New Group of Fellows Announced to Examine Diagnostic Error

SIDM receives grant from Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to expand Fellowship program through 2022


September 20, 2018 – The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) today announced new Fellows in Diagnostic Excellence who are developing scholarly research projects focused on diagnostic quality and safety. Each year, diagnostic errors affect 12 million adults in outpatient settings and are responsible for an estimated 40,000 to 80,000 hospital deaths. They are the most common, the costliest, and the most dangerous type of paid medical malpractice claims and the most common cause of medical errors reported by patients. The SIDM Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence was developed to encourage and support careers dedicated to improving diagnosis.

The SIDM Fellowship program, now in its third year, attracts highly-qualified candidates who demonstrate commitment to diagnosis-related work and pairs them with recognized experts who serve as advisors and mentors. The Fellowship program has been expanded this year through a $567,500 three-year grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The foundation grant will provide stipends for individuals who seek advanced training (Master’s, PhD, or other specialized training) and who have developed proposals for promising work in diagnosis-related areas, beginning with a student from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 and one from Johns Hopkins University in 2019.

“We need to build the next generation of scholars focused on improving diagnosis,” said Karen Cosby, MD, chair of the SIDM Fellowship Committee. “We are excited to expand the SIDM Fellowship program this year with the generous help of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.”

In addition to funding a new Fellowship, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant will fund three Fellows in 2019-2020, three in 2020-2021, and two in 2021-2022. Partnerships have been established to support Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania (Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety program) and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Master of Applied Science in Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality program). Additional funded Fellowship positions will be reserved for at-large candidates pursing advanced training in other institutions. SIDM will also continue to award our original (unfunded) Fellowships to individuals who wish to focus their academic expertise in diagnosis-related work as part of our continued effort to support a variety of candidates and projects.

The four Fellows announced for the 2018-2019 academic year are:

  • Caitlin Clancy, MD, pulmonary and critical care fellow at the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety (CHIPS) at the Perelman School of Medicine - University of Pennsylvania, will be working to better understand and assess clinical reasoning skills. Dr. Clancy will be mentored by Jennifer Myers, MD, professor of clinical medicine, director of CHIPS, and the director of quality and safety education in the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; and Joseph Rencic, MD, associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency program and associate professor at Tufts University. (Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation)
  • Alexa Miller, MA, will be focusing on how to use art to better inform clinicians about uncertainty in clinical reasoning. Miller is a founder and consultant in Arts and Clinical Learning at Arts Practica, a medical education consultancy. Her research mentor is Leslie H. Fall, MD, adjunct professor of pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. Fall is also the founder of Aquifer, an e-learning system based on a library of patient cases, as well as a leading expert in medical education.
  • Kelly Gleason, PhD, RN, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, will be studying how to engage patients to better understand diagnosis. Her mentors are patient advocates Dan Berg and Welcome Jerde.
  • Vinita Parkash, MBBS, associate professor of pathology at Yale School of Medicine, will be working to develop a better classification and taxonomy for diagnostic errors in pathology. She will be mentored by Mark Graber, MD, SIDM president and founder.

“Examining the obstacles to accurate diagnosis and improving the diagnostic process are important and needed in medicine,” said Dr. Jennifer Myers, director of the CHIPS program at the University of Pennsylvania. “We are proud to be part of the SIDM Fellowship program and support their efforts to expand the knowledge base on these important issues.”

Several options are available for interested applicants. A SIDM Fellowship may support a degree program, supplement another primary Fellowship, or augment faculty/professional development. Eligible candidates include current senior residents, chief residents, Fellows, practicing physicians, or others holding or pursuing advanced degrees (Master’s or PhD) with a dedicated career interest in diagnosis. In our one-year mentoring program, all SIDM Fellows are connected with the leading researchers in diagnostic error and given networking opportunities within the SIDM community. Each Fellow is assigned a personal mentor in the area of their desired expertise who provides guidance and mentorship on their projects (on-site or remotely). They participate in webinars and journal clubs developed for them in topics of interest related to their projects. Fellows present their projects and participate in our annual meeting on diagnostic error in medicine and are encouraged to submit their work for review and publication in Diagnosis and other peer-reviewed journals.

Additionally, Fellows become SIDM members and they are invited to attend the annual Diagnostic Error in Medicine Conference at no cost.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Fellowship program are now open.


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.

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Fellowship in Diagnostic Excellence

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