Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine Announces President-Elect and New Board Member

(November 11, 2019) Washington, DC – The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) today announced that Robert Trowbridge, MD will serve as President-Elect of the organization, becoming president when Dr. David-Newman Toker’s term ends in November 2020. In addition, SIDM announced that Ronald Wyatt, MD, MHA has joined the board of directors.

According to the 2015 NAM report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, missed, wrong, or delayed diagnoses are the most common, most catastrophic, and most costly of serious medical errors and affect more than 12 million Americans each year. Conservative estimates find 40,000-80,000 people die each year from diagnostic failures in U.S. hospitals alone, and that such errors affect 1 in 20 outpatient adults annually. Research released this year by SIDM found that one third (34%) of malpractice cases that result in death or permanent disability stem from an inaccurate or delayed diagnosis.

Dr. Trowbridge is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and Director of Undergraduate Medical Curriculum at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. He is a clinician-educator with expertise in teaching clinical reasoning and avoidance of diagnostic error. He has won over 20 clinical teaching awards and remains clinically active as a hospitalist. His research has centered on ways of helping to identify diagnostic errors and provide feedback to clinicians in a manner that improves diagnostic reliability with over 30 peer-reviewed publications and 20 book chapters.

“The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine continues to make major strides towards improving diagnostic quality and safety in our healthcare system. I am very proud of all we have accomplished over the last year,” said David Newman-Toker, MD, PhD, President of SIDM and Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he serves as Director of the Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence. “But there is a great deal more work that needs to be done to reduce the harm caused by diagnostic errors. Our mission is to catalyze and lead change to improve diagnosis and eliminate harm from diagnostic error, in partnership with patients, their families, the healthcare community and every interested stakeholder. Bob lives this mission every day in his clinical practice and his work teaching the next generation of clinicians. He is an ideal choice to serve as SIDM’s next President. SIDM will benefit greatly from having someone with his knowledge, skills, and capabilities at the helm in coming years, and I look forward to working side-by-side with him to achieve the mission.”

In addition to Trowbridge’s new role as President-Elect, the SIDM Board announced its newest member, Dr. Ronald Wyatt.

Dr. Wyatt is Chief Quality Officer at Cook County Health, one of the largest public health systems in the United States. He was previously Chief Quality Officer at the Hamad Medical Corporation, as well as Medical Director of the Hamad Health Quality Institute, reporting to the Minister of Health for Qatar. He was the executive sponsor of the IHI/Qatar national patient safety collaborative that established the Qatar national patient safety Initiative. In 2010, Ron served as Director of the Patient Safety Analysis Center in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), now the Defense Health Agency (DHA), where he was responsible for establishing and maintaining patient safety registries that include clinical, root cause analyses and failure mode and effects analyses data on adverse events at over 60 military health facilities, both in the U.S. and abroad. While at the Department of Defense, he co-directed the Partnership for Patients initiative and served as Chair of the Readmissions Workgroup and led the development of the Sentinel Event Watch and the Data Pulse publications.

In 2016, Dr. Wyatt was appointed as the first Patient Safety Officer for the Joint Commission, where he directed the Office of Quality and Patient Safety, established a patient safety fellowship and was a contributor to the Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alerts and the National Patient Safety Goals. While at The Joint Commission, Dr. Wyatt co-chaired the first health equity leadership forum and he has contributed to multiple publications on Health Equity, work place violence prevention, racial bias and implicit bias as patient safety issues.

“Dr. Wyatt’s experience as part of a large health systems both in the U.S. and abroad will help the SIDM Board immensely, particularly as we develop targeted approaches to reducing diagnostic errors in hospitals and health systems,” added Newman-Toker. “Reaching C-Suite leadership, such as that of Dr. Wyatt, is fundamental to any success we could have in improving diagnostic quality and safety for our patients.”


About the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)
The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) 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. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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