I am a miracle made up of particles and in this existence I'll stay persistent and I'll make a difference and I will have lived it - Medicine for the People

BWH Clinical Innovation Day Event!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ah I know I have been sadly neglectful but I'm taking time from my stupidly busy schedule to write about a fantastic event I was lucky enough to be a part of yesterday so I hope this will serve as my apology.

Brigham & Women's Hospital put on an Clinical Innovations Day yesterday which consisted of an afternoon of panel discussions and a poster session. The poster session was really the highlight because my PI and I submitted an abstract for a poster and it was accepted! Since I was the one who really pushed for us to submit in the first place, I was graced with the responsibility for sending everything in and then revising and getting our poster printed (which turned out to be a lot more time-consuming than I had expected). I'll post a little summary and graphic of our finished product tomorrow because I don't have as much time as I want now to go into the gory details).

At the event I was able to attend all of the afternoon talks which focused on innovation and were all extremely exciting. Some highlights included connected health ideas such as using devices and IT innovation to improve patient care, a talk on support for high-risk pregnant women, a genetics mapping program that provided mutational profiling for every BWH cancer patient, and a recently developed app for the Longitudinal Medical Record at Brigham that allows doctors to add pictures to patient health records.

There was also a panel titled "The Innovator's Journey" that I felt was able to dole out some wisdom that could be applied to many endeavors, including getting into medical school. The panel consisted of four doctors who had made considerable contributions to the clinical field and each stood for a few minutes to discuss how they had gotten to their final product. It was enlightening to see that for many of them, the road to success was a rocky one. Dr. Orgill, who had worked on developing a breakthrough synthetic skin replacement for use by plastic surgeons was very frank when he explained that, had he known how long and how difficult it would be to get to where he was today, he would have given up long ago. He went on to say that maybe that is the saving grace of focusing on the now. If you only concentrate on one thing at a time, you don't get overwhelmed by the big picture. He argued that doing things logically wasn't an option because when you look at a difficult goal overall you see how crazy it is. I think this struck a chord with me because this is the attitude I try to have about becoming a doctor. The idea is kind of far-fetched, there are lots of deterrents and if I looked at it with a calculating eye then my chances are low. But the point is that you can't think like that, you have to take everything one step at a time, take disappointments or triumphs as they come and forge ahead.

Overall the day was a great learning experience for me, I got to present my first poster (I stood in for my PI which was a lot of responsibility but I think it came off well) and I was able to meet some very interesting new people and discuss my work which I always love to do. During the talks these words resonated with me: "we all became physicians to make a difference...doing research has an impact on a great number of patients' lives." At the end of the day I think it helped me to remember why I'm doing the kind of work I do, why I enjoy being involved in the medical research field and what I'm working towards.


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