New Class of SIDM Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence Announced

Fellows will conduct research focused on causes and impact of diagnostic errors

Evanston, IL—(June 3, 2019) The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) announced today seven new Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence working on research projects surrounding the issue of diagnostic quality and safety.

The Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence was established by SIDM in 2016 to provide support to early-career scholars researching the improvement of diagnostic quality and safety, and to amplify their work in a way that creates awareness about issues of diagnostic error. With the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the program was expanded to include three additional fellows – one at Johns Hopkins University, one at the University of Pennsylvania, and one additional institution, this year at Northwestern University. All candidates submit an application and fellowships are selected by experts on the SIDM Fellowship Committee.

“The SIDM Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence is having a real impact on the field of diagnostic quality research. Members of the previous classes of fellows have been published in more than sixty peer reviewed publications during and since their fellowship year,” said Mark Graber, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine. “We are proud to support the next generation of diagnostic scholars by giving them the opportunity to design, conduct and report on new research to improve diagnostic quality and safety.”

This year’s fellows represent diverse research interests but have a shared focus on determining the drivers of diagnostic errors and reducing the harm those errors cause patients and their families.

2019 SIDM Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence

Gopi J. Astik, MD FHM, academic hospitalist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital working towards a Master’s in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety at Northwestern University. Research focus: Investigate changes in diagnoses at transitions in care that represent potential errors in clinical reasoning. This fellowship is made possible through the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Rebecca Ojo, MPH, CPPS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, working toward Doctor of Public Health, DrPH. Research Focus: Examine the concept of organizational risk tolerance, its effects on provider decision-making, and its implications for preventing diagnostic error.

Irit Rachel Rasooly, MD is completing a Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology and a Certificate in Health Care Quality and Patient Safety at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Research focus: Characterize a subset of diagnostic errors associated with the use of clinical algorithms embedded in the electronic health record in a pediatric hospital. This fellowship is made possible through the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Verity Elizabeth Schaye, MD, MHPE, NYU School of Medicine. Research Focus: Using machine learning to identify quality of clinical reasoning documentation and to use this data for learner feedback.

Grant Shafer, MD, MA, FAAP, Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Fellow. Research Focus: Examine the frequency of diagnostic error in the first seven days after a premature infant is admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) using the Safer Dx Instrument.

Ali S. Saber Tehrani, MD, Clinical Neuro-Vascular Fellow, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; working towards Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, Clinical Investigation, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Research focus: Develop simple bedside methods to prevent missed strokes in the emergency department among patients with symptoms affecting vision. This fellowship is made possible through the support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Julie Wright, MSNEd, RN, System Director Clinical Risk Management, Intermountain Healthcare. Research Focus: Identify the frequency of provider/patient communication failures that contribute to delay diagnosis events and develop a standardized approach to collecting this data set that can be replicated in other organizations for a multi-institutional collaborative project.

Each Fellow is assigned a personal mentor in their area of study who provides guidance and mentorship on their projects (on-site or remotely). The fellows participate in webinars and journal clubs. Fellows present their projects and participate in the annual Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference and are encouraged to submit their work for review and publication in Diagnosis and other peer-reviewed journals. Three funded Fellowships include a financial stipend of $35,000 for the trainee and $5,000 for their local institutional mentor. These fellowships supplement a primary Fellowship in a certificate or degree-granting program.


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 to learn more.

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