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Resident Quality Improvement Projects Increase Knowledge and Competency

ResidentsEmpowering residents at UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School to implement quality initiatives accomplishes two objectives: it leads to dramatic improvements in quality metrics across the Memorial Hermann Mischer Neuroscience Institute and teaches residents to keep an eye out for opportunities to refine processes.

The Institute’s relentless focus on quality is transferred to the next generation through education. “We are fortunate to have outstanding teachers and mentors, cutting-edge research and a large, diverse patient population in Houston, which gives our residents and fellows exposure to an exceptionally broad range of cases,” says Arthur L. Day, M.D., vice chair, program director and director of clinical education in neurosurgery at Mischer Neuroscience Institute and professor of neurosurgery at UTHealth. “Multiple neuroscience subspecialties are well represented in our educational programs and supported by the latest technology.”

Fellowships offered include cerebrovascular/skull base, neurocritical care, neuroendovascular surgery, stroke and stroke interventional track, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, neuro-oncology, neuromuscular diseases and epilepsy. The Institute is currently training 16 neurosurgery residents and one fellow through a program started in 2008; in the department of Neurology there are 28 neurology residents and 13 fellows.

Senior residents start quality projects during their sixth year of training and present their results at the end of their seventh year. “They spend their last year polishing up the areas they need to refine and some may even start a fellowship while still in residency,” Dr. Day says. “They develop projects in areas where they see opportunities for improvement, implement them and present their results and conclusions.”

This year’s resident quality improvement projects are “Improve Quality/Utility of CTAs Related to 3-D Imaging Services” by Ali Turkmani, M.D.; “Improve Medication Delivery (IV vs. PO) on Elective Tumor Patients” by chief neurosurgery resident Sebastian Villarreal, M.D.; and “Improve OR Turnover Time” by Edward Hsu, M.D. All three physicians are in postgraduate year 7.