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Physician receives grant to strengthen connection between doctors and patients


UC Davis Health second-year gynecologic-oncology fellow Nicole Rubin is one of 21 recipients in the third cycle of funding by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for Back to Bedside. The resident-led initiative aims to develop innovative strategies for finding deeper connections with patients, improving physician and patient well-being.

Nicole Rubin

Nicole Rubin

Rubin’s project is called “Beyond Rounds – Improving Physician and Patient Wellness on the Gyn-Oncology Service through Meaningful Connection.” It seeks to improve the wellness of both physicians and patients on the Gyn-Oncology service by creating a weekly opportunity for one member of the team to spend protected time with a patient while engaging in a personalized activity together. Suggested activities include playing a board game, doing a craft, having a pet visit from home, or simply to sitting outside in the fresh air and chatting.

This project is supported by gynecology-oncology attending physician Rachel Ruskin and first-year OB/GYN resident Neel Rana.

Projects come from across the country, and each includes direct patient interaction and outcome measures. Projects aim to improve the clinical learning environment by increasing meaningful connections with patients and promoting behaviors that advance physicians' and patients' well-being.

Projects will commence with the start of the new academic year in July 2022.

“The pandemic continues to impact health care and worker burnout, residents and fellows included," said Jeff Dewey, chair of the Back to Bedside Work and Advisory Group. "Our hope is that these new projects will invigorate the recipients to find joy and meaning in their work and research as they look to improve patient care through creative innovation."

A group of approximately 30 resident and fellow members of the ACGME Review Committees and Board developed Back to Bedside in 2017 to combat burnout by fostering meaning in the learning environment through engagement on a deeper level with what is at the heart of medicine: their patients.