No practicing on patients: New docs get boot camp - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

No practicing on patients: New docs get boot camp

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/Stacy Thacker) (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker)
(AP Photo/Stacy Thacker). In this June 25, 2014 photo, interns gather around during an intern boot camp exercise taught by both Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker). In this June 25, 2014 photo, interns gather around during an intern boot camp exercise taught by both Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Stacy Thacker). In this June 25, 2014 photo, interns gather around during an intern boot camp exercise taught by both Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker). In this June 25, 2014 photo, interns gather around during an intern boot camp exercise taught by both Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Stacy Thacker). In this June 25, 2014 photo, students watch as Dr. (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker). In this June 25, 2014 photo, students watch as Dr.
(AP Photo/Stacy Thacker) (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker)
  • NationalMore>>

  • War College to investigate plagiarism allegations

    War College to investigate plagiarism allegations

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:25 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:25:19 GMT
    Sen. John Walsh said his unattributed use of others' work in his master's thesis was not plagiarism but "a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper" that he blamed in part on...More >>
    Sen. John Walsh remained steadfast Thursday amid an investigation into whether he plagiarized a research project required for a master's degree, winning fresh backing from fellow Democrats in Montana and the governor...More >>
  • Man says he shot burglar who said she was pregnant

    Man says he shot burglar who said she was pregnant

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:24 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:24:58 GMT
    An 80-year-old man says he shot and killed a fleeing woman whom he had caught burglarizing his home, despite her plea that she was pregnant.More >>
    Police said Thursday they're deciding whether to arrest an 80-year-old man who shot a fleeing, unarmed burglar despite her telling him she was pregnant, but they have arrested the woman's accomplice on suspicion of...More >>
  • As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain

    As inmate died, lawyers debated if he was in pain

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:06 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:06:04 GMT
    A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S.More >>
    The nearly two-hour execution of a convicted murderer prompted a series of phone calls involving the governor's office, the prison director, lawyers and judges as the inmate gasped for more than 90 minutes.More >>
By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - First-day jitters come with any new job but when the work involves pushing needles into strangers' bellies, stitching up gaping wounds or even delivering babies, that debut can be especially nerve-wracking - for everyone involved.

Brand-new doctors often launch right into patient care within weeks of graduating from medical school. To make sure their skills are up to snuff, many medical schools and hospitals run crash courses in the basics for these new interns.

It's called boot camp at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and its adjoining Feinberg medical school, a program involving two to three days of intense practice before letting the newbies loose on patients. Young doctors are tested on a variety of skills, from the proper technique for handling newborns during childbirth - make sure the head comes out slowly - to delivering bad news - use empathy, eye contact and listen to the patient.

More than 90 percent pass the first time. The rest are tested again until they do.

"Don't do that on Mr. Smith," instructor Dr. Jeffrey Barsuk told this year's batch of residents, warning them not to withdraw too much fluid from the belly of a mannequin patient supposedly sick with liver disease. Barsuk was showing the group how to insert a scary-looking 5-inch needle and remove abnormal fluid buildup. Taking too much can be dangerous for sick patients.

Dr. Diane Wayne, the medical school's vice dean of education, created the program in 2011, aiming partly to combat the so-called "July effect." Many experts say it's more myth than reality, and evidence is mixed, but a few studies have found lapses in patient care - even deaths - when new interns start making rounds in July.

"We have great residents who come from all over the country, but we have no reliable way of knowing that these interns possess these skills," she said. "We just don't want to subject patients to newly minted residents" with uncertain expertise.

The program won a 2012 innovation award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. The association's Dr. Robert Englander said the boot camp is part of a trend in doctor-training as hospitals increasingly focus on patient safety.

"We're looking more and more at what we can do toward the end of medical school to optimize that preparation," he said.

Bennet Butler, 26, just got his doctor degree from Northwestern and was among about 100 grads in this summer's just-finished boot camp. He gave it high marks on his first day.

"We're learning a lot already," said Butler, 26, after a refresher course on identifying surgical instruments. "We've had a couple of lectures, a couple of sessions where we were able to practice some of our skills like tying knots and suturing so, so far so good."

Butler said he's excited but anxious about starting his residency.

"This is something I've wanted to do my whole life," Butler said. "You'd have to be crazy not to be a bit nervous," he added. "It's a big upgrade in responsibility."

One of the toughest - and most praised - sessions was a test in handling end-of-life discussions, using actors trained to portray dying patients. First, the new doctors watched rapt as Northwestern ethics expert Dr. Kathy Neely demonstrated with an actor posing as single father with advanced cancer, worried sick about what would happen to his 12-year-old son.

It was like a well-acted play, with the audience straining to catch every word and nuance as Neely sat close to the "patient," touching his arm and talking gently about the burdens of choices he faced, including entering hospice care.

Then residents were sent into private hospital rooms to be tested on discussing "do not resuscitate" orders and how long to use life-saving ventilators with other fake patients.

"It was difficult going in because we were giving bad news to the patient and discussing end of life goals," said Namita Jain, 25, another recent Northwestern graduate.

Facing her first day on the job, Jain said she was most nervous about "probably, like everything," but praised boot camp for helping build up her confidence. "It's nice to be able to practice."

___

Online:

Northwestern: http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu

Association of American Medical Colleges: http://www.aamc.org

___

AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • U.S. & World NewsMore>>

  • War College to investigate plagiarism allegations

    War College to investigate plagiarism allegations

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:25 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:25:19 GMT
    Sen. John Walsh said his unattributed use of others' work in his master's thesis was not plagiarism but "a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper" that he blamed in part on...More >>
    Sen. John Walsh remained steadfast Thursday amid an investigation into whether he plagiarized a research project required for a master's degree, winning fresh backing from fellow Democrats in Montana and the governor...More >>
  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:14 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:14:57 GMT
    Israeli tanks and warplanes are pummeling the Gaza Strip as U.S. and other diplomats push for a cease-fire with Hamas militants.More >>
    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and...More >>
  • 10 Things to Know for Friday

    10 Things to Know for Friday

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:13:09 GMT
    By The Associated Press Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:More >>
    By The Associated Press Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:More >>
Powered by WorldNow

News Channel 25 KXXV-TV
P.O. Box 2522
Waco, TX 76702

Phone Numbers:
Main: 254-754-2525
Tip Line: 254-757-2525

Links
Contact Us
KXXV Employment Opportunites
FCC Filings
Advertise on KXXV

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KXXV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.