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At the Top

Lauren Taylor, MD, general surgery resident, won this year’s Best Abstract Award at the Lown Institute’s annual conference last week in Boston. Founded by world-renowned cardiologist and humanitarian Bernard Lown, the Lown Institute is exposing the failures of the U.S. health care system and advancing a vision that supports universal access to cost-effective, patient-centered care. Lauren’s research analyzed communication between surgeons and frail, older patients with life-threatening surgical conditions. She identified three critical barriers to decision making. First, surgeons failed to reveal the life-limiting nature of the patient’s illness. Second, surgeons asked patients to express preferences for particular treatments without asking about their goals, hopes, and fears. Third, surgeons hesitated to make a treatment recommendation, effectively abandoning the patient during a crucial moment, rather than sharing the decision. Congratulations to Lauren on this award, and to Gretchen Schwarze, MD, MPP, for her mentorship and work in this critical area of research and scholarship.

Graduation Day

The Department was well represented at UWSMPH graduation on Friday, May 12. Jackie Arbuckle, MD, who was elected by the senior class to serve in their investiture ceremony as the clinical faculty representative, “hooded” the class and welcomed them to the medical profession. Dr. Arbuckle, who is retiring this month, reported that “it was an incredible honor and the perfect way to say good bye to the medical school.” Nathan Baggett, a graduating medical student, spoke to the class on his long illness with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and his experiences with a living donor liver transplant at UW. Josh Mezrich, MD, who was mentioned in Dr. Baggett’s reflection, commented that Nathan’s speech held many words of wisdom and life lessons. “Although I have had a long relationship with him, he really was the patient of our whole liver service, with all of us doing our best to help get him through this. And, of course, his cousin, who donated half her liver, was the real hero.”

Dr. Bernhardt at the VA

Dr. Bernhardt’s work at the VA continues to inspire residents at that facility. Most recently Brian Christie, MD, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Resident, expressed his gratitude for Dr. Bernhardt’s contributions. “It was phenomenal to work with you. Within every scenario you find a relevant teaching point.” Dr. Christie says that plastic surgery residents are incredibly excited to have the benefit of operating with Dr. Bernhardt, and “every moment is a teaching opportunity.” Thank you, Dr. Bernhardt, for everything you do to educate our residents and future surgeons!

Patient Comments from Hospital Survey

Aaron Wieland, MD (Otolaryngology)
“The visit was pleasant and wonderful. Dr. Wieland showed and expressed authenticity in his care, both personal and professional.”

Lindsay Morris, NP (Cardiothoracic)
“Lindsay was very caring, she’s the best.”

Evie Carchman, MD
(General)
“Everyone was very professional and organized. Check in was easy. Dr. Carchman is an excellent surgeon, very honest and direct which I appreciate. I would recommend her to anyone.”

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