Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Alumnus Highlight: Timothy Dempsey

Timothy Dempsey, 2014
Name: Timothy Dempsey
Class Year: 2014
Role at Promise Clinic: First Quality Improvement Director for clinic; student-doctor
What did you do after graduation?
 Internal Medicine Residency at UC Davis in Sacramento, California where I've continued to work on QI projects and in medical education in addition to my clinical responsibilities
What are you currently doing?
Currently a third year resident, once residency is finished will be doing Pulmonary/Critical Care fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota

How has Promise Clinic influenced your clinical training?
Promise Clinic was one of my favorite experiences of medical school.  Working as a student-doctor at PC was the first time I really got to experience continuity in caring for a patient.  And I loved it!  While I do like working in the inpatient side a great deal, I decided I wanted a specialty that would also allow me to see patients in my own clinic and I think my time at Promise Clinic helped shape that decision.  In my role as Quality Improvement Director of clinic, I had the opportunity to put QI projects into practice for the first time.  During my MPH year, I learned all about the process of quality improvement...and thought it to be incredibly boring.  But once I was put in charge of clinic QI, I really enjoyed working on the various different projects we initiated to make PC run more efficiently.  And now that I am in residency and moving on to fellowship, one of my main research areas is in quality improvement. I don't think that would have been the case without my real-world experience at Promise Clinic.  Finally, PC was one of the first places I was able to practice teaching those more junior to me.  Once again, now that I am in residency, I have found medical education is one of the areas I am most drawn to and hope to include in my future career.

How would you like to see Promise Clinic grow?
I think Promise Clinic has immense potential and it started to be realized in my final year of medical school when we moved to Eric B. Chandler Health Center.  Having access to those services (and space) really helped the clinic function much smoother.  I'm not sure what has happened since I left, but ideally it would be nice for all of the medical students at RWJMS to have access to working at the clinic given how beneficial it has proven to be.

Do you have any advice for Student Doctors?
Always remember that you are these patients primary doctor and have a profound impact on their life, for better or worse.  So take the job seriously, especially when you are thinking about skipping to study for that biochemistry exam...trust me your experience at PC will be more important to your future career than that information you learn.

Alumnus Highlight: Peter Murr

Peter Murr, 2012
Name: Peter Murr
Class Year: 2012
Role at Promise Clinic: Phone Coordinator 

What did you do after graduating from Robert Wood Johnson? 
Internal Medicine prelim year at the VA Caribbean Healthcare System
Ophthalmology residency at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital/Washington Hospital Center 
What are you currently doing?  
Ophthalmology private practice 

How has Promise Clinic influenced your clinical training?
I had a lot of fun doing Promise Clinic.  It was great to be there with everyone and I enjoyed teaching when possible.  I was the phone coordinator MS3 and MS4 but never on a team; if we were to go by the 6 ACGME core competencies, for me the Promise Clinic would weigh more heavily on everything except medical knowledge.  By the end I knew who was on what team and which patient(s) each team had, and I'd try to make dealing with the Promise Clinic as seamless for both parties as I could.  All of us phone coordinators had to know Spanish, which to this day remains a very useful skill when dealing with patients. In any office, the patients with Medicaid or are self-pay have various barriers which limit their access to care, both personal and systemic. Regardless, it is our job as physicians to do our best for every patient, and by remembering experiences from the Promise Clinic, I feel I am better able to do the best for my current patients. 

How would you like to see Promise Clinic grow?  
Well it has been a while since I was there, but of course involving more med students and helping more patients would be ideal. 

Do you have any advice for our Student Doctors?  
Yes, be advocates for your patient and get to know as much as you can about him/her.  For first and second years, it's a great opportunity to learn presentation skills from the older students.  You'll never have such continuity of care anywhere else in training, and so enjoy it and learn something from everything and everyone there.  As far as the patients go, you're doing a great service to them but don't forget they're doing a great service to you too. 

Any other comments?
For lower classmen, take advantage of your upper classmen as much as possible.  They're the ones who have just gone through what you'll go through.  They're probably the best and most up to date sources of advice since things change quickly.  Also learn and practice good presentation skills--they will help you a lot MS3 and MS4.  (Hint: pertinent negatives, be concise, and resist the temptation to say every single thing you know--know everything but triage what's pertinent aka think like a doctor.)  And what goes around comes around: as upperclassmen, be sure to spend time teaching your first years, take initiative and offer to discuss a topic next time, and set a good example.  This goes for everywhere, not just promise clinic.