision. Aware of the plight of diverse populations in accessing healthcare and having higher readmission rates, I have widened the scope of my project. A second arm of my study is investigating which social determinants of health may be a root cause for why Hispanic patients are being readmitted at an increased rate compared to their non-readmitted counterparts. The third arm of my study is elucidating patient-centered views of the cause and preventability of readmission for Hispanic versus non-Hispanic patients.