This week’s Spotlight shines on Senior Assistant Resident (SAR) Sarah Cohen, MD. Cohen discusses her responsibilities in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, the benefits of connecting with patients and families, and her work with the Pediatric Resident Safety Council.
What are your responsibilities as a Senior Assistant Resident? What does a typical day for you look like?
In residency, there really is no typical day. It all depends on the rotation. I may be leading a General Pediatrics or General Medicine inpatient team, rounding in an intensive care unit, or seeing subspecialty consults. Half of my time is spent in Pediatrics, and the other half is spent in Internal Medicine. I also spend about one day per week seeing primary care patients in our combined Med-Peds continuity clinic. As a senior resident, my responsibilities include taking care of patients with supervision from faculty & fellows, working to improve my own knowledge and skills, and supervising and teaching junior residents & medical students.
What have you enjoyed most about your residency experiences so far? Can you describe one or two moments that were especially memorable?
It is the patients that make it all worth it--I love the moments when I am able to really connect with a patient and their family. It is those times I remember most--the times that I have rejoiced with families over happy news, or cried with families when things weren’t going well.
My co-residents are amazing, and inspire me every day while making even the late nights and the long shifts enjoyable.
Can you tell us about your work with the Pediatric Resident Safety Council? Why do you feel this work is important?
I joined the Pediatric Residency Safety Council at the beginning of my second year of residency, and co-chaired it with another resident during the academic year 2017-2018. We discuss patient safety issues identified by Pediatrics residents, prepare morbidity and mortality conferences, and create and complete action items. Some of our accomplishments have included an institutional EMR change in duration of medications to prevent medication orders from inadvertently expiring, adjusting the EMR and nursing protocol for provider notification of abnormal vital signs, and decreasing excessive firing of a best practice advisory. I believe that it is important for residents to be involved in safety culture, as it both makes us better stewards of patient safety and can provide unique insights into system vulnerabilities.
I believe that it is important for residents to be involved in safety culture, as it makes us better stewards of patient safety and can provide unique insights into system vulnerabilities.
What are your plans for after you complete your residency?
I am currently applying for fellowship in combined Pediatric Pulmonary and Adult Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine.
What’s one new thing you have planned for 2018?
Hopefully matching into fellowship in December!
Have you recently read any books, articles, or websites that would be of interest to others in the department?
I always enjoy the “On Being a Doctor” essay series in Annals of Internal Medicine.
What passions or hobbies do you have outside of work?
I grew up near the Appalachian trail, and so whenever I get the opportunity, I enjoy hiking. I always enjoy spending time with friends, both from within and outside the medical field. I am a life member of the volunteer rescue squad in my hometown that I joined when I was 16, and I try to go back regularly to help to support the rescue squad. I love to travel, and though that has been difficult to do often during residency, I am excited to spend a few months this spring doing a global health rotation in Moshi, Tanzania.