Two first-year Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine students attended the 2019 Choosing Wisely Conference at the University of Texas at Austin—Dell Medical School. The January event was for rising medical students interested in serving in leadership roles in medicine.
Nakachi Maduka, a medical student from Arlington, Texas, attended the conference with Steven Repas, from Chesterland, Ohio. They completed exercises that helped them learn about value-based medicine and the role of health care professionals in improving the use of resources in medicine. Both students are pursuing M.D./M.B.A. degrees as part of the Physician Leadership Development Program.
“We began our first year of medical school with Upstream Medicine, which addresses the social context of disease and the socioeconomic factors contributing to health. Upstream Medicine not only exposed me to the social determinants that affect our health but also the unfortunate drawbacks in the American health care system,” Maduka said. “The Choosing Wisely Conference focused on the cost of health care. With a desire to obtain my M.B.A. and change health care systems nationwide, I was more than eager to attend.”
The two participated in group discussions to generate ideas for introducing value-based medicine concepts to their peers. They determined that there are opportunities for launching student interest groups or inviting guest speakers to give talks at the school.
Maduka and Repas are working to continue the conversation. They learned about the fee-for-service model as well as a value-based approach to health care at the conference. Both students came to appreciate the significance of wisely using resources in providing medical care.
“The biggest takeaway I got from this conference is that minute changes can lead to a giant impact,” Repas said. “As medical students go through their clinical progression of reasoning, deciding diagnostic options and then creating treatment plans, we should simply question if the test or treatment adds or subtracts value to the patient’s care.”
“Optimizing the quality and value of our health care is not going to be fixed overnight or by asking one question, but it is a step in the right direction toward improving our health care system and the lives of our patients,” Maduka said. “The Choosing Wisely Conference helped us affirm that medicine is a multitude of disciplines that all work together in peace to care for patients.”
It’s a goal they will carry forward through medical school. Maduka is considering specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. For Repas, his interests are drawing him to pursue trauma surgery. Both will graduate with the class of 2022.
“We have a large appreciation of using money and resources wisely as it is part of maintaining your integrity as a physician,” Repas said. “’Do no harm’ does not just mean physically, but it can also be meant financially.”