A Focus on the Health Care System: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

Written by Kathryn Patton '20
As medical students, we are focused on the human body – how to improve health and well-being, and cure illness. In the world of quality improvement and patient safety (QI and PS), we are focused on the healthcare system as a whole. How can we make it better for our patients? Here at the Larner College of Medicine, I help to lead a group focused on introducing medical students to these important areas in healthcare, in the hopes that they develop the same passion for QI and PS that I have.

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Prostate Cancer Screening

Written by Laura Donnelly '18
As a medical student attempting to get involved in research, it can be difficult to know where to start. My undergraduate work was in developmental biology, and while I learned molecular methods and laboratory techniques, I wanted to work on clinically-oriented research in medical school. I did not pursue research during the summer after my first year, but as second year continued, I began to look for a project.

Protecting Athletes from Concussion Through the CARE Consortium

Written by Cori Polonski '19 When I was little, I used to love the days when my dad brought me to work. For some kids this meant playing around in an office, but my dad sold programs at Fenway Park, and so some of my favorite childhood memories were walking around this historic ballpark and watching the Sox play at home. And when I watched the impossible happen in the ’04 American League Championship Series, I realized that sports are as close to magic as it gets. And so my desire to work in sports medicine has always come from a place of protecting the athletes who make us all believe in the impossible.

UVM Performance Improvement Collaborative: Bridging the Gap in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Education

Written by Samantha Magier '19 Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States—as rising physicians, we can improve this statistic. In order to effect change as the next generation of healthcare providers, we must be equipped with the necessary resources. This requires us to critically assess the operating procedures that we follow and effectively collaborate with interdisciplinary teams of health professionals to optimize healthcare delivery. Creating opportunities to take such action is the cornerstone of the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and Jeffords Institute Performance Improvement Collaborative.

Prevention & Patient Empowerment: Caring for Patients at Risk for HIV/AIDS

Written by Alexandra Miller '18 In the 1980s and 1990s, when HIV/AIDS was stigmatized and poorly understood, the disease was a death sentence. Now, we have available to patients a pre-exposure HIV prophylaxis, known as PrEP, that can prevent HIV transmission, potentially opening the door to immense changes in patients’ lives as well as improved public health outcomes. As part of my public health project, I had the opportunity to survey primary care providers in every county in Vermont to better understand perceived barriers to prescribing PrEP.