|Timothy Dempsey, 2014|
Name: Timothy DempseyClass Year: 2014
Role at Promise Clinic: First Quality Improvement Director for clinic; student-doctorWhat 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
Currently a third year resident, once residency is finished will be doing Pulmonary/Critical Care fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
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.
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.