Author Archives: somehm

Individualized Development Plans (IDP)

Develop an understanding of the ways IDPs are used by medical trainees and physicians for personal and professional growth by watching this video.

Explain the components of an IDP after reviewing this slide set (presentation has a voice-over, please download presentation and open in PowerPoint to hear audio).

Use this IDP template throughout your medical education.



SOAP-Q is a communication tool designed to encourage providers to address health care quality effectively within oral case presentations and in note writing. This summary handout covers the basics of the SOAP-Q approach. 

This video demonstrates a third-year medical student modeling the case presentation in SOAP-Q format and this clinical note demonstrates SOAP-Q in note writing.

In both examples, the student implements strategies to advocate for quality patient careoptimal patient care systems, and safety culture within the context of a patient encounter while maintaining psychological safety in the setting of academic hierarchy.   

Patient Safety and Systems Engineering


IHI Online Open School Modules –

These IHI modules are optional – IHI online open school.  Supplementary activity to provide greater detail and context for the material covered in class.  Recommended for students pursing a certificate in quality and safety.

  • PS 101
    • This module provides additional detail regarding organization culture, safety culture, high reliability organizations, and reporting systems.
  • PS 102 Lessons 1- 3
    • This module provides additional discussion of the Swiss Cheese Model, active and latent failures, unsafe acts, and harm.
  • PS 103 Lesson 1
    • This module describes human factors contributing to error and distinguishes between internal and external human factors.

These modules are intended for students working to complete the certificate program.

Interrupting and Responding to Bias


  • Introducing concepts of ingroup, outgroup, and creating opportunities for positive exposure to individuals different from oneself.
  • Introduce (de)individuation and empathy as key factors in quality of care.

(1) WATCH: Verna Myers TEDTalk at “How to overcome our biases?  Walk boldly toward them.”

  • Verna Myers urges viewers to move beyond denying or suppressing bias, to employing strategies to alter perceptions of certain groups over time.

(2) LISTEN to the short podcast and read the accompanying article. “A Patient, Not a Person“: Medicine’s bad habit of dehumanizing patients.

  • Discussion with Adam Waytz about how physicians tend to dehumanize their patients over time and the consequences this can have on the care provided.

(3) READ the op-ed piece by Dr. Okwerekwu. “The patient called me ‘colored girl.’ The senior doctor training me said nothing.”

  • Read this post from STAT Newsthat describes a medical student’s experience with racist comments during her clinical training and how it felt when no one spoke out against it.

(4) READ the JAMA op-ed piece “Speak Up” by Dr. Merrill. 

  • Read this JAMA Piece of My Mind“Speak Up” which describes one physician’s experience with speaking up when witnessing micro-aggressions or biased comments or behavior in the clinical workplace.

(5) REVIEW “Tools for Responding to Bias” on the EHM WordPress site.

  • Read over methods for responding to witnessed bias. Consider how you might respond as a bystander or the person receiving the bias.

Geography and Health

In this session, we will consider how the environment influences the health of individuals and populations, and how the local geography of the place we live and the places we and others travel to can impact our well-being. The relationship between geography and health was recognized as far back as the time of Hippocrates, who stated that “airs, waters, and places” all had a significant impact on human health. In Week 1, we learned about the cholera outbreak in London in 1854, and how John Snow’s study of the homes of people who had died and where they got their water led to a ground-breaking understanding of how public health interventions can interrupt an epidemic.

Environmental health concerns often are areas where public health and policy are important tools, and progress in protecting health requires the concerted efforts of a large number of concerned stakeholders.

To gain an understanding of how the environment impacts health, please complete the following before class:

Activity 1:

As you view the report, CONSIDER…

  • What was the cause of the problem and why did it take so long to acknowledge there was a problem?
  • What role did physicians play in helping to identify and address the problem?
  • Who came together to make sure that the problem was recognized, investigated, and acted upon

Activity 2:

Gender, Sexuality, & Health

In the first part of this session, we will consider how the relationship between gender, sexual orientation and health by examining the historical and present-day influences of sexism, cissexism and heterosexism on disparities in health status and care. Gender, like race, is considered a “master status” in US society: one of the first things we notice about someone is their gender and gender is central to our perceptions of self and our attribution of characteristics and qualities to others. Medicine is not immune to these social influences and in many ways, has perpetuated inequities based on gender.

In the second part of this session, we will explore the effects of gender-based violence as an example of how social determinants of health interact with gender and other social determinants of equity.

To gain an understanding of the relationship between gender and health, please complete the following before class.

(1) Read: Review Slide Deck – Gender and Sexual Orientation Definitions

Goal: Establish baseline definitions of gender, sex, and sexual orientation in preparation for in-class speaker.

(2) READ: Maze of Injustice Chapters 1, 2, and 4

NOTE: there are graphic descriptors of sexual and physical violence in this reading.

Goal: Describe how historical and cultural factors contribute to disproportionate impact of violence on indigenous women.  Describe health impacts of gender based violence.

(3) Optional: Patient Identifier Guidelines presented in Week 1

(4) Optional: For further exploration of how these ideas intersect with concepts in medicine, explore:

(5) Optional: READ: The XX and XY Lie: Our Social Construction of a Sex and Gender Binary

As you read the article, CONSIDER…

  1. What is your gender identity? How do you know this about yourself? What does this identity mean to you?
    1. Imagine not being able to see your anatomy or chromosomal makeup. Pause and reflect on how this does and/or does not impact your identity?
    2. How has your gender identity affected your experiences as a patient and as a care provider?

Part 2: Introduction to Social Determinants of Health

In this session, we will continue learning about the social determinants of health with a focus on social class and neighborhood effects. Students were introduced to social class/classism as a fundamental cause of health inequity in Week 1. This week, we expand on the SES-health relationship by describing what it is about social class that effects health both in relative and absolute terms. We also cover key aspects of environments and theories of how environmental conditions affect health. We close by offering anecdotes from faculty and community members on risk factors, protective factors, resilience, and prevention.

Read through the topics from this website to help you with your iRAT:

  • Access to Health Services
  • Crime and Violence
  • Employment
  • Environmental conditions
  • Language and Literacy
  • Poverty
  • Quality of Housing
  • Social cohesion

Optional activity: