Q: What aspect of patient care is most rewarding?
A: Really connecting with patients and seeing them thrive. Working at a safety-net hospital, I have the privilege of caring for some of the most underserved but some of the most gracious and beautiful people.
Q: Are you on teaching service? If so, what aspect of teaching in the 21st century is most difficult? And what is most enjoyable?
A: I do enjoy supervising medical students and residents at all levels and attend frequently on the medical wards. I particularly love teaching medical students because of their enthusiasm and curiosity. I love being reminded of basic pathophysiology by a thoughtfully asked question from a medical student. I am a big advocate of bedside rounding. Finding a way to do this efficiently and while teaching to all the levels on the team is challenging. Also, I still enjoy my own direct patient care activities and feel that they challenge me in a different way and make me a better teacher.
Q: Outside of patient care, tell us about your career interests.
A: My research has focused on understanding problems experienced by patients following hospital discharge and designing systems to help ameliorate them. On an institutional level, I serve on several committees, including the Utilization Review Committee, and a group aiming to improve collaboration between hospitalists and primary care physicians and improve discharge transitions. I have participated in several LEAN events aimed at understanding and improving various systems issues.
Q: When you aren’t working, what is important to you?
A: My family and friends, sunshine, and travel. My husband grew up in Papua, New Guinea, and Australia, and both of his parents are physicians, so he is very understanding and not the least bit grossed out when I regale him with stories involving bodily fluids. We have a beautiful, inquisitive 3-year-old daughter and her furry older sister, Ginger Wasabi Ninja. As the oldest of seven, I also love hanging out with my siblings.
Q: What SHM event has made the most lasting impression on you?
A: I really enjoyed HM16, particularly the keynote address by our U.S. Surgeon General and fellow hospitalist, Vivek Murthy, MD, who discussed the role hospitalists can play in public health. His message that we hospitalists should put as much of an effort into trying to improve health outside the walls of the hospital as we do within the walls really resonated with me and has encouraged me to get more involved in the community. TH
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.