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Summer 2019 Newsletter
We are back from our vacations in the mountains - getting ready for the new school year!



Partner with a student in longitudinal courses

Recruitment is now underway for volunteers who would like to participate as patient & family partners in our longitudinal courses that pair up patients, families, and caregivers with medical students and physician assistant students. 
  • Walk with Me: Pairs students with adults living with chronic illness, and their caregivers and families if they choose.  
  • The Pals course (the featured course in this newsletter): Pairs students with kids living with chronic illness and their families. 
Each course above begins in the fall quarter (late September) and pairs continue for up to 3 academic quarters (through June).
These programs will reach out to previous volunteers over this next month, to confirm who may wish to continue with a new student this year. If you are interested in volunteering for one of these courses for the first time, or know someone who may be, please access or forward our interest form below.

We are also doing early recruitment for our winter semester course, which begins in January:


NEW VOLUNTEERS: Please access the volunteer form to volunteer, or request more information:
Volunteer Interest Form

Select the next generation of doctors!
Become a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) Rater to help select Stanford's next class of premier medical students. Training for new volunteers begins September 4th. 

Raters contribute valuable feedback to the interview process, and interact with MD Candidates. 

If interested, please contact the following email for more information:
or call (650) 725 -3943

CLICK HERE for more detail 
The 1st Annual Celebration of Patient and Family Engaged Medical Education, was held on June 3rd, 2019 at Li Ka Shing Center, at Stanford Medicine to acknowledge the contributions of patients, families, and caregivers in medical education.                    
Students and Patient & Family Partners who participated in the “Walk With Me” course presented “artifacts” that represented their shared experience during this time, was an homage to their experience in some way, addressed a specific idea or health / health systems problem that they wished to explore. The artifacts range in expression from artistic to practical, and are represented as posters, education resources, music, film, etc. READ MORE
With the Walk with Me course entering it's 3rd year, participants from the previous year were invited to weigh in during two focus groups - one with Patient & Family Partners and the other with Student Partners - to provide valuable insights based on their experience. 

The objectives of the focus groups were to:
  • review end of course survey feedback
  • discuss gaps identified through the survey
  • solicit additional feedback based on participants' experiences, and
  • brainstorm potential enhancements for the coming academic year 

Course directors and teaching assistants will be incorporating the feedback into curriculum changes for the course in this coming 2019-2020 academic year. Thank you to everyone who partnered in this effort! 


The PALS program 

PALS Program, also known as Childhood Chronic Illness: Impact on Family Development (PEDS 281), is a volunteer program serving chronically ill pediatric patients at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The program matches first-year medical and physician assistant students with pediatric patient partners. Patients enjoy the support and companionship of their student partner, and students learn about the impact of chronic illness on the patient and their family. Pals meet regularly throughout the academic year in a variety of contexts, including medical appointments and fun bonding activities. Through these meetups, pals build strong, meaningful relationships with each other.

In addition to partnering with a pediatric patient, students attend bimonthly class meetings that delve into the care of the pediatric patient, common pediatric conditions, mental health of families dealing with chronic illness, and ethics around treating minors. Guests such as social workers, child life specialists, former patients, and bereaved parents frequent the classroom. The class also features “field trips” to Lucile Packard’s Hospital School and Ronald McDonald House. 
Upon finishing this course, students are equipped to better understand the lives of chronically ill pediatric patients and their families. This, in turn, enables students to provide more empathetic and compassionate care in the clinical setting.


Lauren Briskin,
Patient & Family Partner
Creating understanding
through volunteerism

My hope is that in sharing my experience I will provide food for thought and broaden the horizons of the providers, teachers and students I work with. I want to share “words that work” and patient “handling” observations. I am tremendously excited to be working with the physicians of tomorrow, playing a small part in their medical education. READ MORE

Stephen Trzeciak and Anthony Mazzarelli

A brief summary by Erika Schillinger, MD
For anyone reading this newsletter, it likely seems intuitively obvious that compassion between clinicians and patients is important. Now there is scientific evidence to draw from and to back up our instincts. Compassionomics, a recent book by Dr. Trzeciak (pronounced Tree Zee Ack) and Dr. Mazzarelli provides the evidence to back up the assertion that caring and compassion make a tangible difference in healthcare in attitudes, wellness and outcomes for patients and clinicians. They curated data from more than 1,000 research abstracts and 250 research papers published in medical journals to answer one question:
Does compassion really matter?

Yes. Compassion matters in not only meaningful but also measurable ways. When clinicians are compassionate, patients heal better and faster. Clinicians are happier and less burned out; they make fewer medical errors. Compassion for patients is associated with lower medical costs (fewer visits, tests, and referrals to expensive specialty care from primary care). Compassion is essential, not just in the sentimental sense of our imperative to care; it has profound effects for all of us.


  • Have a question?
  • Have a great idea for a new collaborative educational session?
  • Unsure where to direct your question or idea?

No problem, send us an email us at  

Visit our website: Patient & Family Engaged Medical Education
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