Residents and Family Centered Care
Beth Lavrinoff, MRC
Co-Chair, MICH Family Advisory Board
The residents who are graduating this June have had the opportunity to go through the developmental and behavioral rotations, meet with child life staff and learn about the family centered care (FCC) approach which is a priority at Maimonides Infants and Children’s Hospital.
Two Resident Profiles:
Anant Vatsayan is graduating this year and has learned much in the realm of family centered care. Coming from India, Dr. Vatsayan has noticed key differences between pediatric medicine in his native country and Maimonides Medical Center. He feels strongly that one’s cultural background leads to automatic acceptance of FCC; In India, where he did most of his training, the medical issues were solely emphasized, while the social aspects of the visit were largely ignored. There were many more patients and admittances and less time to spend with each patient, which can cause a practitioner to lose focus regarding family experiences. Lack of resources in India made treated chronically ill patients practically unheard of in medical institutions, which was a contributing factor in not developing ongoing doctor-patient relationships. Coming to MICH, he learned through speaking with other people involved in the care of the patient—social workers, nurses, parents—and understanding continuity of care, he could gain a deeper understanding of what supports are needed for a more positive outcome. He feels that parents are often extremely knowledgeable regarding their child’s illness and can be a huge help to the practitioner when caring for the pediatric patient.
Molly O’Rourke is a third year resident who stems from the Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri. She has a strong feeling for understanding family centered care due to her background of being one of eight children and having 18 nieces and nephews! Due to her own family experiences with medical issues and hospital stays, she displays more compassion for the patient undergoing what can be a scary admission. Completing her residency at Maimonides has only strengthened that which already seems to come natural to her in terms of family centered care. The diversity that practitioners encounter here in Brooklyn can be challenging, but it will train you for all different family situations. When Dr. O’Rourke started her residency here at Maimonides she began to learn the different styles in caretaking. Sometimes many family members are present to assist with the child, and in other cultures there seems to be a predominance of the mother being sole caretaker of the child who never leaves the child’s bedside. The past three years have given Dr. O’Rourke a wide sampling of different families and different caretaking styles, teaching her not to pass judgment on anyone.
Doctors enter their residency programs each with their individual styles and cultural backgrounds. In the Pediatric Department, we often discuss the cultural diversity of our patients and families and the challenges that are present due to ongoing communication and language issues. The common factor in Maimonides Infants and Children’s hospital is the desire to create an atmosphere that is family and patient-centric. Accomplishing this task is easy when our residents have the goal to make that a priority like in the cases of Dr. Anant Vatsayan and Dr. Molly O’Rourke. We wish all of the third year residents a hearty congratulations and a plea to remember all of the extras that help to make a child’s and parent’s journey through the medical world just a little more pleasant.