Eight grantees will create mentoring programs to promote humanistic patient care

In October, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for mentoring interventions specifically designed to help physicians and nurses in training and early practice to be more humanistic in their patient care.

The Foundation has chosen eight grantees to receive $25,000 in funding over a two year timeline. Early this year, the project teams will meet for a one-day workshop with expert consultants and other grantees to explore ways to improve/enhance each project in such areas as methods and assessment and benefit from a cross-fertilization of ideas.

We are pleased to announce the eight researchers/institutions selected for funding:

Training Faculty to be Mentors in Humanism: A Faculty Development Program to Nurture Students’ Inner Growth
Project Investigator: Benjamin Blatt, MD  —  George Washington University School of Medicine

The George Washington University School of Medicine is currently implementing a new integrated curriculum entitled the Pathway for Student Professional Formation (“the Pathway”). The Pathway is a mentoring program in which the humanistic and scientific formation of students will be integrated and holistic, with small group learning communities of 8 students and 2 mentors each. The Pathway consists of individual and small group mentoring sessions in which mentors will work with students throughout the four years of medical school, getting to know them deeply as individuals as they proceed through their process of formation as physicians. They will support students through a process of repeated self-assessment and reflection, with the purpose of fostering the students’ inner life as well as scientific growth– crucial to their ability to be fully and compassionately present for patients and their families. To support the Pathway program, the GWU School of Medicine will implement the Faculty Mentors Program that will teach faculty mentoring through workshops in reflection, coaching, and mindfulness and the creation of a learning community to explore the mentors’ own humanistic growth.

Intentional Mentoring: Humanistic Engagement in Learning and Practice (HELP)”
Project Investigator: Margaret Brommelsiek, PhD  —  University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing & Health Studies

The intent of the UMKC School of Nursing & Health Studies’ mentoring intervention is to guide undergraduate and graduate students in upholding nursing’s foundation as a caring, patient-centered, humanistic profession. Since students often model the behaviors of the instructors who teach them, the program seeks to ensure that faculty are well versed in humanism and exhibit these attributes in the classroom and during clinical practicum with the goal of assisting students in moving from novices and skilled technicians to accomplished, altruistic practitioners.  The Intentional Mentoring Program will prepare clinical faculty to focus on the art of caring and humanism in their roles as professors and as mentors, and will extend this intervention to students by preparing them to balance technical competency and evidence-based practice with the art of altruistic care. Five goals guide this program: 1) increased presence; 2) enhanced interpersonal verbal and non-verbal communication; 3) utilization of reflective practice; 4) increased awareness; and 5) enhanced confidence in transitioning from novice skill-based technician to altruistic, patient-centered practitioner.

Mentoring and Professionalism in Training (MAP-IT)
Principal Investigator: Alice Fornari, EdD, RD  —  North Shore LIJ Health System

North Shore-LIJ and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine will establish a structured, longitudinal mentoring program, entitled MAP-IT, designed to rigorously train and empower a cohort of 30 physician and 30 nurse educators as discipline-specific mentors in humanism. Medical and nursing educators play a key role in positively influencing the development of personal and professional identities among new healthcare professionals. A core task for these educators must be to model the practice of humane and compassionate care for patients.

Through MAP-IT, physician and nurse mentors will complete a mentoring humanism curriculum, designed with input from Dr. William Branch Jr., a renowned leader in humanistic medicine. Mentors will in turn positively influence the development of a cohort of 120-150 mentees (comprised of medical students, residents, and early-career nurses) through relationship-building and positive role modeling of humanistic behaviors. The program will be evaluated on its effectiveness as an interprofessional model for training skilled mentors in humanism, as well as its success in fostering the humanistic qualities in student, resident, and nurse trainees that are required for patient-centered medicine, compassionate care, and fulfilling careers as health professionals.

Deliberate Humanism: A Longitudinal Mentoring Curriculum
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Koestler, MD, FAAP   —  New York Medical College

The goal of this project is to explicitly train all NYMC students, from the very first day of medical school, to become patient-focused physicians who demonstrate integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect, empathy and service. This project uses a deliberate approach to creating a “habit of humanism” using a longitudinal mentoring program, formal coursework, seminars, elective and service opportunities. The core of the project rests on the following elements: mentorship, reflection, deliberate practice and the humanities.  Relationships with mentors, individually and in small advisory groups, will create a supportive environment for students to discuss personal reflections from patient-care experiences, concerns about the healthcare system and issues and conflicts arising from the hidden curriculum of the workplace.  Mentors will meet regularly with mentees to review the students’ developmental portfolio containing reflective assignments and student assessments and provide positive role-modeling of professional and humanism behavior throughout all four years of medical school.

Fostering Humanistic Mentoring
Principal Investigator: Mack Lipkin, MD  —  New York University School of Medicine

\=The NYU School of Medicine will plan, implement, evaluate, disseminate, and sustain an initiative in humanistic mentoring for medical students and residents. A novel, intensive, experiential, personal case-based workshop will teach a core mentoring model and draw an empirically derived mentoring curriculum using NYU School of Medicine Professor Dr. Mack Lipkin’s model for teaching higher order skills. The workshop will begin with an overview of the model and curriculum, provide three 90 minute experiential small group skills-building sessions, and end with large group discussion. Participants will include influential clinical educators from Medicine, Pediatrics, other departments and Nursing who are not part of the psychosocially oriented Primary Care faculty. The program will enhance humanistic education by training influential clinical leaders in humanistic mentoring, implementing an institution wide curriculum that mentors on humanistic topics (e.g., handling difficult situations, managing one’s personal feelings, ethics and errors, and challenging collegial and supervisory situations), piloting an innovative new evaluation tool, and promoting sustainability through monthly Mentoring Case Conferences.

Meaningful Medicine Mentoring Program: A Humanistic Approach to Patient Care
Principal Investigators: Melita Schuster, DO and Sherry Jimenez, EdD  —  Marian University

The purpose of the Meaningful Medicine Mentoring Program is to develop faculty mentors and student mentees in the area of humanistic patient care. The project team will develop physicians from Indianapolis and surrounding areas in Central Indiana to serve as mentors for medical students in addition to the medical students themselves. Both training cohorts will occur at the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, regionally located hospital and practice sites, and other venues in the greater Indianapolis area. The teaching techniques employed will consist of interactive workshops combining lecture, discussion, and small group case-based learning. Based on mutual interests, students will be matched with faculty mentors and receive an experiential learning experience for half a day each month. Students will be encouraged to meet monthly at the medical school and based upon preset topics, will be invited to share their experiences and write a self-reflection. An annual summit will be held for mentors and mentees to discuss humanistic topics germane to patient care and experiences relevant to topics presented.

Building Bridges: A Project to Advance the Integration of Primary Care and Mental Health Care Through Mentoring
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Toll, MD — Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Hasbro Children’s Hospital

The complex psychosocial and medical problems of patients who seek care in urban academic clinics present constant challenges to residents working in these settings. This project aims to improve residents’ ability to integrate the primary and mental health care of their patients by establishing a system of faculty mentors and resident buddies in two different combined residency programs at Brown University: the Combined Residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics (“Med/ Peds”) and the Combined Residency in Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (“Triple Board Program”). Residents in these programs are well versed in building bridges between different disciplines. In the first year of the project, residents from Med/Peds will be paired with buddies from the Triple Board Program. Buddies will be mentored by identified faculty from both programs. Buddies and mentors will meet regularly to discuss complex patient cases. Buddies will consult one another and mentors about patient care matters arising during the course of residency training. In the second year of the project, buddies and mentors will work together to develop a mentoring program for at-risk teen boys using  group patient visits.  This project offers multiple opportunities for participants to learn about the mentor-mentee relationship, to engage in discussions of humanistic topics (e.g., uncertainty, ethical issues, managing emotions, the importance of self-reflection), and to practice humanistic medicine in a variety of settings.

From Bedside Backstory to Compassionate Care: Mentoring Medical Students to Know their Patients as People
Principal Investigator: Daniel Wolpaw MD  —  Penn State University School of Medicine

This proposal builds on the vision of the Department of Humanities and the Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine to provide medical students a meaningful experience in humanistic care during their required clinical rotations. The program will target students from the class of 2016 who will be assigned to participate in longitudinal mentored relationships with faculty—three to four students to one mentor—to develop and learn from the “backstories” of their patients. Students will invite patients to discuss their experiences, utilizing an interview guide to solicit insights into patients’ perceptions and priorities. Shortly after the interviews occur, students will participate in one-on-one debriefing conversations with their faculty mentors. These conversations will serve to validate the process, connect the backstory with clinical care, and create habits of heart and mind that shape professional development. All third year students will be required to participate in a minimum of one interview and debriefing during each of their required clerkships. Qualitative and quantitative methods will identify themes in student and faculty perceptions and will ascertain whether the program is feasible across multiple disciplines, contexts and settings.

Eight grantees will create mentoring programs to promote humanistic patient care