As medical students coming onto the health care scene for the first time at the start of the clinical years, it is often difficult to feel like our work is of any real significance to our fellow team members. Motivated by our desire to become valuable assets to the hospitals and communities we serve by influencing care from the top down, and encouraged by our own successful quality improvement endeavors working with various administrators from Safety Officers to CMOs, we have carefully developed a platform for medical students seeking enriching experiences during the third/fourth years to implement their ideas at our affiliated facilities in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Entirely unique from any prior organization, our group affords students the unprecedented opportunity for significantly earlier exposure to quality improvement at a time when the emphasis on such projects is at an all-time high around health care systems and residency programs nationwide. With the rising popularity of new residency/fellowship training programs in informatics and systems, it is as exciting a time as ever to be prepared to stay up-to-date with the direction the field is heading.
New this year, we have added a clinical curriculum hosted by the AHN QI department featuring speakers from nursing educators to statisticians. Our members have a passion for improving the quality of patient care, and we hope to see future students carry on this organization smoothly, and build on these initiatives going forward. Last year’s members have already begun publishing their work within their fields of interest, and a long list of projects in nearly every specialty awaits the motivated students coming to Allegheny for rotations. The possibilities are endless, with a wide spectrum of potential opportunities for expansion including research, publications, and invaluable clinical experience. AHN QI provides a one-of-a-kind perspective to help students understand more about how the health care system keeps facilities’ doors open, who leaders and clinicians often must answer to, and how to balance all of that with what is must important to all of us–quality patient care.