Elise Attardo, D.O, a fifth-year chief resident in combined Emergency and Family Medicine, and Michael Hansen, D.O, a second-year resident in Emergency Medicine, were inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society and recognized as outstanding role models for compassionate care, at a banquet on March 27 at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
“These are caring clinicians who are embodiments of what we want all residents to be — solid physicians trusted by their colleagues and the families they care for,” said Brian Jay Levine, M.D., FACEP, FAAEM, residency program director in the Department of Emergency Medicine.
The national Gold Humanism Honor Society was established in 2002. More than 20,000 medical students, residents and faculty have been inducted for exceptional clinical care and compassionate leadership. At Thomas Jefferson University the Gold Humanism Honor Society chapter is in its fifth year, though this is the first year that the chapter has inducted residents, and 21 doctors were in the first class of residents.
“It’s great that we can offer this honor to our residents,” said Dr. Levine.
The banquet speakers encouraged the inductees to “always follow the campside rule — to leave the profession better than when you entered,” he said.
This honor recognizes all the qualities that we hold near and dear in our clinicians and embodies The Christiana Care Way, where we pledge to serve our neighbors as respectful, expert, caring partners in their health.
Dr. Attardo and Dr. Hansen were nominated for the society by Dr. Levine and Lisa Maxwell, M.D., program director in the Department of Family Medicine, co-director of the dual residency program in the Department of Emergency Medicine/Family Medicine and director of pre-doctoral education. Assisting with the nomination was Neil Jasani, M.D., MBA, FACEP, chief academic officer and vice president of Medical Affairs at Christiana Care. However, the final decision on the inductees was made at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of the Thomas Jefferson University.
“This honor recognizes all the qualities that we hold near and dear in our clinicians and embodies The Christiana Care Way, where we pledge to serve our neighbors as respectful, expert, caring partners in their health,” said Dr. Jasani.
Dr. Attardo, a graduate of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and chief resident of the Emergency and Family Medicine program, said the values of the honor society are in tune with her views on medicine.
“I think we’re called on to lead by example,” she said. “For me, this means talking to patients like they are our friends and family.”
Dr. Hansen, a graduate of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, said there is a particular challenge in upholding values of compassion and thoughtful communication in the practice of emergency medicine, which is emotional and demanding for all parties involved, given the unexpected nature of trauma.
“In emergency medicine, a lot happens quickly and you have to respond,” said Dr. Hansen, who was recently elected by colleagues to become chief resident.
“Being in the moment and being present to the experience of a family is the root of humanistic medicine.”
Dr. Attardo and Dr. Hansen said family experiences have shaped their views of medicine. Dr. Attardo’s father is a family doctor, and her mother is a nurse. She grew up listening to compelling stories of what makes a good clinician. Dr. Hansen’s father died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis a few years ago, and he experienced the importance of consulting physicians with empathy and the ability to listen well.
Both residents said they’ve been encouraged in the practice of humanist medicine by hospital mentors and values exemplified in The Christiana Care Way.
“Mike and Elise are residents with enthusiasm for what they do, and they can rally their colleagues,” said Dr. Levine. “I also think, when families meet them, they have an instant sense that they will take good care of their loved ones.”
Dr. Attardo and Dr. Hansen said that receiving the reward was a humbling experience, in that many fellow residents at Christiana Care could also be singled out for their outstanding humanistic care.