Being a part of CIR helped us to implement a quality improvement project named iLISTEN, which is a training curriculum in helping to improve physician-patient communication and teamwork in the hospital. I believe this project was instrumental in helping to start a culture change of having open, healthy communication between our peers in the hospital. It also helped to teach residents on how to deal with the stressors of residency and how to diffuse difficult situations with effective communication which ultimately has a positive impact on patient care.
As a CIR delegate, I worked hard to ensure to make sure our contractual rights were being honored as well making sure resident’s voices and concerns were being heard by hospital administration. During my time as a leader, our residents made big strides in improving working conditions and helping to change culture of our program.
I have learned in my time with CIR that residents nationwide have similar struggles when it comes to dealing with their hospitals. After I attended my first regional meeting, I left with a sense of great comradery with residents from other hospitals.
I would like us to elevate the issue of resident wellness. There have been troubling reports about physician burnout and the high rate of physician suicide. With the workload that many of us endure in some of our hospitals on top of all life’s other stressors, this is unfortunately not surprising.
I want to advocate for our patients as we know firsthand their struggle. I work at an inner-city safety-net hospital where many patients lack the means the take care of themselves. In that regard, I participated in CIR’s Lobby Day in Albany to help lobby for the $15 minimum wage and Paid Family Leave Act. Both of these bills were recently passed by the New York State Legislature. Our personal stories about how these bills could help our patients take better care of themselves definitely resonated with New York legislators and their staff. I would like to continue this kind of advocacy.
In that same spirit, I would also want to work on educating the communities we live in on health problems that can be avoided. One thing I’ve noticed is the devastating effect that HIV can have when it goes ignored or untreated. However, many people in the community are unaware that there is a medication for pre-exposure prophylaxis available to those who are at substantial risk of getting HIV. This is just one example of the many ways we can help to educate our communities like the great work CIR is doing with the Family Health Challenge.