Wednesday, February 8, 2017

USA Chapter of Gold Humanism Honor Society to Focus on Compassion

University of South Alabama College of Medicine Gold Humanism Honor Society members participate in last year's Solidarity Week at USA Children's and Women's Hospital Feb. 15, 2016.
In honor of the Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society's (GHHS) Solidarity Week for Compassionate Patient Care Feb. 13-17, the University of South Alabama College of Medicine chapter of GHHS will participate in several activities to remind students and employees of the importance of compassion in medicine.

“Solidarity Week gives us the opportunity to get to know our patients outside of the scope of their illness,” said fourth-year medical student Emily Spurlin. “As medical students it is easy to focus solely on the patient's disease process, but I think good doctors treat the patient as a whole, taking into consideration the patient's experiences and values when crafting a diagnostic and treatment plan.”

This year during Solidarity Week, GHHS students will once again participate in Tell Me More, a program that helps the entire health care team learn more about their patients. After obtaining consent, GHHS members will ask patients three non-medical questions about their lives in order to craft signs for display over their beds. The signs will serve as a reminder to all care providers that every patient is more than just a diagnosis.

“My favorite part of Solidarity Week is making the individualized posters,” Spurlin added. “They allow health care providers to connect with patients in a more meaningful way.”

GHHS members will also hand out candy and stickers to hospital staff during Solidarity Week to thank them for their hard work and compassion.

The national Gold Humanism Honor Society office established National Solidarity Day for Compassionate Care in 2011 to highlight the nation-wide movement promoting provider-patient relationships based on caring, personalization and mutual respect. Momentum gathered particularly after the Senate passed a resolution in 2013 and 2014 to officially recognize Solidarity Day on the national calendar, and it is now typically celebrated on or around Valentine’s Day. In 2016, many chapters celebrated a week of events instead of just one day.

The senior medical students of the USA chapter of GHHS are Corwin McGee, Brian McGrath, Kiyoshi Scissum, Jelaina Scott, Jacob Sexton, Peter Soh, Emily Spurlin, Meagan Thomas, Carter Tisdale and R. Grant Willis.

To learn more about Solidarity Week, visit http://www.gold-foundation.org/programs/ghhs/ghhs-solidarity-day/ .

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