Since its inception, the Bucksbaum Institute has supported academic and clinical opportunities that work to enhance the quality of medical care by improving the doctor-patient relationship.
Faculty members affiliated with the Bucksbaum Institute have developed academic curricula that directly support this goal by focusing directly on the doctor-patient relationship. Affiliated faculty members currently offer five courses, four in the Pritzker School of Medicine and one in the undergraduate College.
Course 1: On Becoming a Doctor: Perspectives on the Doctor-Patient Relationship
Holly Humphrey, MD, Department of Medicine, Dean for Medical Education
Mark Siegler, MD, Department of Medicine, Executive Director, Bucksbaum Institute
Matthew Sorrentino, MD, Department of Medicine, Associate Director, Bucksbaum Institute
“Becoming a Doctor: Perspectives on the Doctor-Patient Relationship” provides a critical overview of medical writings that explore the many roles of the doctor and patient in modern healthcare. Two central questions examined throughout the course are whether doctors can still practice personal medicine in an increasingly bureaucratic system of care and whether the doctor-patient relationship will survive in the face of modern challenges including health reform, the cost of care, and time constraints.
Course 2: Empathy as a Clinical Tool
Tamara Vokes, MD, Department of Medicine, Director, Osteoporosis & Metabolic Bone Disease Clinic
As physicians, empathy is one of the cornerstones of the doctor-patient relationship, and previously there was no formal training in the medical curriculum that provided students with the tools to enhance empathic ability, this course explores ways of empathic communication that enable students to become “good doctors”. The course utilizes an experiential approach to exploring communication, through somatic movement and body centered meditation techniques, as well as partnered activities.
Course 3: Healer’s Art
Melanie Brown, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Medical Director, Pediatric Comfort Team
The Healer’s Art is a course designed to help students and faculty members reaffirm their commitment to the values that brought them to medicine, connect with genuine respect to each other, and find meaning in their work. Through making an active commitment to strengthening and preserving their humanity for a career in medicine, students will cultivate the human dimensions of the practice of medicine.
Course 4: Teaching Diagnostic Reasoning at the Bedside &emdash; The Core Clinical Competence
Scott Stern, MD, Department of Medicine, Professor
The chief objective of this elective is to improve the student’s approach to the diagnosis of common medical conditions and to ensure that students master an articulated systematic approach to common symptoms/problems that has been informed by detailed research. That is, ensure students are competent in the most critical aspect of medicine… making an accurate diagnosis. The secondary goal of this project is to repeatedly model for students a compassionate, doctor patient encounter by repeatedly exposing students to attending/patient interactions on a daily basis. Finally, the third goal of this project is to encourage/require clinically-targeted self directed learning, which is an important priority for the LCME. The format of this elective requires students to immediately engage in clinically-oriented, self directed learning to research the appropriate diagnostic approaches to both symptoms and diseases that they encounter during urgent care visits.
Course 5: The Good Physician: Vocation, Calling and Clinical Excellence
John Yoon, MD, Department of Medicine, Assistant Professor
“The Good Physician: Vocation, Calling and Clinical Excellence” focuses on the age old question: “How does one become a good physician?” Interdisciplinary literature from medicine, sociology, moral psychology, philosophy, ethics and theology are evaluated to explore contemporary answers to this question. Through the course, students develop perspectives on the goals of medicine, medical professionalism, the doctor-patient relationship, vocation and calling, religion in medicine and character development in medical education.