Monthly Archives: August 2011

“Fostering Awesomeness”: Justin Lockrem, Future MD

Justin Lockrem

Editor’s Note:  Do you recognize this face?  If you’re a pre-med student who’s taken a Kaplan MCAT course in the Twin Cities area, you might recognize Justin Lockrem as a highly-regarded Kaplan instructor.  Justin volunteered with us at Children’s from August 2010-March 2011, and is currently in his first year of medical school at the University of Michigan.  The following is the first of (we hope!) many updates that he will be sending us over the course of his journey to become an MD.  Thank you, Justin, and best of luck with your first year!

“Look to your left, then look to your right; half of you will not be here at med school graduation four years from now.” – Med School Deans, circa 1980s

Long gone are the days where med school itself leaves half its students stumbling towards other careers.  With attrition rates under 3% nationally,  emphasis is now placed on gaining admission to medical schools (42,742 applicants for 18,665 US MD spots –, 2010).  Stresses on MCAT scores and GPAs have never been higher, and the emphasis on diversity in age, sex, background, experiences, and motivations are driving forces for admissions.  But once you’re in the door, it’s amazing to find the family environment and support services that await your every move.  Everyone is in this together;  we succeed as an entire group.

Sunday, July 31st was the White Coat Ceremony, where they handed us the official doctor uniform & stethoscope, and were met with a standing ovation recognizing our accomplishments thus far.  As we took our seats, the dean addressed us all and said,  “There are some of the highest GPAs, MCAT scores, research accolades, international health experiences, and IQs in this room right now.  And as of this moment, they officially mean absolutely nothing.”  It’s true; we’re all starting back from scratch, ready to embark on the journey of our lifetime. What we’ve done before got us here, but what we do now is all that matters.

I came to the University of Michigan for the opportunity to experience great things.  Even with these lofty expectations, I have been absolutely blown away by the trust, respect and freedom that distinguishes medical school from the rest of the world.  As soon as we were given our white coats and a gigantic syllabus, we were essentially on our own.  Lectures are optional, quizzes are to be taken on your own, tests are pass/fail, and objectives need to be reached however you get there. Talk about daunting – but this is the real world of medicine.  No more hand holding, just goals and results, with an equal emphasis on how you talk to patients as well as what you’re able to tell them. They are instilling in us the confidence and responsibility of patient care, trained to be ready to hold patients’ lives in our hands for the rest of our lives. I’m glad to be surrounded by some of the most brilliant, talented, and amazing people I’ve ever met. We will be pushed, we will be tired, there will be highs and lows, great accomplishment and great failure. But collectively, we will take the next step on our pathways to medicine, embarking on great careers of lifelong learning.  Or, as I like to say, we collectively are fostering awesomeness. 

Looking forward to the next 4 years.

Justin Lockrem, M1 – University of Michigan

PAWH Success Stories!

We love our PAWH (Pets Assisting With Healing) volunteers!  The following pictures and anecdotes illustrate the impact that animal-assisted therapy can have on the patients and families here at Children’s.
“Karen (Sheahan) and Reba (pictured, above) have been a great help to a 5-year-old boy who has been seen in occupational therapy. Karen and Reba are always up for trying anything that is suggested, and I greatly appreciate it! Reba got all pretty with her collar and colorful feathers stuck in her fur by the patient to prepare for a special walk where Reba wore her snow boots if the patient walked with bare feet! Barefoot exploration is very difficult for this little boy, but Reba was a great motivator and distraction to complete a full walk around the department on various surfaces! A great accomplishment! Thank you!”  -Occupational Therapist LeAnn Sagerer
“Bogart (pictured, above, with handler Kristen Kenney) assisted my client with learning how to form shapes as he had quite the surface area to practice on. This child used a paintbrush to practice the large strokes on Bogart. She thought it was hilarious to paint on a dog and even more silly when Bogart moved and she lost control over where the paintbrush was going. She also worked on crossing midline with rainbows that arched over Bogart’s back. She was very proud of her artwork, and having Bogart present was incredibly motivating for her!” -Occupational Therapist Emily DeBreto 

Pharmacy Volunteer Celebration Held On Minneapolis Campus!

On Thursday, July 28th, Pharmacy Manager Laura Dornbusch and her staff were gracious enough to throw a “thank-you” celebration for our inpatient pharmacy volunteers!  Huge thanks to the volunteers in attendance (Victoria Anderson, Meghan Beukelman, Ashley Ceryance, Alexa Edlund, and Xia Xiong), and to Laura & her staff for their generosity!  We are also very grateful for the contributions of those volunteers who were unable to attend:  Ashley Artmann, Jake Hansen, & Kameron Krueger.

Please click on “View Full Album” or visit our Facebook page (Children’s of Minnesota Volunteer Services) to view larger versions of these pictures!

New Emergency Department Positions A Success!

UROC Anne Hennessey & volunteer Anfisa Schams.

This summer, Volunteer Services collaborated with the Children’s-St. Paul Emergency Department to pilot a new volunteer position!  Emergency Department volunteers assist in administering TruthPoint (patient/family feedback) surveys, providing sibling support, and supporting the ED staff.   According to Anna Wells, Unit Operations & Registration Coordinator (UROC)  in the Emergency Department,  “It has been extremely helpful to have volunteers around to aide the UROCs and nurses with keeping patients occupied by bringing them toys and helping pass out TruthPoint surveys to keep patient/family satisfaction as high as possible.”

UROC Anna Wells, volunteer Jenna Maslowski, & UROC Katherine Funke.

Thank you, Anna, for your great feedback…and THANK YOU, ED volunteers, for all of your great work! 
**If you are interested in volunteering in the Emergency Department in the future, please contact St. Paul Volunteer Services at (651) 220-6141! 

Generous Girl Scouts Donate Blankets!

Huge thanks to the Buffalo Lake Hector Girl Scout Troop for their generous donation of 71 tie blankets and 3 bags of arts & crafts activities to the patients here at Children’s Hospital!
Our heartfelt thanks go out to each member of the troop:  Courtney W., Mariah P., Rachel G., Alexis G., Jordyn F., Kate H., Kaitlyn K., Brittany S., Breanna B., and Kiana J., as well as their fearless leaders, Michelle Paulson and Sarah Feige.  Thanks a million, girls…your kindness will bring smiles to many children!
“The Buffalo Lake Hector Girl Scout Troop, pictured with their beautiful blankets!"

Pediatric Grand Rounds: August!

One more month of summer left…wow!   Here is the August Pediatric Grand Rounds schedule. 

Minneapolis Campus (held from 7:30-8:30 am on Thursdays):

Medical Education Classroom, B-870 (lower level of hospital)

2525 Chicago Ave. S.

St. Paul Campus (held from 8-9 am on Thursdays):

John Nasseth Medical Center

Conference Room

255 N. Smith Ave.

August Sessions:

8/4:  “Concussions in Children:  Current Understanding of Pathophysiology, Clinical Features, and Management”

Presenter:  Joseph Petronio, MD, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota

8/11:  “Pediatric Surgical Emergencies”

Presenter:  Nathaniel S. Kreykes, MD, Pediatric Surgeon, Pediatric Surgical Associates

8/18:   “Diagnostic Errors:  The Next Frontier of Patient Safety”

Presenters:  Phillip M. Kibort, MD, MBA, Vice President of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer, Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota

8/25:  “Clinicopathologic Conference:  16-Year-Old With Back Pain”

Presenter:  Katie Larson, MD, Pediatric Chief Resident, University of Minnesota

No pre-registration is required!  For more information, please contact the Children’s Medical Education Office at (651) 220-6131.  We will continue to post future educational opportunities for volunteers on this site!

Pre-Surgery Program Volunteer Wanted!

Children’s-St. Paul is looking for a current volunteer to join its Pre-Surgery Program team!

The Pre-Surgery program is designed to help patients and families better understand the surgery process by introducing them to staff, medical equipment, and the hospital campus/Day Surgery Center.  Volunteers help with this by registering and greeting families, making families comfortable, and assisting program staff as needed.

Time Commitment:  1 year (Fall 2011-Summer 2012), 4:30-7 pm, Thursdays

If you are interested in this position, please contact Lisa Munson at 651-220-6141, or [email protected].  Thank you!