News

Panel discussion to focus on ways overtreatment hurts patients, clinicians, communities

Sederstrom, Witczak, Taylor provide perspectives

April 14, 2016 (Chicago)—The recent rise in physician burnout and suicides compelled Nneka Sederstrom, PhD, MPH, FCCP, last year to investigate moral distress with the support of a Right Care Alliance Young Innovator grant, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her findings add to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the inextricable and bi-directional link between medical overuse and physician burnout.

Sederstrom will discuss her findings in a panel discussion at the 4th Annual Lown Institute Conference, held April 15-17 at the JW Marriott Chicago.

Along with three other colleagues, Sederstrom held monthly meetings called “Moral Distress Rounds” with internal medicine residents rotating through the intensive care unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. Their research found that medical residents experience significant moral distress when superiors offered overly aggressive care for terminally ill patients—especially when this was against the wishes of the patient.

Sederstrom continues her work to understand and prevent physician burnout as the director of the Office of Ethics at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Joining her on the panel discussion at the 4th Annual Lown Institute Conference, are Kim Witczak, a drug safety advocate, and Lauren Taylor, MDiv, MPH, a doctoral student in health policy and management and co-author of The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More is Getting Us Less. Shannon Brownlee, MSc, Lown senior vice president, will moderate.

Their discussion will explore ways in which overuse harms patients, clinicians and communities. A question and answer period will follow.

The session, titled What are the Real Harms of a Culture of Over-testing and Overtreatment? Perspectives from Patients, Clinicians and Communities, takes place at 9:45-10:30 am in Grand Ballroom AB.

About the Lown Institute

The Lown Institute, a nonprofit, action-driven think tank, is dedicated to transforming the culture of medicine and building a health care system that is affordable, effective, personal and just. The Institute was founded by renowned cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Bernard Lown, MD, and supports his vision for compassionate health care. Visit www.LownInstitute.org and follow us on Twitter at @LownInstitute.

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Margie Coloian
Director of Communications
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mcoloian@LownInstitute.org