Winston R Liaw, MD, MPH
Research is to see what everybody else has seen and to think what nobody else has thought.
Each year, my colleague, Alex Krist, and I sit down with our Virginia Commonwealth University family medicine residents to brainstorm potential research topics for their scholarly activities, and each year, we encounter a similar series of events. Initially, there is silence (frequently prolonged and often deafening) followed by musings about their lack of research experience. Then, a brave soul offers a question that has been plaguing her. A classmate asks a similar but related question. The conversation reminds a third resident about a different question he always wanted to answer. By the end of the hour, we have a list of fascinating, important questions.
- Do calorie counters improve patient outcomes?
- Why do our patients use the emergency room next door when our walk in clinic is open?
- Has the new patient portal affected the volume and type of phone calls we receive?
- Are patients at the community health center interested in doing video visits?
Your STFM Research Committee thought that family medicine residents and faculty nationwide may similarly have pressing questions to answer but lack the means to do so. Initially conceived by STFM Research Committee members Tammy Chang and Rob Post, we launched a session at the 2016 STFM Conference entitled: “Shark Tank for Family Medicine: Real-time Feedback for Primary Care Research Ideas”. During the workshop, seven participants pitched research ideas to three “sharks” (well-established primary care researchers). The sharks provided real-time feedback and then selected participants to mentor over the year. For those of you not tuned in to pop culture, our workshop is based on the TV show Shark Tank where contestants pitch business ideas to established entrepreneurs and winners receive funding and mentorship.
Renee Crichlow, MD,
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
My parents always asked me this. I learned later that this was about creating a vision and expectation of the future.
Now I am Dr Renee Crichlow, a family physician working and teaching family medicine in underserved North Minneapolis, and I ask every child I see, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Many answer doctor or nurse and yet in the medical school and the residency applications I rarely saw any kids from the neighborhood. My co-worker Shailey Prasad, MD, MPH, and I knew this was a complex problem not to be solved overnight.
We decided with the support of our department chair, Mac Baird, MD, MS, to build The Ladder, a structured health care pipeline mentorship program that incorporates hands-on science fun with values and character development designed to facilitate the development of lifelong learners and leaders interested in health care careers.
Posted in Education, Family Medicine Stories, Leadership, Public Health
Tagged careers, college students, Emerging Leaders, Family Medicine, grant, health, health care, Mentor, mentoring, Minnesota, renee crichlow, STFM Foundation, The Ladder, University of Minnesota
Margot Savoy, MD, MPH
I never got up the courage to say it out loud to the senior physician leader who had declared he was now officially my mentor. Not exactly the way I usually start off a mentor-mentee relationship, but my leadership coach said be curious and go with it.
We met for my semiannual check-in. I came prepared to share what progress I had made over the past months since we last met and had some goals I wanted to get his advice on. He started with “How have things been going?” and within the first 30 seconds he had interrupted me and taken over the conversation. Over the next 45 minutes I never got more than a sentence in before he started talking again. He wrapped up by telling me what I needed to work on before our next meeting while escorting me out of his office. (I have to say, if that is how we make patients feel during office visits, shame on us!) It was an unsatisfying encounter leaving me feeling disappointed, frustrated, and angry.