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Spring 2019




1st Annual Celebration of
Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education
Monday, June 3rd, 5:00PM - 7:30PM.
Berg Hall. Stanford School of Medicine.
291 Campus Drive.  

Join other patients, families, caregivers, and Stanford Medicine students, faculty, and staff in celebration of the contributions of our patient & family engaged medical education community!


Thoughts on Curiosity  

Erika Schillinger, MD
Vice Chief for Education, and Director, Stanford Healthcare Innovations and Experiential Learning Directive (SHIELD)

"Learning with you, primed with your personal opportunities and challenges in healthcare, will help spark curiosity about other patients they will see.

That spark will ignite inquiry and fuel their desire to make discoveries and improve our healthcare system and advance science. It connects them with the reasons they came here in the first place."
Stanford students come to medical school brimming with desire to help people through medicine and healthcare. Their application essays come alive with the personal stories that inspired their interest in becoming doctors and physician assistants- stories of their own struggles with cancer or early trauma, or awe and appreciation for the care their families received. Sometimes those stories reveal opportunities for improvement in the way in which care is delivered, and sometimes there is a clear directive to advance science in a focused area: a student whose parent died at an early age of cancer, or whose grandparent suffered from heart disease. What stands out is a palpable ache to serve, to advance science, and to heal human beings.

It hurts to hear complaints of these same students’ “empathy decline” throughout their training. There are some who tell me that we squeeze the empathy out of our students during medical training. But clearly that is not our intention. As educators we are committed to cultivating balanced future clinicians who attend to their patients with compassion, respect, and deep curiosity about their patients’ as unique individuals, not just as diseases. The odd thing about this technical, biomedically exciting age that we are in is that it is more important than ever to humanize medicine and to have interpersonal experiences beyond the science.

And that is where you, our patients, families and caregivers come in. Thank you for sharing your stories, your strength and vulnerability, your experiences of health and illness, and your journeys in the healthcare system with our students. This time with you beginning in the first year of medical school will form the foundation from which our students will learn biomedicine and develop their styles of engaging with patients. Learning with you, primed with your personal opportunities and challenges in healthcare, will help spark curiosity about other patients they will see. That spark will ignite inquiry and fuel their desire to make discoveries and improve our healthcare system and advance science. It connects them with the reasons they came here in the first place.
It is that the programs we are developing together feel like the most meaningful and important work of my career. Thank you to our community of patients and those who are important to you, who are helping design, develop and deliver curriculum that derives from the very core of our work: patients, families and caregiver experience of health and illness. Now I literally cannot conceive of medical education without our patient partners front and center early on and continuously through our students’ education. How in the world could we have done this work of developing future clinicians without you?


Kim's office hours
Wednesdays, 2-4PM

Kim Osborn, Director, Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education, is holding regular office hours for our patient & family partners. If you would like to discuss a program you are currently involved in, or need more information about how to become involved, reach out to Kim and schedule time to chat. Phone, video chat, and in person meetings are welcome. Alternate meeting days/times can be arranged as needed.
Email to schedule an appointment. 



  • Have a question?
  • Have a great idea for a new collaborative educational session?
  • Unsure where to direct your question or idea?
No problem, we now have a new email address where you can direct all questions, comments, and ideas.

Our new email address: 

Info also available on our website: 

Annual Report Highlight

Walk With Me Course Featured in Department of Medicine Annual Report
Second year medical students shared how formative the experience with their patient & family partners in the Walk With Me course was, highlighting how these relationships have shaped their medical school experience. Read more


Medical Education Patient & Family Advisory Council forming!

Stanford Healthcare is well established as a national leader in patient & family engagement, particularly for the integration of the Patient & Family Partner Program and engagement of the Patient & Family Advisory Councils (PFACs). With the increased engagement of our community of patients, families, and caregivers in education programs in the School of Medicine, we are recruiting volunteers to form a Medical Education PFAC. The Medical Education PFAC will work with education program leaders to explore ares were the patient, family, and caregiver voices can be further integrated into curriculum, in medical education and School of Medicine community programing. Interested? Learn more here.


Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education Summer Internship

The internship in Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education is a 40 hour introduction to curriculum development. Started as a pilot last summer, the internship opportunity will be available each summer and provide an opportunity for one Patient & Family Partner to delve deeper into curriculum and program development. The intern will engage with faculty and administrators and will co-develop one project over the course of the internship. Click here to apply, or if you would like more information.

Vanessa Deen Johnson

Vanessa, and Bev Anderson, teaching with Stanford faculty in a patient & family partner designed course
Vanessa Deen Johnson, our inaugural intern during the pilot shared the following thoughts on her experience:

had the wonderful experience and honor of being the first Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education Intern last year. It was very exciting to work with Kim and Erika to help further the vision for what has now become the Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education Program within the School of Medicine. During my internship I had the opportunity to participate in analysis of other academic programs that include patients in education, and met 1:1 with faculty, administrators, and leaders in medical education at the school, and gained a better understanding the MD program curriculum. It is so exciting to be part of one of the few medical education programs in the country that is offering this unique type of education to it's students, and this level of involvement of patients, families, and caregivers!


Caring for Individuals with Disabilities 
Caring for Individuals with Disabilities (FAMMED 216) launched as a pilot this past winter quarter with significant engagement by patient & family partners, students, and faculty. Initiated by third-year medical student Richie Sapp, and developed in partnership with patient and family partners, faculty, and students, the course was designed to better prepare MD and PA students to care for individuals with disabilities throughout their careers, with a focus on increasing awareness of the significant healthcare disparities, stigmas, and difficulty accessing care that individuals with disabilities face. 

Throughout the course, individuals with disabilities, caregivers and physicians discussed a variety of topics including: disability framework, medical model vs. social model of disability, healthcare disparities, language and disability, communication, ethics, government and non-governmental services,
laws and policies, and coordinating complex care.

Following the model of other patient & family engaged courses, students were matched with a patient partner whom they meet outside of class at a mutually convenient time to learn about the patient and caregiver journey, and to further explore the impact of topics discussed in the course at the individual level. Upon finishing this course, students gained fundamental knowledge of common disabilities, increased understanding of patient-centered care for people with disabilities, and skills necessary to improve the lives of their patients.
If you are interested in volunteering as a patient & family partner for this course, Walk With Me, or other patient & family engaged courses this coming academic year, please complete this survey.


University of British Columbia - Interprofessional Health Mentors Program
We were recently honored to have our Stanford program featured in the newsletter of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Interprofessional Health Mentor's Program (HMP)! 

Created in 2011, the Interprofessional Health Mentors Program (HMP) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) pairs groups of students with a health mentor over 16 months. The student groups visit their mentors twice a semester, focusing on specific topics. Health mentors have a wide range of experience with the health care system and different health professionals, and are recruited through local community and patient organizations.

We recently had the opportunity to learn more about the Interprofessional Health Mentors Program from the trailblazing educators at UBC, Co-Director Angela Towle, and Research Coordinator Cathy Kline, and will continue to partner and share best practices. The HMP program is just one of many programs developed through the Patient and Community Partnership for Education at UBC Health.


Slow Medicine
By Victoria Sweet
"Establishing the correct diagnoses and then getting them off all those unnecessary medications, with their side effects and adverse reactions, took a lot of time, but in the long run it saved way more money than it cost. It was slower but it was better." 
                         - Victoria Sweet, in Slow Medicine

What does the process of becoming a doctor look like, and what is the role of a physician in this age of "Healthcare"? This book is part autobiography and part analysis and critique of the differences between treating acute and chronic illnesses in today's healthcare system.


Interrogating patient-centredness in undergraduate medical education using an integrated behaviour model

Patient involvement in health professionals' education: a meta-narrative review

How does a medical student get to being "patient-centered", and what keeps them there over time? Archer, Bitzer & van Heerden of Stellenbosch University in South Africa explore this question in this article, and propose a model for understanding how students learn patient-centeredness. 

In what ways are patients involved in health professions education? What does "involvement" even mean? Rowland, etal., share the the results of their review of  
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