I think big and dream bigger but have been told many times in my life to stop doing so. My grade 10 careers advisor told me to aim lower when I expressed an interest in studying medicine, a male physician once told me that training a woman was like training half a doctor and I’ve even had a family member tell me that women joining the workforce are responsible for the downfall of modern society. Despite this, I’m now in medical school and will one day soon achieve my dream of becoming a doctor.
Over the last few days I’ve been given the skills and knowledge to undertake projects that improve outcomes for all patients; I’ve been empowered to make a change. Unfortunately these things take time, you need to carefully plan, analyse, monitor and assess. You need a specific problem to tailor your specific, well researched solutions and I am sure in the months and years to come I will use the things I’ve learned and the frameworks provided to make change happen. However, at this point in time, my goal is big and broad, it’s in no way specific and while I’m prepared to to do my due diligence and execute some high quality, quality improvement projects once I find my focus, right now I just need to do something. Improvements to patient safety education shouldn’t have to wait for me to specifically define the problem in a measurable way or wait to get ethics approval. It can’t wait, not while I know there are things I can be doing that will have some impact right now.
Don’t get me wrong, I know we need to improve patient safety, safely by following the right processes and procedures but today I am going rouge, I am not going to wait. Like a hungry Roundtable delegate on the hunt for a burrito I am going to take action. Tonight I will email my contacts and state my case to ensure that patient safety is on the agenda of every student-run educational conference in my state this year. Additionally, I will push to have a safety moment at the beginning of each event my medical society hosts. Lastly, because I can’t be everywhere at once, I will make a time to train others in my medical society so they too can be safety coaches and start getting the word out about this important issue.
One day soon (when step 1 is behind me), I will start the research and do it the right way but I won’t sit ideally by in the mean time. Watch this space.
Each of our Telluride Scholars adds their own voice and passion to the patient safety movement that continues to need attention. The following are most likely words of unintentional inspiration from Anna Elias who shows what one individual can accomplish when they care deeply about a cause, and dare to dream they can make a difference. Anna is absolutely right — Watch this space! — her space, because she is on her way to great things!
You can also link to the Telluride Blog where Anna originally posted this piece.
If you are looking for something to do over the holiday weekend, why not submit an abstract to the American Journal of Medical Quality? The following opportunity was shared by Telluride Alumni (2013), Martin Wegman, and offers another outlet for the excellent work we know Telluride Alum are leading across the country!
Quality Training to Improve Performance (QTIP)
American Journal of Medical Quality
Call for Abstracts
The American Journal of Medical Quality (AJMQ) recognizes that opportunities to learn about the perspectives of professionals in training are limited. To expand learning opportunities for its readership, AJMQ launched a column dedicated to publishing student work on the topic of performance improvement in 2013. Through collaboration with the American College of Medical Quality, articles will be solicited for the column, “Quality Training to Improve Performance (Q-TIP),” which will be published in the 2016 issues of AJMQ.
Abstracts of no more than 150 words, written by health professions students, describing improvement work and interdisciplinary collaborations should be sent to the faculty advisor, James Pelegano, MD, MS (email@example.com) by September 15, 2015. Eight abstracts will be selected by the faculty advisor and an Editorial Advisory Board for full article submissions and up to six articles will be published in AJMQ during each publication cycle (one article per issue). Questions regarding “Quality Training to Improve Performance (Q-TIP)” or submissions may be directed to Dr. Pelegano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American Journal of Medical Quality (AJMQ) is a peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal for those practicing, conducting research, and teaching in the field of clinical quality improvement. AJMQ publishes research studies, evaluations of the delivery and management of health care, and reports on changes in the field of medical quality, utilization, and risk management. Each issue provides information on the latest innovations in quality, editorial commentary on issues of importance in the field, and pragmatic suggestions to improve practice.
Please visit the AJMQ website, http://ajm.sagepub.com/, for more information about the journal, or to view an issue free of charge.