To celebrate International Yoga Day, the UMKC Health Sciences District will be offering a free class from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21. The class will be taught by a certified instructor and is open to all UMKC students, faculty and staff.
Come enjoy a gentle but effective hour of exercise. The class will be at the northeast corner of Holmes and 25th, in the green space south of the nursing and pharmacy schools.
The White Coat Ceremony at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine also prominently includes the colors blue, green, red, gold and purple.
This rite of passage for Year 3 students in UMKC’s innovative six-year B.A./M.D. program recognizes the transition from an emphasis on classroom work to bedside care. Faculty physician mentors — docents — gave white coats to 109 students at a ceremony Saturday at Swinney Recreation Center.
The newly white-coated students will spend the next four years in small docent-led learning groups. Five blue, green, red, gold and purple banners at the ceremony represented the five docent units.
The white coat is one of the most recognizable symbols of the medical profession. In the late 1800s, physicians wore short-sleeved white coats in the operating room to prevent contamination to both the physician and the patients. The color white also culturally represents values such as purity, cleanliness and life.
“Today, the white coat signifies the formal relationship that exists between physicians and patients,” said Brenda Rogers, M.D., associate dean for student affairs at the School of Medicine. “It serves as a reminder of the obligation we have to practice medicine with clinical competence and compassion.”
The students who were cloaked in white coats at the ceremony — the class of 2019 — wrote a philosophy of medicine statement that will hang in the school lobby. Joseph Bennettt, 2014 Richard T. Garcia Award recipient and Year 3 student, read it:
“Medicine is a noble profession that serves to better mankind, and getting a chance to be a part of this profession is a dream come true. As aspiring physicians, we have chosen potentially one of the more difficult paths to assisting others. We have chosen to master the human body and all that ails it. Simply stated, medicine is about helping people…”
The Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, stated that up to 98,000 Americans die each year in hospitals because of preventable mistakes — or as Michael Handler, M.D. ’84, put it, “the equivalent of a jumbo jet crash every one to two days.”
Handler, a hospital leader and expert in patient safety, gave the keynote address at the second annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day program at the UMKC School of Medicine on May 15.
An obstetrician-gynecologist by training, Handler is the medical director and chief medical officer of SSM St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake Saint Louis, Missouri. He is also the medical director of the Center for Patient Safety, a not-for-profit organization established by the Missouri Hospital Association, the Missouri State Medical Association and the health-care consulting firm Primaris.
“As I think about patient safety, I think about three expectations the patient has,” said Handler, who sees the Institute of Medicine report as the genesis of the patient safety movement. “The patient has expectations of ‘don’t hurt me, be nice to me and cure me,’ and probably in that order.”
According to Handler, it is imperative for health-care organizations to develop a culture of safety, which acknowledges the high-risk nature of the work, avoids blame and promotes collaboration across disciplines. Strong leadership is also necessary, he said.
“One thing I want to remind you is, all physicians are leaders,” Handler said. “It doesn’t matter if you have a title or if you’re a director or if you’re a chairperson or whatever. Every single physician is a leader. Everybody is looking at you. It’s like you’re onstage all the time. You always have to pay attention to that in everything that you do.”
Handler believes health-care organizations have changed their approach to patient safety. The focus used to be on the individual. Today, organizations focus on systems, such as the way doctors and nurses transfer patient responsibility during shift changes. “The way to reduce errors is to learn about the causes of errors and use this knowledge to redesign the systems,” he said.
Handler also stressed that working toward a blame-free culture is not a shirking of accountability. He drew a distinction between mistakes that should be met with coaching and more rare instances of “willful neglect.” A blame-free culture encourages health workers to document unsafe conditions and near misses, which are great learning opportunities, said Handler.
“You want people to report. You want the culture to be such that people are not afraid of retribution.”
With an eye on the horizon, Handler said diagnostic errors will become an area of focus in coming years. In fact, an Institute of Medicine committee is evaluating the existing knowledge about diagnostic error and its role in the quality of care, he said.
Peter Almenoff, M.D., the Vijay Babu Rayudu Endowed Chair of Patient Safety, introduced Handler and welcomed the members of Rayudu’s family who were in attendance. Rayudu was a medical student at UMKC at the time of his death in 2007.
Following Handler’s talk, students made oral presentations on antibiotic utilization, the role of interpreters in emergency rooms and other topics. Residents and fellows presented posters in the School of Medicine lobby. A list of presenters is available at https://med.umkc.edu/docs/events/RayuduPatientSafety2015.pdf.
Two School of Medicine faculty members will speak at TEDxUMKC, an event organized primarily by medical students.
Independently organized, TEDx events are modeled after and operate under a license from TED, the nonprofit known for its lecture series in which speakers have 18 minutes to present ideas about science, technology, creativity and other realms.
TEDxUMKC will take place March 14 from from 1–5 p.m. in the auditorium at the National World War I Museum. Speakers will include Nicholas Comninellis, M.D. ’82, M.P.H., clinical assistant professor of community and family medicine and founder of the Institute for International Medicine, and Stephen Kingsmore, M.B., Ch.B., D.Sc., professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Pediatric Genome Medicine at Children’s Mercy.
Tickets for seating in the auditorium are no longer available. Tickets remain for a livestream of the event in the museum’s reception area. Registration information, a full list of speakers and other details are available online.
The March 14 event will be the third TEDxUMKC conference and the first to take place off-campus. Fifth-year medical student Harika Nalluri has served as the head curator of TEDxUMKC since the inaugural conference was held at the Volker campus in the fall of 2012. “It’s been a great way to make connections with people who have made huge impacts in Kansas City,” she said.
Nalluri said she was inspired to put together an event at UMKC after attending the annual TEDxKC conference. She sought the advice of Mike Lundgren, the organizer of TEDxKC, which outgrew a 500-seat auditorium at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and now takes place at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
The most recent TEDxUMKC was held in the Student Union Theater. The event sold out, and one video presentation appeared on the TEDTalks YouTube channel. William Black, associate professor of economics and law at UMKC and an expert in the banking industry, gave the talk, which has been viewed more than 1 million times.
Third-year medical student Rahul Maheshwari is the co-curator of this year’s TEDxUMKC. Medical students Max Holtmann, Divya Igwe, Brooks Kimmis, Jacob Lee, Shubhu Sekhon and Ryan Sieli also serve on the board.
“Ditching Dogma” is the title of this year’s event. A statement on the TEDxUMKC website says dogma is embedded into the human condition, continuing:
We are taught what processes worked for our ancestors and we observe those same processes being utilized by others around us. Accordingly, more often than not, we follow suit. Ditching Dogma is about creativity, innovation, and thinking differently: not accepting the notion that we should do things simply because “that’s how they’ve always been done,” rewarding those who take risks while casting away notions of traditionalism.
Sieli said the ditching dogma theme was inspired by Gary Gaddis, M.D., Ph.D., Missouri Endowed Chair for Emergency Medicine, who uses the phrase when he talks about research projects that interest him.
Music and medicine have always gone hand in hand, said Lisa Wong, M.D., during her “Medicine and Music” lecture at the School of Medicine on June 5.
“In fact, Apollo was not only the god of sun, truth and healing, but he was also a musician,” she said.
The Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics invited Wong, associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a pediatrician with Milton Pediatrics in Boston, to share her experience with the healing power of music. A trained musician since age 4, Wong is the author
of Scales to Scalpels: Doctors Who Practice the Healing Arts of Music and Medicine, which tells the story of the volunteer musicians from the Boston medical community who comprise the Longwood Symphony Orchestra.
Wong grew up in Hawaii and attended Punahou School for kindergarten through twelfth grade. Punahou boasts graduates who are musically inclined and have gone on to win Tony awards and to be the president of the United States, Barrack Obama. After graduating from Harvard, Wong attended NYU Medical School where she found colleagues who were also artists. Since then, she has been able to incorporate music into her daily life and career and was president of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra for 20 years.
During her interactive lecture, Wong discussed the power of music and its role in medicine and healing.
“Learning music is similar to medical training,” she said. “Is it music or medicine when you’re evaluating data, looking at a piece of music or a lab sheet – looking for patterns.”
She has traveled the world with various volunteer efforts, including El Sistema, a music-for-social-change program in Venezuela.
“I always knew I wanted to take care of children through music,” Wong said.
Wong met her husband, Lynn Chang, professor at the Boston Conservatory and world renown violinist, while an undergraduate student at Harvard. Chang told the School of Medicine audience his story of performing during the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony and played “Jasmine Flower,” which he performed at the ceremony honoring Liu Xiaobo. He also explained the power music can have for a community. At the time of the 2010 ceremony, the Chinese government did not allow any Chinese citizens to attend the ceremony.
Xiaobo was an advocate of political reform and human rights in China and was publically critical of the Chinese communist regime. He was a prominent figure during the Tiananmen Square protests, calling for peaceful negotiations between students and the government. Xiaobo was famously absent for the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, as he was still imprisoned by the Chinese government, and his medal and diploma were displayed on an empty chair.
In the past, “Jasmine Flower” served as an anthem for the Chinese people, Chang said, and after he played it at the ceremony, it was banned for three years in China. But, Chang said, it had a profound effect on those who learned it was played for Xiaobo, bringing the sense of camaraderie back among the people.
Music is used in many ways. At each Nobel Prize ceremony, music is played to highlight its significance. Wong said the best kind of music is that played from the heart. The Longwood Symphony Orchestra is full of those, she said, who play with compassion.
“There aren’t a lot of business orchestras or law orchestras,” she said. “But there’s something about music and medicine that brings us together.”
National Emergency Services Week celebrates the community and medical personnel who have dedicated their careers to lifesaving services. The School of Medicine will have several events throughout the week. Emergency medicine residents and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education program staff will be host to the Airway Management and Video Laryngoscopy Workshop at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, in the Clinical Training Facility.
The highlight of the week is on Wednesday, May 21. Those at the School of Medicine and in the Kansas City community will get the opportunity to see the documentary, Freedom House – Street Saviors, which tells the story of the Freedom House Ambulance Service experiment in 1960s Pittsburgh that taught “unemployable” individuals from the poorest parts of the city how to run an ambulance. This experiment lead to the first formally trained paramedics in the United States and formed the paramedic curriculum taught for the next 40+ years. The film has only been shown in select cities throughout the United States, and this is the only way to view it. Those who attend will be able to meet the producer of the film and two of the original Freedom House paramedics. Faculty, staff and students are invited to view the documentary at 1:30 p.m. in Theater C, and a showing at 6 p.m. in Theater A is open to the public.
The week wraps up on Thursday, May 22, with “Intraosseous and Central Lines for the EMS Provider” with Chris Davlantes, M.D., F.A.C.P. at 6 p.m. in the Clinical Training Facility.
Applications must be received by October 31 so that their composite score will reflect their application and provide the best chance to obtain an interview. Invitations will be sent by ERAS E-mail and reservations given for specific interview days on a first-come/first-serve basis. Please make sure you can attend on the day you request. UMKC Orthopaedic Residency participates in Universal Offer Day (Monday, November 14th, 2022 11:00am CST) and Universal Interview Acceptance Period (48 hour period beginning Tuesday, November 15th, 2022 11:00am CST).
All costs related to the interview will be the responsibility of the applicant.