Members of the Miller-Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence include Johns Hopkins surgeons, oncologists, radiologists and pediatricians. Now, for the first time, an ophthalmologist and a dermatologist have joined their ranks.
Part of the Center for Innovative Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, the Academy was created to honor and share knowledge about extraordinary patient care. The Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty members who are selected each year go through a rigorous application. Inductees work together on research and education that foster clinical excellence.
On April 17, colleagues, family members and patients filled the Chevy Chase Bank Conference Center for the annual induction ceremony. Eleven honorees, including ophthalmologist Sharon Solomon and dermatologist Manisha Loss, joined 72 other members. The institute was created in 2006 with financial support from the Miller and Coulson families.
Internist Scott Wright, director of the academy, unveiled a program called ClOsler, an online repository of inspirational content about clinical excellence, to be launched later this year.
The name refers to Johns Hopkins Hospital pioneer Sir William Osler, who famously said, “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” ClOsler hopes to bring health care providers “a little closer to Osler,” he said.
New academy members emphasized the partnerships that make their work possible and shared insights about clinical excellence.
Solomon noted that ophthalmology does not lend itself to physically touching the patient, as examination involves equipment used to examine eyes for signs of vision loss and disease. She believes that one of the most important parts of her job is to listen to the people she treats. “Each day, I am aware of the fear, anxiety and depression that affects a patient who is losing vision,” she said.
Loss, the first dermatologist to become a Miller-Coulson member, specializes in proactive care for organ transplant patients, who are at increased risk for skin cancer. She strives to deliver the same warmth and caring to her patients that she received from her “aunties and uncles,” the tight-knit group of doctors, many born outside the United States, who were colleagues of her surgeon father.
Other inductees also spoke of patient care as a function not of technical prowess but of understanding what patients are going through.
“Communication is key,” said surgical oncologist Matthew Weiss. “I see a lot of patients very quickly, and in that short period of time it is the worst day of that patient's life.” In that brief encounter, he must deliver a diagnosis, outline a treatment plan that may involve surgery and chemotherapy, and answer difficult questions. “All the while I have to leave them with hope.”