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Medical Students Observe GHHS National Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care

InTouch 3/20/17

NYMC medical students were proud to participate in National Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care in February, an event sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS).  The events of Solidarity Week, celebrated this year February 13-17, are designed to strengthen the critical bond that exists between patients and people who care for them. NYMC third- and fourth-year medical students promoted Solidarity Week at affiliates Westchester Medical Center and NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan.

The “Take Five” Campaign was the centerpiece of the week, in which students and staff took a pledge to take an extra five minutes to engage their patients in conversations focusing on important aspects of their lives rather than their diseases. Both sites also hosted a “Give Thanks” campaign to encourage patients to write a thank-you card and give a small token of appreciation to staff members they felt embodied humanistic care.

Students and residents at both clinical sites were excited to participate and believed the extra time with their patients strengthened the patient-provider bond. Allison Beaulieu, School of Medicine Class of 2017, recounted one conversation she had with an elderly patient at Metropolitan Hospital in which the patient recalled New York City’s horse drawn carriages, old markets, and how the first subway system operated.  “It was a wonderful environment to be a part of and patients began to open up and share personal stories. I think Solidarity Week left patients feeling not only cared for, but feeling more connected to the hospital and their providers,” said Ms. Beaulieu.

The national Gold Humanism Honor Society office established National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Care in 2011 to highlight the nationwide movement promoting provider-patient relationships based on caring, personalization, and mutual respect. In 2016, many GHHS chapters, including NYMC, celebrated a week of events instead of just one day.

From left: Eric Dietsche, SOM Class of 2017,  Sumana Setty, SOM Class of 2017,  Brian Yum, SOM Class of 2017,  Adena Blickstein, M.D., a resident in internal medicine at Westchester Medical Center, and Lisa Schwartz, SOM Class of 2017.