UB Tapped to Pilot Humanism Chapter for Residents, Fellows
Colleen Nugent, MD, and Daniel Sheehan, MD, are advising UB’s new chapter of a national honor society that promotes humanism among medical residents and fellows.
UB is one of just 10 institutions nationwide chosen by the Arnold P. Gold
Foundation to create a pilot chapter of the Gold
Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) for medical residents and
Fostering Humanism During Stressful Training
The new chapter will promote and nurture humanism during one of
the most stressful phases in a physician’s career, explains
“During residency and fellowship, humanism is not always
formally on the table,” says Daniel
Sheehan, MD, clinical associate professor of pediatrics and a
pediatric pulmonologist at Women and Children’s
Hospital of Buffalo.
“It’s an incredibly intense period during which
these trainees may have 80-hour work weeks, mostly in patient care.
It’s often the first time that they feel the full
responsibility and stress of practicing medicine with great
potential for burnout.”
To counteract what Sheehan calls “the attrition of
humanism” that can occur during medical training, the chapter
will develop a network of compassionate care health care
providers—including faculty and other residents and
fellows—who can support their colleagues.
“This new chapter is a way of bringing together physicians
in Buffalo to support and infuse humanism across all levels of
medical training in our hospitals,” he says.
Recognizing Chapter Inductees for Compassionate Care
Each year, the chapter will select and induct 30 medical
residents and fellows from the almost 800 training at UB. New
inductees will be honored for their commitment to providing
excellent, compassionate care as well as their dedication to
patients and families.
They will be able to apply for small grants for projects to
foster humanism in their training programs and hospitals.
Website on Humanism in Medical Education Underway
In addition to the new chapter, a Graduate Medical
Education website on humanism in medical education is under
development. It will provide a database of UB speakers on humanism
as well as links to local and national humanism grant opportunities
and other humanism sites on the Web.
Workshops for residents and fellows on humanism topics, such as
wellness and mindfulness in medicine, also are being created.
“We’re hoping these efforts will help residents
serve as role models who can support their peers and medical
students and help keep care and compassion in the culture as they
go through their training,” says Sheehan. “That’s
the heart of medicine.”
Expanding on Humanism Tradition in Medical School
The new chapter builds on an established GHHS tradition at
The Richard Sarkin/Emeritus Faculty chapter, founded in 2005,
annually recognizes UB medical students and faculty members who
have dedicated themselves to practicing medicine
Schoolwide Collaboration among Education Leaders
Nugent, MD, UB pediatric gastroenterology fellow, will serve as
the new chapter’s co-advisor with Sheehan.
They will be supported by UB faculty and emeritus faculty,
including Leonard A. Katz, MD, professor emeritus; Gregory
Cherr, MD, associate professor of surgery; Diana
G. Wilkins, MD, assistant director of residency education in
of Family Medicine; Susan Orrange, M.Ed, graduate medical
education director of education and resident services; and Roseanne
C. Berger, MD, senior associate dean of graduate medical
Milling, MD, senior associate dean for student and academic
affairs, and Sergio
Hernandez, MD, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry,
co-advisors of the UB Gold Humanism Honor Society Student Chapter,
also will be involved.