2020-2021 SIDM Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence Announced

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The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) welcomes seven new Fellows to focus on diagnostic quality and safety projects.

“We are already seeing significant impact in the field of diagnostic quality and safety from our alumni fellows,” said Mark L. Graber, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of SIDM.

Seven new Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence were announced today by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). The 2020-2021 Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence awardees will work on innovative projects focused on improving diagnostic quality and safety.

SIDM established the Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence in 2016 to provide support to early-career scholars researching the improvement of diagnostic quality and safety, and to amplify their work to create awareness about issues of diagnostic error. In 2019, with the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the program was expanded to include three funded fellowships – one at Johns Hopkins University, one at the University of Pennsylvania, and one additional institution, this year at Baylor College of Medicine.

The SIDM Fellowship Committee, comprised of diagnostic quality and safety experts, reviewed a record number of fellowship applications for the 2020-2021 academic year, and they carefully considered each applicant’s qualifications before making their final selections.

“We are thrilled to welcome the next class of future leaders in the fields of diagnostic quality and safety,” said Paul Bergl, MD, fellowship director and 2017 Fellow. “As a former fellow, it has been gratifying to see the Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence program evolve and continue to support researchers, educators and others interested in improving the diagnostic process and innovating change.”

Since the establishment of the fellowship program, SIDM fellows have published more than 90 articles in peer-review publications since their fellowship year.

“We are already seeing significant impact in the field of diagnostic quality and safety from our alumni fellows,” said Mark L. Graber, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of SIDM. “Diagnostic errors are among the most catastrophic and costly of medical errors, and we need the innovative approaches that these young leaders are pursuing to help us tackle this problem.”

2020-2021 SIDM Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence:

Justin Choi, MD, hospitalist and clinician-researcher, Weill Cornell Medical College. Research focus: Understanding group decision-making processes and the biases in the approach to diagnostic decisions of general medicine teams in teaching hospitals through ethnography as well as developing a conceptual model to understand what factors influence teams’ diagnoses.

Yasaman Fatemi, MD, pediatric infectious diseases fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Fatemi is working towards a Masters of Science in Health Policy with a concentration in Healthcare Quality & Safety as part of her fellowship within the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Research focus: Developing curricula and assessment tools to understand and improve diagnostic stewardship, i.e. the appropriate utilization of diagnostic tests, and its effect on diagnostic errors.

Ayodele McClenney, BSCE, JD, Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality, Center for Diagnostic Excellence. Research focus: Establishing Tele-Dizzy consultation, a quality improvement program using video-oculography goggles to improve diagnosis of acute dizziness and stroke, and assessing its impact at Howard County General and Sibley Memorial Hospitals.

Rajasekhara Mummadi, MD, Chief of Quality and Population Health and gastroenterologist, Northwest Permanente, P.C. Research focus: Studying the implementation and effectiveness of communication of critical imaging results directly to patients from the Kaiser Permanente Central SureNet monitoring system.

Varun Phadke, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Phadke is an infectious diseases clinician at Emory and is involved in microbiology and infectious diseases education for medical students, residents, and fellows. Research focus: Developing a framework for the cognitive processes used by subspecialists in patient care as they make diagnoses, and developing metrics of consultative care that could be used for assessment and remediation of learners, quality improvement, and a more cohesive understanding of errors.

Lisa Schwartz, MD, MSc, Assistant Clinical Professor and hospitalist, Internal Medicine Teaching Service, NYU Langone Hospital - Brooklyn. Research focus: Developing a Diagnostic Certainty Tool (DCT) within the medical record to track diagnostic reasoning and ultimately educating users on diagnostic uncertainty, missed diagnoses, delayed diagnoses, and diagnostic error.

Viralkumar Vaghani, MBBS, MPH, MS, Healthcare informatics analyst, Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety, Baylor College of Medicine and Michael E. DeBakey Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center. Viralkumar is working towards a Ph.D. in biomedical informatics from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Research focus: Developing, testing, and validating SaferDx Trigger Tool Framework based e-trigger algorithms using EHR data to identify missed opportunities to diagnose certain conditions in primary care.

Each SIDM Fellow is assigned a personal mentor in their area of study who provides guidance and mentorship for their projects (on-site or remotely). The fellows participate in webinars and Journal Club sessions. Fellows conduct research and present their projects at the annual Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference and are encouraged to submit their work for review and publication in Diagnosis and other peer-reviewed journals. The three funded fellowships include a financial stipend of $35,000 for the trainee and $5,000 for their local institutional mentor. These fellowships supplement a primary fellowship in a certificate or degree-granting program.

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About the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)
The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine catalyzes and leads change to improve diagnosis and eliminate harm from diagnostic error. We work in partnership with patients, their families, the healthcare community and every interested stakeholder. SIDM is the only organization focused solely on the problem of diagnostic error and improving the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis. In 2015, SIDM established the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, to increase awareness and actions that improve diagnosis. Members of the coalition represent hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and patients—and the leading health organizations and government agencies involved in patient care. Together, we work to find solutions that enhance diagnostic safety and quality, reduce harm, and ultimately, ensure better health outcomes for patients. Visit http://www.improvediagnosis.org to learn more.

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