2021-2022 Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence Announced

SIDM Welcomes Eight New Fellows to Focus on Diagnostic Quality and Safety Projects

EVANSTON, IL – (June 25, 2021) Eight new Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence were announced today by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM). The 2021-2022 Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence awardees will work on innovative projects focused on improving diagnostic quality and safety.

Now in its sixth year, the one-year fellowship program attracts early-career scholars who demonstrate commitment to diagnosis-related work and pairs them with recognized experts who serve as advisors and mentors. The program includes three funded fellowships with the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

“Our Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence program continues to attract exceptional candidates who are poised to advance the field of diagnostic quality and safety,” said Paul Bergl, MD, fellowship director and 2017 Fellow. “We look forward to supporting this crop of burgeoning researchers, educators, and leaders who will advance our communal goal to end harm from diagnostic error.”

In addition to mentorship, Fellows contribute to the peer-reviewed journal Diagnosis and will have the opportunity to present at SIDM’s flagship conference, the Diagnostic Error in Medicine annual meeting. After completing the program, fellowship alumni have continued to produce impactful research, much of which fuels larger conversation about enhancing diagnostic quality, safety, and education.

“SIDM is proud to welcome this new class of Fellows and continue our commitment to supporting the next generation of leaders in the field,” said Paul L. Epner, MBA, MEd, CEO at SIDM. “Diagnostic error remains the most common, most catastrophic, and most costly of all medical errors. We need the innovative approaches that these early-career scholars are pursuing to improve diagnosis and reduce patient harm.”

Since the establishment of the fellowship program, SIDM fellows have published more than 90 articles in peer-reviewed publications since their fellowship year.

This year’s 2020-2021 SIDM Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence are:

Carl Berdahl, MD, MS
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center / UCLA / RAND Corporation
Research focus: Prospectively study the frequency of, contributors to, and patient experiences with diagnostic errors occurring among adults discharged from the emergency department. The study will target patients triaged as having urgent or emergent needs but who are sent home from the emergency room.

Leah Burt, PhD, APRN, ANP-BC
University of Illinois-Chicago
Research focus: A Diagnostic Reasoning Course Toolkit will be created, serving as a free-of-charge blueprint for NP faculty across the country to implement evidence-based diagnostic reasoning education at individual institutions. Competency-based and grounded in simulation, the Toolkit will target identified areas for diagnostic improvement, as well as provide support for faculty.

Da Jin, MD
Oregon Health & Science University
Research focus: Develop a predictive model using machine learning algorithms to identify women at high risk for coronary artery disease presenting with atypical symptoms to an ambulatory setting. Ultimately such a predictive model may be embedded into the electronic health record to serve as the basis for clinical decision support at the point of care.

Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Casey McQuade, MD
UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside/ University of Pennsylvania
Research focus: Understanding the differences in how novices and experts work through an unknown clinical case. By examining how novices versus experts craft a written summary statement (also known as a problem representation) of unknown cases' salient details, they hope to improve the teaching of clinical problem analysis to trainees by developing a set of evidence-based best practices.

Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Edwin Rosas, MD
University of Chicago Medicine
Research focus: Seeking to develop a structured diagnostic timeout for hospitalized patients at risk for clinical deterioration. This work will involve nurse-physician collaboration and will build upon nurses’ SBAR communication model.

Eliezer Shinnar, MD
Indian Health Service (Phoenix AZ)
Research focus: Seeking to ascertain the frequency of types of diagnostic errors that occur around transfers into and out of the Indian Health Service (IHS) hospitals.

Sarah Slone, DNP, APRN
Johns Hopkins University
Research focus: Defining treatment patterns and diagnostic accuracy of clinical scoring systems and non-invasive imaging as predictors of coronary revascularization in patients presenting with NSTE-ACS to rural hospitals in a southeast regional healthcare system.

Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

Kelsey Ufholz, PhD
Case Western Reserve University
Research focus: Identify rates of recognition of unintentional weight loss in a diverse sample of patients and to determine what proportion of patients with unintentional weight loss, both recognized and unrecognized, are subsequently diagnosed with cancer and other conditions.


About the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)
The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine catalyzes and leads change to improve diagnosis and eliminate harm from diagnostic error. We work in partnership with patients, their families, the healthcare community and every interested stakeholder. SIDM is the only organization focused solely on the problem of diagnostic error and improving the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis. In 2015 SIDM established the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis to increase awareness and actions that improve diagnosis. Members of the Coalition represent hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and patients—and the leading health organizations and government agencies involved in patient care. Together, we work to find solutions that enhance diagnostic safety and quality, reduce harm, and ultimately, ensure better health outcomes for patients. Visit www.improvediagnosis.org to learn more.

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Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence

SIDM's fellowship will enhance your knowledge and skills in diagnostic quality and safety, match you with experienced mentors and recognized leaders in the field of diagnostic error, connect you with the diagnostic error community, and help you develop and implement your own project.