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Shelsey Weinstein

I immediately jumped at the opportunity to explore the importance of compassion-centered care. Not only is there strong evidence to show that patients do better and are more compliant when they know their doctors are committed to their treatment and health, but there are obvious cost, outcome, and satisfaction rewards to our health-care system as a whole if we work to train doctors that treat patients with compassion. Like many of my classmates, the key component of medicine that I look forward to is the opportunity to build relationships with my patients. As a first-year, as I embark on the heavy science, the fellowship is a perfect avenue through which I can keep exploring the human side of medicine that so many of us value and look forward to each week with On Doctoring. I think the opportunity to study what this enigmatic piece of doctoring that we call compassion is really exciting. Even more, in order for Geisel students to give the best care to our future patients, it is important that we bring back the observations and knowledge we gain through this fellowship in an instructive way for our classmates.

I'm interested in working on one of the following two ideas:

  1. I am interested in working with my On Doctoring physician at DHMC in an effort to track patients with certain chronic diseases (i.e. hypertension, diabetes) to identify the aspects of an outpatient visit that make the patient feel their doctor was or was not compassionate (i.e. I might do this via a questionnaire post-appointment with a number of questions regarding their experience); and which of these patients are more compliant with their medications or have better outcomes regarding their disease (i.e. has their blood pressure dropped over x time). My goal would be to make this side of meidicine more objective and teachable via a list of qualities or actions that these patients identified on these potential questionnaires. This "checklist" could then be used as a platform for discussion among doctors, and future doctors, as to what key pieces of their interactions with patients are most important.

  2. I am a cellist and have had numerous experiences playing my cello in the context of music therapy here and abroad in South Africa and South America. I am committed to my music and its mental and physical health benefits. Unfortunately, as a result of the constraints of first year, I have had little time to keep up my music. Therefore, I believe the fellowship may be a means through which I might develop an in-hospital program in which patients can request to have music played in their rooms on certain days or where music therapy is available for inpatient participation.

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Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College