Patient Safety First: Doctors Start Residency Training with Unique Bootcamp | MedStar Health

Patient Safety First: Doctors Start Residency Training with Unique Bootcamp

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June 9, 2016


Patient Safety First:  Doctors Start Residency Training with Unique Bootcamp 

Doctors just entering residency or fellowship training at MedStar Health will experience a three-day immersion in patient safety before they ever see patients in a MedStar hospital or clinic. The orientation program begins Monday, June 13, at the Marquis Marriott, Washington, D.C.,

Reporters are welcome to attend the orientation kick off on June 13 and talk with MedStar clinical and graduate medical education (GME) leaders, a national patient safety advocate and new medical residents to understand how one of the largest GME programs in the nation is helping change the culture of medicine.

Starting advanced training by putting all 420 residents and fellows through a multi-day patient safety bootcamp is unprecedented in medical education, according to David Mayer, MD, MedStar vice president for Quality and Safety and a recognized national leader in patient safety and GME.  “Our GME orientation is really best in class and something that patient advocate leaders have been calling for,” says Dr. Mayer. “I am not aware of any other academic program across the country that has made this commitment to the safety of its patients.”


  • 8 to 9 a.m.-- MedStar Health’s chief medical officer, Stephen R.T. Evans, MD, will provide an overview of the GME program and MedStar’s relationship with Georgetown University, its medical education and clinical partner.
  • 9 to 10 a.m. -- Helen Haskell, a national patient safety advocate, will share her family’s devastating experience of medical harm that resulted in the death of her 15-year-old son, Lewis Blackman, in 2000 following routine surgery—in spite of concerns she had repeatedly raised with his medical team.
  • 10 a.m. to noon--Ms. Haskell and Dr. Mayer will lead candid discussion and offer reflections about the importance of open and honest communication with patients, families and other members of the care team.

Other topics during the first day of GME orientation include:

  • Universal precautions to avoid error
  • Managing fatigue
  • High reliability
  • Human factors in health care
  • Just culture and the newly released communication and optimal resolution (CANDOR) toolkit that MedStar  helped lead for the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The GME orientation program is the first element in a longitudinal curriculum that MedStar will use to engage physicians in patient safety topics throughout their training careers. Residency programs can last up to seven years, and many residents stay on for further training through fellowships.


About MedStar Health Graduate Medical Education

Advancing health through medical education, research and innovation is core to MedStar Health's vision and strategy. Serving as MedStar Health's medical education and clinical partner, Georgetown University enhances our "advancing health" portfolio through collaborations in teaching, scholarship and research. Georgetown University medical students rotate through MedStar's hospitals for their clinical education and training. In addition, approximately 25 percent of the university's graduating class is matched into MedStar residencies and fellowships. Many of MedStar's teaching faculty hold academic appointments at Georgetown University, realizing the meaningful collaborations in teaching, research and academic service.


About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit