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How to Research Your Symptoms Online

People use the Internet to research a myriad of things from what they should buy to why they have pain. These guidelines will help you learn how to research your symptoms online if you have concerns.

Use a Medical MD Symptom Checker

As soon as you enter the phrase, “how to research health symptoms,” into any search engine, you’ll receive results for at least one or more reputable medical MD symptom checkers. These symptoms checkers ask your age, gender, primary symptoms, if you’re pregnant, the severity of your symptoms, your current medications and past or current conditions. Once you click submit, a list of conditions that match your symptoms will appear. You’ll have the option to edit your symptoms or start over if you wish.

Check Reputable Websites

If you can’t find what you’re looking for using a free medical symptom checker, there are websites with articles or blog posts that list symptoms. Make sure you’re looking at reputable websites that end with .org or .edu because these sites tend to contain scholarly or medical information that can be trusted. The Internet is full of information that’s published and not verified. Therefore, it’s essential that you’re looking up symptoms on a website that presents information that’s been fact-checked.

Go to a Doctor’s Website

Under some circumstances, you’ll find an online symptom checker on a physician’s website. If you can’t find a MD symptom checker, you’ll find a plethora of resources on these websites. Doctors work diligently toward providing information for their patients in the way of medical library research materials, informational articles, blog posts and podcasts. Therefore, if you can find a symptom checker, you should be able to find information about the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Visit Forums

Sometimes it helps to hear what others are experiencing when you’re undergoing symptoms that don’t match up with the search results you’ve found. Therefore, it’s time to check out user forums. These discussion areas contain experiences from users who go into detail about the symptoms they’re having, what’s happening throughout their experience and if they’re having successful or unsuccessful treatment. Be cautious, though, as these forums will not replace medical advice and may lead to more worry than help.

Check Out Question-and-Answer Websites

Much like a discussion forum, these websites are where users post specific questions to other users regarding issues they’re experiencing. Under many circumstances, these questions pertain to symptoms they’re experiencing and where they can find resources. Other users will help them find pertinent information regarding their specific symptoms when they feel they’ve exhausted every other avenue.


research capstone project medicine

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126 Medical Capstone Project Ideas You Can Use

Oct 11, 2022

research capstone project medicine

Oct 11, 2022 | Topics

You’ve spent years in school and finished your medical degree. However, you still need to complete one last thing before being able to call yourself an M.D, a capstone project. You will be able to use your skills and knowledge to succeed in a career as a physician or researcher. As with any other research project assignment, choosing what topic to focus on for this project can be difficult—but don’t worry! We’re here with some ideas for the best medical capstone projects.

I believe you are a medical student looking for capstone project ideas. Check out our list of ideas for medical capstone projects that you can use for your research.

Best Medical Capstone Project Ideas

Interesting Medical Capstone Project Ideas

Simple Medical Capstone Project Ideas

Easy Medical Capstone Project Ideas

Controversial Medical Capstone Project Ideas

Compare and Contrast Medical Capstone Project Ideas

Medical Capstone Project Ideas for College

Innovative Clinical Medicine Capstone Project Topics

Medical Capstone Project Ideas for Health Promotion

Medical Capstone Project Ideas for Mental Health

Women’s Health Capstone Project Ideas

Pediatric Medical Capstone Project Topics

Patient Falls Capstone Project Ideas for Nursing

Emergency Medical Capstone Project Ideas

Medical Surgery Capstone Project Ideas

Nursing Informatics Capstone Project Ideas

Nursing informatics is the study of how information technology affects professional nursing. Computers and other electronic devices are becoming increasingly essential for nurses to know how to use them in their jobs. Here are ideas for capstone projects in this field:

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We hope you’ve found this list of medical capstone project ideas helpful in your search for the perfect topic. If you’re still feeling a little stuck, we’re here to help students design a winning medical capstone project. We know how difficult it can be to develop an idea, so contact us today if you need some assistance!

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Medical Capstone Project Ideas

A medical capstone project is a final test given to evaluate your level of understanding of the entire course from the first year to the final year. Capstone projects cover most of the essential aspects of the medical course, and the results you get are a reflection of how great your career in medicine will be. It’s not like the average school-based tests, as getting poor results in your capstone project can delay your graduation.

One rarely known way to make medical capstone projects stand out is to choose a killer topic. Killer topics introduce a top-notch paper. Your medical capstone project should showcase your unique skills and abilities. It should be a true reflection of how best you’ve understood and performed in your medical course. The list of medical capstone project ideas at our disposal is incredibly wide-ranging.

However, you can’t work with any of the medical capstone project ideas available to you. It’s your responsibility to research each medical capstone project idea to get an accurate picture of what needs to be written. That will grant you the chance to research ideas and content to use in your writing. Wondering how to get killer medical capstone project ideas, check TopicsBase for great solutions.

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Capstone Project

Each student completes their graduate training with completion of a capstone project. The purpose of the capstone project is to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to contribute to the field of genetic counseling through research. Students will identify a unique research question, obtain IRB approval, collect original data and summarize the findings in a summative manuscript. Students are encouraged to select a project that will pique their interests and passions, as well as contribute to the knowledge and/or practice of genetic counseling. Coordinated by on site faculty, research focused coursework is provided throughout the program to shepherd students through the capstone project timeline. During spring semester of their first year, each student selects a topic for study that is approved by the program faculty. Students submit their proposals for IRB approval during the intervening summer and then the projects are executed during the second year of study. Each capstone project is completed under the guidance of an assigned committee, which consists of a project advisor and a project reader, both of whom may be chosen from the primary or external faculty, or from other institutions based on expertise in the topic of interest. Each project culminates in a formal paper in manuscript format and an oral presentation to the department and invited guests. The paper should be of publishable quality, and each student is encouraged to present and publish their findings. Students also participate in a poster session for the faculty and students of the Boston University medical campus.  

Previously Completed Capstone Projects

Communication Practices of Cancer Genetic Counselors by Morgan Danowski *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference

Family Planning via Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Assessing Patient Advocacy Group Perceptions Of, Access To, and Utilization of Educational Resources on Reproductive Technologies by Meghan Dean *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference

Evaluating the Unmet Psychological Needs of Young Adults (18-26) with Lynch Syndrome by Katie Dunn *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference

“I Am a Genetic Counselor”: A Qualitative Exploration of Field Leaders’ Perceptions of the Title “Genetic Counselor” by Chandler Means *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference.  Publication pending.

Utilization of Genetic Resources in Pediatric Emergency Medicine by Madeline Miller *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference

Forging a New Path: Emerging Roles for Genetic Counselors in the Insurance Industry by Abigail Sassaman *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference

Understanding the Practice of Genomic Result Communication to Extended Family Members by Participants in the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) by Courtney Studwell *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference

Perspectives on Genetic Counseling for Autism Spectrum Disorder at Boston Medical Center by Victoria Suslovitch *Invited presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference Public Health SIG meeting

Knowledge and Opinions of the Genetic Counseling Profession of High School Students from Underrepresented Backgrounds by Joanna Urli *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference

An Assessment of Genetic Counselors’ Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Counseling for Gene Therapy by Ashley Wong *Poster presentation at the 2019 NSGC conference

Genetic Counselors’ Comfort and Knowledge of Cancer Risk Assessment for Transgender Patients by Tala Berro *Poster presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference

Personal Genetic Testing for Future Genetic Counselors: Assessing Interest in Offering Personal Genetic Testing as an Educational Experience in Genetic Counseling Graduate Programs by Brian Corner *Poster presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference

Genetic Counselors’ Perceptions of Workplace Respect and Its Influence on Professional Decision-Making by Lindsay Derby *Poster presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference

Aneuploidy Screening in the Antenatal Testing Unit at Boston Medical Center: Assessing the Context of Decision-Making around Non-Invasive Screening Options by Jessica Fallon *Poster presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference

The Clinical Utility of Genetic Testing for Moderate Penetrant Breast Cancer Genes: A Systematic Review of Cases by Christine Keywan *Poster presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference

An Exploration of Clinical Genetic Counselors’ Interactions with Commercial Genetic Testing Laboratories by Kara Klemp *Poster presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference

Genetic Counselors’ Perceptions and Experiences of Counseling and Testing for Low Penetrance Alleles by Kaylin O’Brien *Accepted for presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference 

An Assessment of Pediatric Cancer Genetic Counseling Training in Genetic Counseling Programs by Eleanor Peacock *Poster presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference

Genetic Counselors’ Perceptions of and Experience with Prenatal Counseling for Marijuana Use as Compared to Counseling for Alcohol, Tobacco, Opioid, and Caffeine Use by Naomi Wagner *Poster presentation at the 2018 NSGC conference

Genetic Testing Modalities and Diagnostic Trends in Patients with Multiple Congenital Anomalies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by Ellen Xu

The CRISPR Craze: Exploring Perceptions of CRISPR-Cas System Gene Editing by Deanna Brockman *Presented at 2017 NERGG Genetic Counseling Conference

Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Genetic Counselors and Genetic Testing Among Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in Vermont: A Qualitative Study by Jazmine Gabriel

Navigating Obstacles in Recruitment Strategies: A Pilot Storytelling Intervention Study Assessing cfDNA Screening Knowledge in Spanish Speakers by Emily Glanton

Practical Aspects and Implications of Variant Interpretation in the Clinical Setting by Amanda Harding

Factors Influencing Uptake of Evaluation Among Hemophilia Carriers and Potential Carriers by Elizabeth Parks *Poster presentation at the 2017 NSGC conference

Exome Backbone Panels: Genetic Professionals’ Perspectives in the Next Generation of Panel Testing by Renee Pelletier *Poster presentation at the 2017 NSGC conference

Parents of Youth with Disorders of Sex Development: Perception of Counseling Needs by Alison Schwartz

Parent/Caregiver Experience with a Web-Based, Self-Administered TSC-Associated Neuropsychiatric Disorders (TAND) Checklist by Molly Valle

Anxiety and Friendship Predict Quality of Life in Adults with Williams Syndrome by Elise Brimble

Experiences of Genetic Counselors Practicing in Rural Areas by Margaret Emmet *Poster presentation at the 2016 NSGC conference

The Current and Future Contributions of Genetic Counselors Practicing in the Field of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing for Lifestyle Advice: An Exploratory Study   by Hayley Green *Concurrent paper presentation at the 2016 NSGC conference

“What’s in a name?” An Assessment of Knowledge About Reproductive Technology Among Young Adults at Risk for Huntington’s Disease by Lauren Hogan *Poster presentation at the 2016 NSGC conference

Influences of Communicated Genetic v. Lifestyle Risks for Colorectal Cancer on Emotions and Behavioral Screening Intent   by Courtney Manning *Poster presentation at the 2016 NSGC conference

Assessing the Clinical Utility of a Web-Based Educational Video in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Patients for the Dissemination of Family Risk Information and Screening Recommendations   by Catherine Neumann

Genetic Counseling for Lung Cancer   by Emily Palen *Poster presentation at the 2016 NSGC conference

Genetic Screening Practices for Oocyte Donors in the United States    by Grace VanNoy *Poster presentation at the 2016 NSGC conference

What Factors go into a Woman’s Decision to Pursue Preimplantation Genetic Screening? The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Decision-Making by Sarah Cochrane *Poster presentation at the 2015 NSGC conference

Genetic Literacy in Sickle Cell Disease: Assessing the genetics knowledge of young adults with sickle cell disease by Casie Genetti *Poster presentation at the 2015 NSGC conference

Education of Children with Sanfilippo Syndrome: Identification of needs, challenges, and services required for children with Sanfilippo syndrome by their parents by Lauren Gotsell *Poster presentation at the 2015 NSGC conference

Evaluating Current Practice and Opinions in Carrier Screening for Multi-Ethnic Couples by Alex Ing *Poster presentation at the 2015 Boston University Graduate Research Symposium

Recontacting Patients in the Age of Panel Testing: Cancer genetic counselors’ practice and perspective by Amy Mueller *Poster presentation at the 2015 NSGC conference

Genetic Counselors’ Current Practices, Challenges, and Needs for Support with Clinical Exome and Genome Sequencing by Kelsey Newell

The Diagnostic Utility of Exome Sequencing for Patients with Ataxias and Paraplegias by Erika Palmaer

Approach to Family Planning Among Siblings of Individuals with an Undiagnosed Genetic Condition by Hillary Porter

Exploring parental perspectives on the return of genomic results for children enrolled in a pediatric genetic biorepository by Phil Connors *Poster presentation at the 2014 NSGC conference

Emerging Genetic Counselor Roles within the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries: As industry interest grows in rare genetic disorders, how are genetic counselors joining the discussion? by Tessa Field *Concurrent paper presentation at the 2014 NSGC conference ;  Published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.  2016 Aug;25(4), 708-719

research capstone project medicine

An exploration of the correlation between anxiety and/or depression and relationship attachment in individuals with galactosemia by Elizabeth Smith

Development of a pediatric oncology screening tool to identify individuals appropriate for genetics referral by Shannon Stasi

Examining GIST Patients’ Understanding of Somatic Tumor Testing and Personalized Medicine by Sam Stickevers *Poster presentation at the 2014 NSGC conference

Unveiling gene-specific correlations and comparisons within Usher syndrome by Sheila Sutti

Exploring Fathers’ Roles and Experiences with Dissemination of Sexual Health Information to their Children with Down syndrome by Lilly Torrey *Poster presentation at the 2014 NSGC conference

Diagnoses Across Borders: Experiences Communicating Cancer Diagnoses Amongst U.S. Latino Transnational Families by Nadine Channaoui *Poster presentation at the 2013 NSGC conference

The caregiver’s experience: deciding what, when, and how much to tell an individual with Williams syndrome by Lindsay Conant

Pedigree Analysis as a Tool for Determination of Gender Ratio Bias in GnRH Deficiency by Marie Discenza

Exploring Barriers to Payor Utilization of Genetic Counselors by Nan Doyle *Poster presentation at the 2013 NSGC conference

Families’ Perspectives of the Effectiveness of a Video Social Story as an Introduction to the Fragile X Program at Boston Children’s Hospital by Laura Fisher

Exploring Perspectives on Equine-Assisted Therapy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Carmelina Heydrich

Exploring the influence of religiosity and spirituality on baseline risk perception, ability to cope with adverse genetic testing results, and the impact on mental health following genetic risk disclosure for Alzheimer’s disease in the REVEAL Study by Erica Vaccari *Poster presentation at the 2013 NSGC conference

Characterizing Mixed Pedigrees in Families with Normosmic Isolated Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism (nIHH) and Kallmann Syndrome (KS) by Tabitha Abrazinski

Pregnancy using oocyte donation in women with Turner syndrome: A survey of ART providers to examine the risk for aortic dissection by Laurel Calderwood

An Investigation of the Clinical Care Practices of Neurofibromatosis type I in North America by Kristin Levandoski

Genetic Counselors’ Laboratory Experiences: Perspectives of Recent Graduates by Andrea Muirhead *Poster presentation at the 2012 NSGC conference

Phenotypic evaluation and natural history of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type (EDS-HT) by Natalie Vena

Recontact Upon Reclassification of Previously Identified Variants of Unknown Significance – Assessing Current Practices and Challenges Facing Diagnostic Laboratories by Jenn Walsh *Poster presentation at the 2012 NSGC conference

Molecular Diagnosis of Fragile X syndrome: An exploration of current practices and future directions by Shana White

A Qualitative Evaluation of Providers’ Perspectives on Current Tools Used to Assess Adults with Down Syndrome Presenting with Cognitive Decline by Laura Benedict

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Patients with Mitochondrial Disorders by Laura Fuerstman

Case Identification of Under-Diagnosed Monogenic Disease within a Large Clinical Database by Erin Hoffman

Case Identification of Under-Diagnosed Monogenic Disease within a Large Clinical Database by Kat Lafferty

Exploring Parental Attitudes about Behaviors in their Children with Fragile X Syndrome by Meg Sheehan

The Clinical Doctorate in Genetic Counseling: Assessing the Attitudes and Preferences of Program Directors by AJ Stuenkel *Concurrent paper presentation at the 2011 NSGC conference; Published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.  2012 Feb;21(1):136-49

Exploring Characteristics of Individuals Who Decline Genetic Testing and Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Assessment After Education: The REVEAL Study by Diana Toledo *Concurrent paper presentation at the 2011 NSGC conference

Preconceptions of Conception: The reported expectations and experiences of individuals pursuing preimplantation genetic diagnosis by Katharine Coles *Poster presentation at the 2010 NSGC conference

Effects of Methadone Use on Maternal Serum Screening by Jocelyn Davie *Poster presentation at the 2010 NSGC conference

Methods for Developing a New Genetic Counseling Position in a Specialty Clinic by Jennifer Hardt *Poster presentation at the 2010 NSGC conference

Assessing Quantitative and Qualitative Health Care Costs Associated with Marfan Syndrome by Jilliane Miller

A Comparison of Genetic Counseling Processes for Fetal Corpus Callosal Anomalies Among Prenatal Service Locations by Mari Morse *Poster presentation at the 2010 NSGC conference

Prenatal Genetic Counseling and Second Trimester Maternal Serum Screening: Experiences of Genetic Service Providers in India by Kunal Sanghavi

An Evaluation of Parents’ Experience with Expanded Genetic Testing for Autism Spectrum Disorders by Erin Thorpe *Poster presentation at the 2010 NSGC conference

Genetic Counselors’ Perspectives on Disability Training and Experience by Emily Brown *Poster presentation at the 2009 NSGC conference

How Do Personal Relationships with Other Individuals with Treacher Collins Syndrome Affect a Patient’s Self-Image? by Meghan Connolly

A Survey of Prenatal Genetic Counselors’ Knowledge, Experience, and Role in Perinatal Hospice by Jennifer Dick *Poster presentation at the 2009 NSGC conference


Perceptions of Severe Mental Illness Compared to Other Common Complex Disorders among Family Members of Affected Individuals by Denise Lautenbach *Poster presentation at the 2009 NSGC conference; Published in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.  2012 Aug;21(4):564-72

Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy: Parental Knowledge and Perspectives on Genetic Counseling by Molly McGinniss *Concurrent paper presentation at the 2009 NSGC conference

Availability, density, and accessibility of genetic counseling services by Ian Wallace *Poster presentation at the 2009 NSGC conference

Assessing the Interest in Genetic Counseling within the Adoption Community by Leann Bartomioli *Poster presentation at the 2008 NSGC conference

Development and Validation of a Genetic Counseling Teaching Aid for Mitochondrial Disorders by Monica Dandapan i

Living with Costello Syndrome: Quality of Life Issues in Older Individuals by Beth Hopkins *Poster presentation at the 2008 ASHG conference; Published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.  2010 Jan;152A(1):84-90

Educating Children with a Metabolic Condition: What and When Do Parents Want Their Children to Know about a Gaucher Diagnosis? by Lindsay Paull

Patients’ Viewpoints Surrounding Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis by Tara Sousa *Poster presentation at the 2008 NSGC conference

Interpreters: How often and why do they change what a genetic counselor says? by Samantha Baxter

An Evaluation of the Utility of First Trimester Screening at Boston Medical Center: The Influences of Demographic Factors on Subsequent Uptake of Invasive Testing by Christina Choi

NSGC Poster - Amy Lovelette

Genetic counselors’ experiences with presenting adoption after a prenatally diagnosed fetal abnormality by Chandra Oksala *Poster presentation at the 2007 NSGC conference

Parental expectations and satisfaction with service from a referral to genetic counseling and a genetic evaluation: a study of Hispanic parents by Anya Revah

*NSGC = National Society of Genetic Counselors (

Tools & Resources

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Capstone Projects 

The Capstone Poster Session is the culmination of the MSA program. All graduating medical students matriculating after 2006, including students meeting the MSA requirements through the Research Track or the MSTP program, present their work in a formal poster presentation.  The 2021 event was on March 2.  All School of Medicine Phase IV students (Class of 2021) presented their scholarly works and Phase I students (Class of 2024) judged presentations.       Faculty members from across campus volunteer their time and expertise to evaluate the student’s posters and presentations. In addition, the students also evaluate the work of their peers; selecting a 'Student's Choice' poster(s) from each of the 5 MSA thematic areas.  In 2020, there were approximately 160 student presenters, and 50 faculty evaluators. Our goal is for each student to be visited by at least two faculty judges. If you are a CU SOM faculty member and are interested in evaluating posters during the Capstone event please fill out the faculty registration form. If you would like addition information, please contact the MSA program at [email protected] The Capstone is held during the ICC 8004 course, when all 4th year medical students are on campus. 

Contact Information 

MSA Course Director:

Thematic Areas and Associate Directors:

Global Health:

Program Coordinator: 

MSA Library Liaison:

CU Anschutz

Fitzsimons Building

13001 East 17th Place

Campus Box C290

Aurora, CO 80045



What Is a Capstone Project?

How to write an a+ capstone project, capstone writing: 10 must-follow steps, tips: how to choose a successful topic, 50 best project ideas: grab them right now, nursing capstone project ideas, computer science capstone ideas, psychology topics, management topic, medical ideas, education topics.

A culminating paper, the most important academic writing assignment, or senior exhibition – when you hear these names, it means that we are talking about the capstone project. It is the most important paper which every student will face. And if you are one of them and feel confused or terrified, no worries anymore, because, in this article, you will find everything you need to know about capstone project ideas , tips, steps, etc. Just keep reading.

It is a special paper which is the obligatory part of any graduate program. Sometimes it is a part of the last year of high school. It shows all the intellectual experience and academic skills of the student. It is a multilateral writing assignment that is considered as a culminating academic task on the topic that is relevant to your specialty (management, marketing, nursing, computer science, etc.).

How does it look? In some way, it is similar to the thesis but it has a more complicated structure, contains much more information, demands a deep investigation. In your paper, you should show all your skills and knowledge which you have obtained during your studying.

This paper requires meticulous and scrupulous preparation. A student should devote a lot of time and pay special attention to the writing process. It is the most important task that you will have during your studying. If you feel that you can’t cope with it or you don’t have enough time, professional writers can help you with any task. So let’s talk about how to work on it.

Usually, the topic is assigned by the teacher. But how to choose the topic if you have a free choice? Use the checklist below for discovering whether your topic is good enough.

Here you will find winning capstone project ideas from different categories:

We tried to give you all the necessary information on how to make a well-designed capstone project. If you have any questions or suggestions, we will be happy to hear them, just leave them in the comments and let's discuss.

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Capstone Projects

The Capstone Project (HSR 500; 1.0 Course Unit) serves as a culminating experience and summative product of students’ experiences in the master’s program. It provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their research development, data gathering and management, analysis, interpretation and dissemination skills. The Capstone Project is conducted as an independent study. Students spend their first several quarters in the master's program developing an original and independent research proposal under the guidance of faculty advisers. Students gather data and complete analysis before enrolling in HSR 500. While enrolled in HSR 500, students draft their project manuscript, receive feedback from advisers and prepare a final manuscript that is suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Recent Student Projects

Capstone Project Topics & Free Sample Ideas

Our service Advantage

01. - Develop a Relevant Research Topic.

You need to have a great research idea that addresses a relevant research gap. We are more than willing to support you, let us know.

02. - Defend & have your Topic Approved.

If possible, review or have your topic approved by your supervisor or senior research advisor so that you do not start and later stall midway.

03. - You can now Start your Research Process.

When your topic has finally been approved & is researchable, you can now start the research process : We can help you Step by Step.

 The Steps to Writing and Developing an Excellent Capstone Project Topic!

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Best Topic Ideas for a Clinical Medicine Capstone Project

Research Ideas to Consider When About to do your Project

Innovative Clinical Medicine Capstone Project Topic Samples

A study to investigate the methods of taking care of patients suffering from a certain disease . 

There are different methods that medical caregivers use to take care of their patients. This is because there are special diseases that require special attention than others. This study will, therefore, assess different care methods that are used to take care of patients suffering from a given disease. Obtain quality clinical medicine capstone project topic help from our research topic writers.

Using cloud computing and information technology to detect and prevent diseases . 

The use of cloud computing and information technology has facilitated immense growth in the healthcare industry. This study will assess how cloud computing technologies and information technology could facilitate real-time access to data that is useful in detecting rapidly spreading diseases and also provide a solution on how to stop those diseases.

Impact of health education in preventing communicable diseases in rural areas . 

S ome diseases are hard to understand when people are not aware of the signs and symptoms. Therefore, such diseases spread fast, especially in areas where health education is not provided. This study will research how health education could be offered in rural areas to help in preventing communicable diseases.  Research Topic Help has legit clinical medicine capstone project topic writers that you can hire at any time.

Cost-effective strategies for preventing infectious and communicable diseases in the most vulnerable population . 

Diseases like Ebola spread fast and have devastating effects on the human population if not controlled. This research will evaluate the cost-effective mechanisms that could be used to prevent infectious diseases from spreading during times of outbreaks. As such, the research will unveil efficient but cost-effective strategies for preventing the spread of infectious and communicable diseases.

Examining the benefits of sex education in preventing unwanted pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Diseases . 

Early pregnancies force many youths to drop out of school or develop health complications during birth. In addition, unprotected sex is the main cause of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. This study will assess the benefits associated with teaching sex education to youths at an early age especially in eradicating sexual-related problems. You can request  help in generating a good clinical medicine capstone topic from our reliable research assistants.

Understanding the role of a healthy diet and physical activities in preventing diseases . 

Healthy dieting and physical activities are associated with a healthy body. Many people are usually advised to engage in body shaping exercises and eat a healthy diet to avoid contracting some diseases. This research will aim at identifying which type of food is considered a healthy diet and its role in preventing diseases. 

It is tempting to leave our site and continue searching for the best online clinical medicine capstone project topic ideas help site. But don’t! This is because we offer superior services when it comes to creating reliable topic ideas for a clinical medicine capstone project. We tailor our help to suit your specific capstone project writing needs. You can trust that we shall help you with your clinical medicine capstone project. Take advantage of our services and be assured of developing a great case study.

An Effective Clinical Medicine Capstone Should be Free from Errors

With the right guidelines, you will complete your capstone project on time.

People get sick every day, due to various weather changes and the consumption of certain foods. In the current years, the rate at which people get sick has heightened, making it necessary to recruit more nurses and doctors. That is why many people have enrolled in clinical medicine courses. As a student who is pursuing clinical medicine, you need not only intellectual knowledge but also a passion for taking care of patients. You will need to understand how to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases, something that will require you to put a lot of effort into your academics. You need to portray your learned clinical medicine skills and expertise through a well-written clinical medicine capstone project . That is a significant project, which should be very professional and complete. Its professionalism begins with a very relevant, suitable, and engaging topic, which you need to create based on current and ideal ideas. It is highly essential to write and submit a capstone project that can be approved by the instructor if you want to graduate and become a professional medical practitioner. 

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Capstone Project Ideas That Will Get You That Sweet "A" Grade

Daniel Howard

Table of contents

What is a capstone project ? We have the whole blog dedicated to this question. Now, let's speak about worthy capstone project ideas as it is quite difficult to find them. You should use your research advisor’s help. Expert advice will help on the topic that will demonstrate what subject can be great for students’ proper training. You can overcome challenges and achieve required results by studying the topic thoroughly and understanding its essence. Use special academic articles, if you need help drawing a final line under the learning process. By choosing the main topic, you can reveal your skills and talents to the academic community, so no way should you neglect the preparation. You can get a good grade and demonstrate your best qualities by writing a single paper.

How to Come Up With Capstone Project Ideas

It takes time to look for the right capstone research project ideas. More so, than preparing the final paper. The fact is that it will be impossible to create an interesting project without having certain creative skills. Lacking ideas or insufficient work on covering your point will result in failure. Preparation for writing your capstone project includes this stages:

You can study only if you focus on the relevant topic. The lacking interest is quite noticeable in the paper, which is unacceptable. By brainstorming before writing the project, you should discover your advantages and demonstrate them properly. If you want instant results, then check out our  capstone project writing service . 

Medical Capstone Project Ideas

The best capstone project medical ideas are developed following a sample, with a suitable direction being easy to find. Delivering high-quality performance of the paper is important. After all, your work result depends on it. Every interested graduate can find a worthy topic on the Internet. Search for topics will be effective if you focus on some limited options.

Capstone Project Ideas for Nursing

The activity field plays a decisive role, so nursing capstone project ideas are worth paying attention to. Use different nursing essay examples for your writing. Keep in mind that you can count on your advisor’s help when preparing the paper. You should make a difficult choice from the following suggested options:

Don’t be afraid to look for a variety of topics! Restrictions will prevent you from making the right choice. Make sure that the chosen topic corresponds to your worldview. You should do everything possible so you can express your ideas in a comprehensible way.

Capstone Project Ideas for Healthcare Administration

Personal interest helps in covering the discussed healthcare administration capstone project ideas. You rarely get an opportunity to highlight an acute and exciting issue. You should take advantage! Take a look at these topics:

Solving diverse tasks accounts for most of the administrators’ work. Can you get on well with patients and employees? Great! It will make it possible to achieve the set goals on the cheap. Professionalism without proper experience is not that important, after all.

Pharmacy Capstone Project Ideas

The search for capstone project ideas on pharmacy implies developing common issues from the field. Pharmacists are medical employees who communicate with patients more often than others. The friendly attitude and opportunity to help a visitor make them work tirelessly. The choice of the article direction can influence your working attitude in the future. Interesting ideas are as follows:

Popular non-drug treatments of certain diseases cause complications. Project on a topic that concerns it will help in attracting attention to it.

Psychology Capstone Project Ideas

It is tricky enough to choose capstone project ideas for Psychology. After all, the topic is based on a certain interest. You should forget titles you are not interested in. You will get a good grade if you describe a few opinions on the covered topic. You can finish the course in Psychology by working on one of the following topics:

Diverse topics can show you from a new side. It will allow you to put forward your own theory.

Education Capstone Project Ideas

You can show skills and capabilities for critical thinking upon deciding your capstone project ideas on Education. Those students who have chosen the right direction can get topics and continue with their professional growth. The search for worthy topics about education in a school or college will become a starting point for future achievements.

Mathematics Capstone Project Ideas

The right Math capstone project ideas will allow you to take a new look at application of calculations in everyday life. The following list will help you with finding a suitable idea:

Explaining the interest in mathematics is difficult. This doesn’t mean that there are no interesting ideas for the graduation paper. Theoretical studies ensure validity of results and allow you to control your research.

Capstone Project Ideas: High School

What are some quality high school capstone project ideas, you may ask. The education system is undergoing major changes. It is worth paying attention to the consequences of such innovations. Transition to remote learning allows to detect shortcomings in a new teaching method and develop problem-solving strategies. Choosing topics will be easier if you look through the list of options:

By studying relevant topics, you will be able to prepare for the beginning of professional activity in educational institutions.

Science Capstone Project Ideas

Science capstone project ideas depend on your direction, but this doesn’t mean that there are any restrictions. During the preparation of your final project, after completing your studies at Department of Technology, you should find new perspectives and consider those topics that potentially can make some contribution. Student must research their field of interest and focus on suitable options. Searching for information takes time, but the result is worth your effort. A small review will help you find a relevant topic.

Biology Capstone Project Ideas

By studying capstone project ideas for Biology, you can get answers for common questions. You can also find a simple solution for some issues. Thus, students can influence processes and prevent false information from spreading. Following these ideas will help get a dose of inspiration for you project: 

An attempt in creating a fascinating written piece will be a successful subject for studying reliable information from a few sources.

Can't find a fitting capston project topic idea? Give StudyCrumb's topic generator a try. 

Physics Capstone Project Ideas

People’s interest in Physics is easy to explain. Simple and logically explained processes can help you get rid of vague questions easily. Right choice of ap physics capstone project ideas from the following list will provide you with necessary inspiration when preparing your paper:

Any physical phenomenon that you are interested in can become the main subject of your study.

Data Science Capstone Project Ideas

Application of advanced technological methods for studying research results makes it possible to simplify project preparation, so you shouldn’t refuse such support. There is a variety of interesting capstone project ideas data science available:

Keep in mind that your resources are not limited, so decide on a topic you are interested in. The more data you collect, the more field work you should go through.

Business Capstone Project Ideas

Conducting business activities enables you to cover various capstone project ideas Business. Final results of work will show how well resources have been allocated. This will also teach you to reach a new level using limited opportunities. Choice of a management tool affects research results as well. It will be much easier to cover your ideas if you shift attention to aspects of your interest. There are no other ways in which you can make your paper effective.

Management Capstone Project Ideas

Paper preparation will begin immediately after choosing project management capstone ideas and obtaining required information. Any organization that offers its services for visitors can become a research object. Modern trends show that following topics will find readers’ response:

Creating a kind of application will enable you to find a way out of any difficult situations.

Topics for Capstone Project in Finance

Since students gain knowledge about commercial organizations’ financial activities, it will be impossible to avoid Finance capstone project. Those business areas that actively use financial resources are of particular interest. To choose worthy ideas, you can have look at suggested options:

You can collect information you will need for your paper online.

IT Capstone Project Ideas

Using a global system so you can get results is no longer a new method. That's why choice of capstone project ideas for information Technology should be taken seriously. After all, modern computers are used more and more often in everyday life. It can provide access to a variety of publications. Use resources so you can cover a topic and be prepared to search far and wide for needed information. An advantage of choosing this field will be an opportunity to influence the future of an industry.

Computer Science Capstone Project Ideas

When it comes to capstone project ideas, Computer Science just begs to use opportunities offered by the Internet. An attempt of finding a suitable topic will be successful if you start with studying list of options for writing a paper about software:

Application of technology has reached a new practical level. You shouldn’t just get stuck with your regular printed books and papers. Searching for exciting topics and conducting studies won’t take long.

Cybersecurity Capstone Project Ideas

So, cyber security capstone project ideas are a thing nowadays. Cybersecurity plays an important role in the modern world, so, should you choose this field of study, don't ignore any piece information that you can find. Developing an exciting project will enable you to improve your skills and put them into practice. You should pay special attention to the following topics:

Progressive developers should enhance modern skills and their practical application. To write a paper, you may need to get permission from an administrator, so you should keep that in mind.

Graphic Design Capstone Project Ideas

A graphic designer is a sought-after expert in the modern world and capstone design project ideas should be as good as they can. List of specialist’s main tasks includes developing logos and booklets, writing a video series for advertising products, and much more. An attempt to create a new graphical solution is the first level of skills improvement. Search for topics is the second important step, with the following to help you:

By developing unique design, you will attract large companies’ attention and become a confident competitor in this field.

Engineering Capstone Project Ideas

Among capstone project ideas, Engineering is one of the most interesting topics. It’s also widely promoted around the world. Available resources are used in full force, which enhances technical progress. It is still too early to stop at what has been achieved, so one should keep working and demonstrate great results. Search for topics takes quite long since this field is rapidly developing. Transition to alternative solutions to everyday tasks forces us to look for safe and working ways to achieve your set goal.

Mechanical Engineering Capstone Project Ideas

To develop capstone project ideas for Mechanical Engineering, you need to be interested in finding a solution. It’s impossible to do this without a proper interest in a breakthrough. Use knowledge you got to your advantage and take a closer look at suggested list of exciting topics:

An unbiased look at existing problems will enable you to show your creative potential and prove that your are suited to be a mechanical engineer.

Electrical Engineering Capstone Project Ideas

What can you say about capstone project ideas for Electrical Engineering? Electrical engineering plays a special role in everyday life. It also significantly improves quality of life. Technology studies will not only emphasize its importance but will have you understand a thing or two about its efficiency as well. You can choose topics from the following list:

Choosing a specific direction will help you demonstrate your potential and focus on solving everyday problems.

Computer Engineering Capstone Project Ideas

With how important technology is nowadays, it's no surprise that capstone project ideas for Computer Engineering are quite popular. Students are engaged in developing new software for solving a variety of tasks. Your capstone project should be aimed at introducing computer systems-based technologies. Popular topics consist of a few relevant topics:

Introduction of engineering solutions in everyday life can improve quality of services. It can provide necessary support to people with health problems.

Civil Engineering Capstone Project Ideas

Civil Engineering capstone project ideas are important if you are interested in seeing physical evidence of your work in real life. To develop the selected area, you will need to make efforts to improve conditions for people to live in. If you want to answer some concerns of accomplished professionals in this field, you need to prepare a project on one of the following topics:

A study of natural resources influence on service life and peculiarities of building construction and a careful study of underlying factors will result in an improvement in current results.

Final Thoughts on Ideas for Capstone Project

Choice of work field is based on conducting research on capstone project topics. Lack of interest has a negative effect on quality. It will be much easier to test your achievements and skills in the course using the latest topics. Or  buy capstone project online for a shortcut.

Our paper writing service can help to write a capstone project for you. We guarantee meeting the deadlines and deliver a project og of high quality.

FAQ about Capstone Project Ideas

1. are capstone projects hard.

Completing the course in chosen specialty implies mandatory preparation of capstone projects. The main challenge is to choose a topic and conduct research. As a student, you should demonstrate your skills in a chosen field. It’s enough to take the first step in right direction, though. The main problem is to find a really interesting topic.

2. What is the point of capstone?

Purpose of preparing a capstone project is to demonstrate your professional attitude to raised problems. Using acquired knowledge and an opportunity to make the world a better place are the main reasons to start preparing final project.

3. What is the difference between a thesis and a capstone project?

It is worth paying attention to differences between capstone project and a thesis. Basically, thesis is written when you're aiming for bachelor's and master's degrees. Meanwhile, capstone project is a piece of writing that you are expected to finish (typically) at the end of high school. Considering this, the length and scope can be different. For instance, capstone focuses on a narrower and more specific area. At the same time, thesis is written on much broader topic.

4. Is capstone required?

No, a capstone is usually not required. Some schools may make it mandatory for certain degrees, though. Choosing a specific topic means that student is willing to take risks. It shows that you try to achieve their goal. There is no other way to draw a final line in the chosen education program.


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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Gateways Program

Capstone project.

All students in the Master of Medical Science program complete a focused community project of benefit to their longitudinal community healthcare site and patients.

You will be able to choose from a variety of projects offered by your community site.  Projects must be approved by both the ScM program director and the site coordinator at your community healthcare site.

Goals & Objectives

Recent Projects

View previous capstone projects at the Brown Digital Repository (BDR).

Go to the BDR

Poster Session 2022

University of Notre Dame

College of sceince, hillebrand center for compassionate care in medicine.

2022 Capstone Projects

Jack bryan - gender in healthcare .

Jack Bryan

Gender plays a critical role in human interaction with women gaining an increasing role in society as it pertains to the workforce, education, and leadership. The effects of gender on the shifting landscape of the healthcare system are unclear yet must have an impact. Even in my coursework as a pre-med student, I have noticed an increase in female classmates to the point where they are the majority. Thus, I wanted to determine how gender could affect my effectiveness as a physician due to patient perception, aptness to care, and other gender stereotypes. I investigated the trends of gender in today’s world by looking at healthcare system demographics. This consisted of an extensive review studying treatment modalities by gender, effects of gender concordance, effects of gender on patient outcome, gender in residency, and gender interactions between coworkers. I concluded that balanced compassionate caring could help diminish negative gender differences in the healthcare system. We can all learn and grow in our careers, following best practices when demonstrated by women and likewise when demonstrated by men.

Cole Carpenter- The Application of Compassionate Care to the Care of Patients with Dementia and Their Families 

Cole Carpenter

As people worldwide live longer and have improving access to life-preserving healthcare, the number of older adults with dementia continues to rise.  As this disease becomes more and more common in our aging population, personally affecting millions of Americans each year, it is critical that the methods of compassionate care necessary to provide adequate care for these individuals are researched and communicated. My decision to research this topic is personal, as I have lost multiple family members to dementia in recent years. IN this paper, I describe, using support from empirical research, how important compassionate care is for patients who suffer from, family members who bear the burden of, and clinicians who treat dementia. Considerations of compassionate care are made for patients, patient families, and clinicians.  Directions for future research are explored.

Ava DeLonais-Dick - Compassionate Care and the Native American Health Care System 

Ava Delonais Dick

Native Americans face chronic and deep-rooted health disparities. This is driven by promises broken by the United States government, previous abuse of Native communities, poverty, and underfunding of Indian Health Care programs. These systemic problems that cause the health disparities experienced by Native Americans are not going away any time soon and have led to cracks in the patient physician relationship. There is justifiably a lack of trust in the physician, education, and Western medicine within Native American communities. Unfortunately, this lack of trust results in gaps in medical knowledge for the patient, a sense of hopelessness, and lack of motivation when it comes to dealing with their illness and the prospect of recovery. For the doctors, this leads to frustration and burn out. Ideally, these problems would already be fixed, however, there are things physicians can do to help bridge the gap and rebuild the trust of Native American communities. This lack of trust must be addressed by understanding the significance of Native American historical trauma and their culture. Once this has been addressed and Native culture has been incorporated into Western Medicine, clinics have seen significant improvements in patient understanding, adherence, and trust of their physicians. Application of Motivational Interviewing has also been shown to be an effective method of rebuilding trust in the patient physician relationship within Native communities. Beyond the external relationship there are also implicit biases of the physician that can unintentionally play a role in the maltreatment of Native American patients. However, these implicit biases can be overrun by paying explicit attention to the patient as an individual and positive thinking.

Mary Clare Donnelly - Applying the Compassion Science Model for Transgender Patients Experiencing Pregnancy

Mary Clare Donnelly

Transgender individuals likely represent between 0.3 and 0.5% of the U.S. population. Throughout history, they have traditionally faced pervasive discrimination and invisibility, but in recent years, transgender people have experienced significant advances in societal acceptance of their identity (Obedin-Maliver). However, in healthcare, most providers still assume that all people who have uteruses and ovaries are women (Rainbow Health Ontario) . People who do not identify as women still can become pregnant, intentionally and unintentionally, even after undergoing gender-affirming processes and treatments. Many patients are interested in future pregnancy and parenthood at different ages and stages in their transition process. However, there is currently little clinical guidance for fertilization, prenatal, during childbirth, and postpartum care. The relationship between the doctor and the patient has the potential to cause adverse or harmful effects on patient outcomes, especially for patients who are not cis-gender women going through pregnancy. The compassionate science model provides a unique lens for analysis on both the patient and physician experience when treating this vulnerable patient population. We can use this model and principles of trauma informed care to find and implement compassionate care that facilitates positive doctor/patient interactions.

Rosie Dunn - Ableism in Medicine and Its Harmful Effects on Patients and Providers 

Rosie Dunn

Disability is a part of human diversity and is the largest minority group in the United States-approximately a quarter of Americans live with a disability. Unfortunately, there is still ableism in all aspects of our society, causing people with disabilities to be excluded from active participation in society. Medicine is not exempt from ableist actions and attitudes. Ableism in medicine affects the health of many people with disabilities through receiving unequal access to care and having assumptions and negative attitudes portrayed about them by healthcare professionals. Ableism in medicine also limits the amount of healthcare providers who have disabilities themselves and perpetuates dangerous stigmas about mental healthcare among medical students and other healthcare professionals. Disabled people bring a unique and valuable perspective to medicine, as they often have extensive experience as patients themselves and have experiences of illness and injury that can not be taught or learned without experiencing it firsthand. Physicians and all who work in healthcare should become aware of how disability and medicine intersect to provide informed and compassionate care. Through the inclusion of people with disabilities in healthcare, revision of ableist and outdated technical standards, and the promotion of support groups and networks for disabled healthcare practitioners, ableism in medicine can be reduced so healthcare can become more inclusive, diverse, and effective.

Chloe Dunseath - From Diagnosis to Discharge: Special Considerations in Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Units 

Chloe Dunsheath

From diagnosis to discharge, a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), or commonly known as bone marrow transplant (BMT), is a grueling yet rewarding treatment that often provides a life-long cure to otherwise devastating diseases. Pediatric bone marrow transplants are especially complex due to the involvement of parents or guardians as the final decision-makers of their child’s care. The stepwise and detail-oriented nature that HSCT treatment requires to be successful means that patients and their families become inpatients in the hospital over the many weeks to months it takes for the treatment to work. During this time, and for many, even after leaving the hospital, there are issues that patients and their families encounter of psychosocial, financial, and informational nature. On the other side of treatment, healthcare providers experience problems regarding burnout, increased employee turnover, and predicted shortages in the field that can impact the treatment of BMT patients. Compassionate caring strategies and technologies have been employed to counter some of the issues inherent in the BMT process. This paper ultimately seeks to outline the pediatric BMT process, identify key problems patients and providers face during BMT, and to address solutions that have been employed in real-time settings.

Carly Hall - The Role of Compassion in Delivering Bad News to Cancer Patients  

Carly Hall

Cancer patients face an undue burden in healthcare as they must navigate through the mental and physical suffering of the disease, as well as the many uncertainties of their care. They interact extensively with healthcare providers throughout their treatment, and are subject to psychological effects of care that far surpass just the disease itself. Thus, it is an essential component of compassionate care for clinicians to be skilled in the delivery of bad news to these vulnerable patients. There is a need to explore research-based aspects of delivering bad news, specifically from the perspective of cancer patients themselves. The strategies and techniques outlined in this paper serve to reduce emotional distress of cancer patients regarding their diagnosis and improve satisfaction in the doctor-patient relationship. Despite efforts to effectively communicate in the delivery of bad news, there are common barriers that clinicians face, specifically when the patient’s and their families’ emotional needs and desires differ from the clinician's. Regardless of these challenges, there are effective, empirically researched strategies for delivering bad news that clinicians must utilize to be compassionate advocates for their patients. The way in which clinicians deliver news is critical to patients’ understanding of their disease and their emotional state and can provide needed strength and support for their patients.

Cormac Huyen - Fostering a Compassionate Relationship with Patients Who Have a Language Barrier 

Cormac Huyen

In the current state of modern medicine, patients who do not speak the same language as their medical provider experience worse health outcomes. This is only becoming a more pressing issue in the medical field as there are more interactions hindered by a language barrier. With the United States becoming more diverse and more American clinicians participating in humanitarian work in the developing world, there will only be more medical interactions hindered by a language barrier between clinician and patient. A comprehensive medical literature search was performed using Pub med to see if with compassionate care these negative health outcomes can be mitigated by clinicians through employing simple language, effectively using a medical interpreter, displaying positive nonverbal cues, and adapting to cultural differences. This paper proposes solutions on how to mitigate the negative health outcomes associated with patients who have a language barrier.

Olivia Krumweide - Compassionate Care and Miscarriage in the Emergency Department 

Olivia Krumwiede

Women who experience miscarriage in the emergency department often leave their encounters with healthcare professionals feeling negatively about the emotional care that they received. Evaluating feedback from women who received care for a miscarriage in the emergency department as well as feedback from providers who provide this emergency care illuminates the gaps in care present in the current system of miscarriage treatment. The issues most commonly reported by these women were feeling as if their loss is minimized by emergency department staff, having too little information provided, a lack of access to privacy and a sense of dignity, and a lack of follow up care. Implementing structural changes to the healthcare system as well as teaching and implementing the compassionate care mindset for emergency department staff can help meet the emotional needs for women undergoing the trauma of miscarriage while providing positive effects on the job satisfaction of the healthcare worker.

Mark Kurpatti - Patient Advocacy and Compassionate Care for Rare Disease Patients

Mark Kurapatti

In the present moment, about 25 million Americans with rare diseases are navigating an isolating and emotionally draining life-or-death journey. Overall, while individual rare diseases impact a small fraction of society, the cumulative impact of about 7,000 known rare diseases is devastating. Unfortunately, rare diseases face being neglected in many fields, including the biomedical research field, the pharmaceutical industry, and the medical field. Although there have been improvements over time, the biomedical research and pharmaceutical field continue to overlook R&D for rare diseases due to practical limitations, limited funds, and a lack of financial incentive. Furthermore, in the clinical world, there is inadequate attentiveness to rare disease complexity and the mental health of rare disease patients and their caregivers. Over the past several decades, patient advocacy organizations have played an instrumental role in pushing for policy reform, connecting patient families with indispensable resources and other patient families, educating physicians, funding rare disease research endeavors, and making expensive treatments more affordable. The application of patient advocacy to healthcare culture can connect rare disease patients and their families with essential resources and improve diagnostic accuracy and treatment outcomes. However, there are organizational, financial, and cultural barriers preventing the implementation of patient advocacy in the clinical world. As such, the present research report argues for the framing of patient advocacy within the larger compassionate care paradigm. A comprehensive literature search using PUBmed was employed to evaluate the role of compassionate care and patient advocacy in the overall treatment of rare disease. Prior literature demonstrates compassionate care successfully improves outcomes at the physician-patient and organizational levels. Therefore, compassionate care united with patient advocacy in the healthcare setting has the power to transform the psychosocial health, diagnostic accuracy, and treatment outcomes of patients with rare diseases.

Charlie Lemkuil - The Heart of Cardiological Care: A Review of How Aspects of Cardiological Care Affect Patient Outcomes

Charlie Lemkuil

The human heart has been the subject of study by poets, cardiologists, and everyone in between for thousands of years. While there have been many great advances in cardiological care technology, cardiovascular disease still remains the leading cause of death in the United States. If our technology is improving, shouldn’t patient outcomes be improving as well? This paper analyzes the different aspects of care provided by a cardiologist in order to see which have the greatest impact on patient outcomes. The patient outcomes before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic for diagnostic testing, lifestyle change counseling, prescribing medications, and performing interventional procedures were compared to patient outcomes after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results revealed that the use of lifestyle change counseling through telehealth visits during the COVID-19 pandemic led to significantly increased patient outcomes even when diagnostic testing and interventional procedures were unavailable. This was shown through dramatic increases in patient adherence that correlated with improved patient outcomes. Cardiologists were shown to be able to increase patient adherence to prescriptions and lifestyle changes through the use of motivational interviewing. By incorporating motivational interviewing into patient visits, cardiologists could weaken cardiovascular disease’s grip on the United States.

Ethan Low - The Importance of Compassionate Care in Elderly Population 

Ethan Low

As the world continues to age and healthcare costs increase, it is important for healthcare professional to implement compassionate caring as a fundamental aspect of providing quality cost-efficient elderly care. This present paper first identifies 4 major themes of compassionate care in long term care facilities: 1) Expression of innate virtues 2) Seeking an understanding of the patient and their needs 3) Patient communication 4) Actions aimed at addressing patient needs beyond medical needs. The paper continued the discussion of compassion by examining compassion and empathy skills interventions that were shown to improve patient-level outcomes, caregiver empathy scores, and caregiver attitudes towards elderly. Further, this paper defines compassionate care in the unique context of treating dementia patients with diminish cognitive abilities. The research suggests that the following themes are essential for compassionate dementia care: 1) Understanding the patient’s situation and struggles 2) Recognizing the person’s dignity and humanity 3) Responding to suffering through kindness and non-judgmental support of the patient. Lastly, this paper bolsters the need for compassionate care by detailing unique barriers to quality healthcare that disproportionately affect elderly patients.

Emma Nowak - Family Caregiving and the Transition of a Loved One into a Skilled Care Facility 

Emma Nowak

Family caregivers have a challenging yet rewarding role that evolves over time. The decision to transition a loved one into a care facility is a difficult one that depends upon an assortment of interpersonal, familial, cultural, and emotional factors. Health care professionals often recommend care facility placement based upon the level of care the family can provide and the needs of the patient. Family caregivers often view care facilities as last resorts and delay the admission of their loved ones for as long as possible. It is important, however, that families proactively plan for possible care home placement, so the wishes of the older adult in question can be considered. When the older adult is included in the decision-making process about the timing and placement location, it increases both caregiver and older adult satisfaction following the transition. Family caregivers often feel guilty and experience a sense of failure and role loss after their loved one moves into a care facility. However, the family members continue to play important roles in caring for their loved ones by providing emotional support, surveilling their care, and providing hands-on assistance. The care facility staff should empower family members in their new caregiving roles and provide space for them to express their concerns and questions. Ultimately, each person will have a unique experience in caring for their loved one, and the support of health care professionals, family members, and friends plays a critical role in the caregiver’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Claire Noyes - Intersectionality of Poverty, Race, and the Black Maternal Mortality Rate in the United States 

Claire Noyes

The United States is one of the only developed countries where maternal mortality rates continue to rise. Black mothers are disproportionately affected; they are two to three times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth compared to their white counterparts. This paper is focused on the intersectionality of the black maternal mortality rate as it relates to both race and poverty. Studies show physicians’ implicit biases towards ethnic minorities are expressed in patient interactions through nonverbal cues and behaviors. Patients perception of physicians’ biases impacts the communication and strength of the physician-patient. Racial biases are also built into the healthcare system making diagnosis and care of ethnic minorities more difficult. Poverty creates its own set of implicit biases in physicians and impacts access to healthcare resources and insurance. Black mothers are likely to be impacted by both their socioeconomic status and racial bias and barriers in healthcare, and in effect, experience healthcare disparities related to both identities. Black mothers receive less diagnoses and management of chronic pre-existing health conditions and lack proper prenatal care due to the confines of poverty and race. These factors considered together contribute to the disproportionate composition of the maternal mortality rate by black mothers. In response to the poverty and racial factors contributing to the black maternal mortality rate, this paper also explores methods of addressing these disparities through the lens of compassionate care in medicine. Proposed solutions include improving quality of care for black mothers within hospitals, addressing physician biases early in their careers, and expanding access to resources through expanded insurance coverage.

John Pape - Facilitating the Care of Blind and Visually Impaired Patients

John Pape

Those who are blind or visually impaired face a number of barriers when it comes to receiving healthcare, in areas such as basic respect, communication with their caregivers, access to the hospital or clinic, acquiring health information, experiencing feelings of isolation, and having to advocate for their own care. Thus, caregivers must use certain communication skills in order to provide quality care for their blind and visually impaired patients. For instance, clinicians must help their blind and visually impaired patients get used to their surroundings and work to keep it safe. Moreover, clinicians can communicate better with their blind and visually impaired patients by using techniques like reading aloud what gets put into the medical record and directly talking to their patient instead of a person with sight in the room. Caregivers can also assist their blind and visually impaired patients by helping them ambulate. Furthermore, providers should ask their blind and visually impaired patients how they want their health materials provided, such as through a recording, large print, or email. Even in the pharmacy, pharmacists can help their blind and visually impaired patients by methods like putting three rubber bands on a pill bottle that must be taken three times a day. Yet, while all of these communication skills have a use in helping blind and visually impaired patients feel cared for in either a hospital or a clinic, they mainly involve one-on-one conversations between caregivers and their patients. As a result, the hospital or clinic where these providers work needs to encourage a compassionate caring ethic of blind and visually impaired patients throughout the entire medical setting. Hospitals have already started to take up this call, such as St. David’s North Austin Medical Center in Austin, Texas, where nurses made toolboxes with useful items for the daily care of their visually impaired patients. Other hospitals, such as Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and the University of Miami Health System’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, work to assist the blind and visually impaired patients that enter their buildings. In fact, the story of Marcus Engel showcases what caring for a blind person looks like in real life. Overall, this paper seeks to provide guidance in how caregivers can properly care for their blind and visually impaired patients.

Matthew Papiernik - Pediatric Palliative Care

Matt Papiernik

As medical innovations continue to progress, the need for pediatric palliative care has become even more evident. The main goal of pediatric palliative care is to provide the pediatric patient in need with the opportunity to have an overall higher quality of life when compared to the continuation of intensive medical treatment. Pediatric palliative care focuses on a holistic form of medicine that accounts for not only the physical symptoms of a pediatric patient but also emphasizes the importance of relieving the corresponding psychosocial and spiritual aliments of both the patient and family in end-of-life decisions. Throughout pediatric palliative care treatment, communication and the role of religion are core aspects of the treatment that can better the holistic treatment that pediatric palliative care strives to achieve. Ethical issues must also be taken into consideration when proceeding with this method of treatment to ensure that the pediatric patient receives care in their best interest. A comprehensive literature search using PubMed was performed to evaluate the role of compassionate care and religion in pediatric palliative care. Data from 30 journal articles pertaining to pediatric palliative care were analyzed to compile this paper.

Gabriella  Patiño - Solutions to and Sources of Burnout and Compassion Fatigue in Pediatric Palliative Care 

Gabriella Patin O

Pediatric palliative care (PPC) involves caring for patients to help improve their quality of life and provide relief from the symptoms and stresses of a serious illness. PPC can lead to incredible personal growth and be a rewarding field for physicians. However, it can also take a toll on a health care provider’s well-being because of the emotionally demanding nature of the specialty. There are many complexities that contribute to the higher rates of burnout such as the physician-patient-parent triadic relationship. The physician’s own health can affect the delivery of care and outcomes for the patient. Burnout demands to be addressed in the medical field. There are solutions that can be implemented on every level of the healthcare system. In this paper, the current state of pediatric palliative care is discussed and the neuroscience behind empathy and compassion is explained. The distinct neural pathways of compassion are important to understand to better implement trainings and interventions in the workplace. The major sources of burnout and compassion fatigue in PPC are identified and possible solutions are suggested on the individual, interpersonal, organizational, and policy level. Ultimately, further research is needed to better investigate the sources of compassion fatigue and develop proper solutions that can be implemented in all care facilities.

Adriana Pérez Negrón   - Improving Sensory Disabled Patient Experience at Medical Visits 

Adriana Perez Negron

Despite the fact medicine has greatly improved through time, it still has a long way to go to achieve its maximum potential. Compassion and caring are fundamental values of a patient-centered, relational model of health care. With compassion at the center of medicine, patients feel safer and more relaxed which allows them to open up and talk about their history, values, as well as what they are going through physically and emotionally. With this information, clinicians can make a better diagnosis that is not only suitable for the patient’s health and economic situation but also the patient’s values. How the clinician interacts and communicates with the patient during a medical visit can contribute to such a social engagement environment. Even though there has been an increase in prioritizing patient welfare and safety during medical visits, little information is known regarding the equivalent for people with sensory disabilities such as blindness and deafness. After providing context regarding people with disabilities and the importance of the Polyvagal Theory, this paper will start by addressing the concerns patients with sensory disabilities have, such as problems with physical touch, miscommunication, lack of descriptive comments throughout the visit, and systemic problems. Finally, it is important to also address how clinicians should improve, not just extrinsically during their medical visits, but also intrinsically concerning their attitudes.

Quinn Retzloff - Physician Clinical Attitudes in High-Stress Clinical Specialties: A Qualitative Interview Study 

Quinn Retzloff

This study is an examination of the actual clinical attitudes physicians report they practice in the high-stress clinical specialties of intensive care, emergency medicine and surgery. Compassionate Care in Medicine (CCIM) thrusts one into the most captivating aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, applying a balanced model of compassion to not only heal patients but simultaneously care for physicians. At its core, the science of compassion stresses caring for the whole person: the biological, spiritual, social and psychological aspects. The very heart of this practice often manifests itself in a generalized “caring attitude” physicians hope to employ to advocate for, diagnose, cure and accompany their patients. Most clinicians enter the medical arena with high aspirations to help others, contribute to medical excellence, be a force for good in society and display unconditional service to a diverse patient population. While some may keep these attitudes alive, many unfortunately succumb to the pressures and stress of the hospital setting, a culture that has unrealistic expectations, a sentimental view of caring and toxic institutional work environments, as well as the stresses for caring for patients with COVID-19 (Vachon, 2020). However, a rather grim outlook places its hope in modeling the attitudes physicians actively practice to maintain resilience and keep their compassionate fervor in medicine. This study highlights clinical attitudes from fourteen physicians regularly utilized to ensure maximal patient care and presence with their patients. Secondarily, this data provides strength to CCIM models such as the Clinician Compassion Mindset (Vachon, 2020), Balanced Compassionate Caring (Vachon, 2020), the Patient-centered approach (Mead & Bower, 2000), Relationship-centered caring (McCormack, 2012), Watson’s theory of caring (Watson, 2012; as seen in Smith et al., 2013) and the Planetree model (Stone, 2008). Purposive semi-structured interviews were conducted using appreciative inquiry, drawing out raw techniques used from the specialties of emergency medicine, critical care and surgery. Transcripts were independently coded and collectively analyzed by a five-member research team using a grounded theory approach. Results highlight a broad range of attitudes that are patient-centered, self-care-centered, personal, and institutional. Research findings will be used to share, circulate and educate current and future physicians. Most importantly, this study hopes to normalize conversation regarding positive clinical attitudes, capitalizing on institutionalized settings that foster open communication and collegial support among not only physicians but all medical staff. Exposing a doctor’s mind, this data allows one to enter into the rawness and grit of real medicine. Even though physically and emotionally exhausted, with compassion, a doctor’s heart remains full.

Kathryn Robinson - The Intersectional Effects of Poverty & Race/Ethnicity on Access to & Quality of Healthcare Within the US Latino Population 

Kat Robinson

Latinos are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States, projected to account for only 1 in 4 people by 2060. The Latino populations, specifically immigrants, struggle disproportionately with barriers to proper healthcare and health insurance coverage. The multitude of eligibility restrictions and dissatisfaction finding primary care providers results in significantly higher rates of obesity, diabetes, tuberculosis, and HIV. Compassionate care in medicine, associated with higher patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes, has not been investigated in different socio-cultural contexts. The aim of this essay is to explore the intersectional effects of poverty and race/ethnicity on access to and quality of healthcare within the United States Latino population and how providers can mitigate these barriers through a compassion mindset. The most common barriers to proper healthcare in the Latino community were found to be difficulty navigating the healthcare system, lack of cultural competency among the providers, and improper use of translators. Physicians can take steps to create a safe atmosphere from immigration enforcement by knowing their rights as physicians to protect and educate their patients on healthcare policies. While more physicians of color are needed, the Latino culture can still be represented by incorporating alternative medicine practices and understanding core values such as personalismo and familismo. The improper use of translators or using ad hoc translators results in decreased patient satisfaction and reduced health outcomes, but techniques to further personalize interactions with translators and providing bilingual materials mitigates these issues. Finally, proven compassionate care in medicine techniques such as the polyvagal theory and the teach-back technique should be further studied in Latino patients. 

Sebastian Sewera

Sebastian Sewera - Opening the Door to More Compassionate Care for patients with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities consistently face difficulties in accessing adequate medical care. Within the healthcare system, they are subjected to lower standards of patient-centered care. Though this underserved patient population should receive increased support to overcome challenges to high-quality healthcare, healthcare providers instead often raise additional barriers. These barriers stem from communication difficulties between patients and providers, a lack of clinician familiarity with IDD patients, and providers’ negative perceptions of the IDD patient community that are brought on by this lack of familiarity. Studies have shown that patients, their family members or caregivers, and clinicians all support the inclusion of higher patient-centered care standards for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, the implementation of systematic improvements in training and care to realize this goal is currently lacking. A comprehensive literature search was employed using Pubmed to evaluate the role of compassionate care in the care of patients with IDD. Efforts to provide more compassionate care for IDD patients should focus on the use of specialized communication styles, improved provider understanding of when to include patients in the decision-making process, and dedicated clinician training programs that will familiarize them with the needs of IDD patients prior to entering the workforce. Through these additions, and others, healthcare providers will have the tools to provide patients who have intellectual and developmental disabilities with the high-quality compassionate health care that they deserve.

Kacie Shannon - Compassion as an Instrument for Social Justice in Medicine

Kacie Shannon

Considering recent events that have brought the realities of disproportionate suffering, systemic racism, and social inequity to the forefront, the necessity of social justice (SJ) has dominated conversation. When examined through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, SJ’s encirclement of expanded equity, opportunity, and treatment for all persons is perfused with a particular sensitivity towards those in greatest need. Within medicine, a healing sector devoted to the health and well-being of humanity, healthcare institutions feel the pressure to enact socially-just practices given the increasing diversity of patient demographics, the various presentations of suffering, and the vulnerabilities inherent to clinician-patient relationships. SJ in medicine translates to the delivery of fair and appropriate treatment which can aid in eliminating disparities and optimizing patient health outcomes. Clinicians are key actors in effectuating greater SJ in medicine. One instrument critical to this process is compassion, an animating spirit that shapes a clinician’s behavior by influencing internal attitudes and external actions. The spirit of compassion entails qualities that are integral to SJ activism, thereby guiding and empowering clinicians to practice medicine rooted in virtue, equity, and sensitivity. Furthermore, self-compassion buffers the burnout frequently experienced within helping work and social activism. Pedagogical efforts to incorporate SJ training and compassion cultivation into medical school curricula are already underway. Medical specialties that have historically embraced a social justice ethos and relationship-centered care serve as valuable prototypes for widespread initiation of this caring paradigm. Overall, both a theoretical framework and empirical research provide support that a clinician grounded in compassion bears the necessary instruments to work towards social justice and promote human flourishing.

Jasmine Sindelar - Implicit Biases Based on SES and Race Harbored by Healthcare Providers 

Jasmine Sindelar

Stigma and systemic oppression are known forces that negatively affect patient health. Implicit bias from a healthcare provider perpetuates these problems within the healthcare field, without the provider even realizing it. Implicit bias is heavily present when physicians are treating people of different socioeconomic groups than their own and when treating people of different races than themselves. These biases can cause strain within the patient-provider relationship before a relationship has been properly established. Reduction of implicit biases has been shown to increase patient satisfaction with their care and patient compliance, however, little has been published on physician implicit bias training programs. Mindfulness meditation training appears to be the most promising training program, as it increases awareness and acceptance of implicit biases, increases the ability to control responses if implicit biases arise, increases compassion towards oneself and the patient, and helps physicians reduce internal sources of stress and the likelihood of burnout.

Shannon Steines - Applying the Science of Compassionate Care to Mitigate Healthcare Disparities for Limited-English Proficient Patients

Shannon Steines

There are over 25.5 million limited English Proficient (LEP) patients interacting with physicians in a plethora of cases in the U.S. every day. Within these encounters, LEP patients are receiving subpar care that is creating negative healthcare outcomes resulting in the healthcare disparities being experienced by such populations. Over half of LEP patients have no interpreter use during their inpatient clinical encounters despite evident barriers to communication. The system of the status quo has resulted in worse medical outcomes and higher rates of medical errors for LEP patients when compared to their English-speaking counterparts. Through the application of the science of compassionate care in medicine, some of these negative externalities of the current handling of LEP patients can be mitigated. Applying compassionate care to the issue at hand, it is essential that physicians are particularly aware of their non-verbal and facial cues when dealing with LEP patients to promote a feeling of safety through neuroception, and that effective communication between physician and patient is also emphasized. The best practices for promoting effective patient-physician communication for LEP patients are in this order: either (1a) true physician language concordance or bilingualism or (1b) hospital-trained in-person interpreters, (2) professionally trained video interpreters, (3) professionally trained over-the-phone interpreters, and (4) ad-hoc interpreters.

Megan Sullivan - Federally Qualified Health Centers: Burnout Reduction and Prevention Strategies for Physicians

Megan Sullivan

Physicians in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) experience disproportionate rates of burnout compared to providers working in other settings. Several strategies currently exist for combating burnout in medical professions, but these are not tailored to the unique struggles providers in FQHC settings experience. Extracting the components of current burnout reduction strategies and examining why they are effective provides useful insight to the mechanisms by which burnout is ultimately reduced. Taking these larger components and combining them with the knowledge of the challenges FQHC physicians face, novel strategies can be proposed to target this specific population of providers in reducing burnout. This paper will use literature reviews and studies to examine root causes of burnout in FQHC’s on both an individual and organizational level. In addition, the steps of the clinician compassionate mindset process will be reviewed in relation to burnout buffering and compassion fatigue. Several strategies are proposed to increase the compassion satisfaction for physicians serving in underserved areas. A more sustainable long-term approach includes structural shifts in low-income societies to address patient needs through policy changes, along with an organizational recognition of burnout and support for FQHC physicians. In addition, medical programs should shift towards implementing the lessons learned about burnout and prevention strategies into training. Education and awareness of the steps in the clinician compassionate mindset process for those in helping professions work may buffer against large numbers of burnout in the future. Understanding the signs of falling out of a compassionate mindset can bring awareness to the need for a provider to re-center and engage in other compassion recovery behaviors. Ultimately, the most effective current approach to combating burnout should focus on the individual mindset and self-care of physicians. Adjusting expectations for the populations FQHC physicians serve can help to shift their focus towards patient advocacy rather than be defeated by the structural barriers their patients face in society which disproportionately effect health outcomes.

Brian Villa - Motivation in the Healthcare Professions: A dynamic force throughout a career in medicine 

Brian Villa

In a profession that involves interacting with intense amounts of suffering, healthcare workers need to be in touch with what motivates them to do their job sustainably. While research has been able to describe what motivation looks like, there has been little work on what specifically motivates medical professionals. Within this limited body of medical motivation research, studies mainly observe physician motivation at three specific times in their careers (training, practice, and retirement). Due to recent work in the field of compassion science, there is an association that some processes appear to morph, grow, and change over the entirety of one’s career, not just in those three specific times. In being closely tied to compassion, motivation is a process that warrants this new approach. This new perspective of motivation suggests that it is actually a dynamic force that influences a healthcare worker over the course of his/her entire life. The significance of now viewing motivation as a lifelong dynamic psychological process should further indicate the need for longitudinal studies that can highlight the importance of intrinsic motivators (satisfaction, independence, etc.) as opposed to the current overemphasis on extrinsic motivators (money, benefits, etc.) in the lives of healthcare workers.

Elena Wernecke - The Grey’s Effect: How Medical Media Impacts Expectations 

Elena Wernecke

The advent of television brought with it the ability to artistically represent real-life scenarios with heightened drama that can touch souls and even teach lessons. This has been especially true for medical television, which has increasingly devoted itself to clinical and social accuracy. Through a systematic qualitative review of select episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, and Scrubs, this essay attempts to assess how these series depict different parts of healthcare, including the life of the physician, difficult communication, and the doctor-patient relationship. Further, the paper considers how these portrayals might influence the expectations of people encountering medicine. With respect to clinician life, these shows offer an understanding of a cutthroat, exhausting culture in which doctor-doctor relationships are fraught with competition but also filled with support. Audiences gain a glimpse into the emotions associated with healthcare work and the coping mechanisms used to attend to them. On the communicative side of the medicine, audiences witness difficult conversations with patients in only small snippets that partially replicate the standard protocol for these discussions, such as the S.P.I.K.E.S. protocol for breaking bad news or the multiple recommended techniques for behavior change counseling. Lastly, the shows portray the multifaceted nature of the doctor-patient relationship, how it can be well-developed and well-maintained, and how a doctor’s level of investment in the patient impacts care. Overall, the essay contributes to the literature surrounding these shows as sources of information for their viewers.

Emily Wilt - Improving Compassionate Care in Emergency Departments

Emily Wilt

The emergency department presents a unique set of stressors for physicians and patients.With urgent medical conditions that require immediate care, heavy workloads for physicians, and overcrowding, emergency departments can often feel void of compassion. Patients frequently feel as though they are just another medical case to get through rather than an actual human being who is suffering. While the science of compassion is a relatively new phenomenon, plenty of evidence has been collected to demonstrate its importance in the medical field. Research into patient perceptions of care has shown a serious lack of perceived compassion in emergency departments. Patients have cited many areas of care which they feel must be improved in order for the patients to feel as though they are being cared for with compassion. Despite the field being relatively new, studies have been conducted which have shown compassion training during medical education to be effective in raising patient satisfaction in emergency departments. In order to ensure complete compassionate care is implemented in emergency departments, creating a comprehensive training program for all physicians which addresses the patient-cited areas for improvement and incorporates training methods which have already been shown to be effective is essential. Implementing these training programs would not only provide obvious benefits to patients but will likely provide benefits to physicians as well As providing compassionate care has beneficial outcomes for both patients and physicians, this capstone aims to provide a comprehensive plan to improve the implementation of compassionate care in emergency departments.

Nicole Wisniewski - Identifying and Addressing Pandemic-Related Burnout in Physicians 

Nicole Wisniewski

Physician burnout has been an exceptionally burdensome epidemic across healthcare systems in the twenty first century. Although numerous studies have taken to understanding the causes, effects, and possible remedies for it, a novel, lesser-studied sect of burnout has arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic: physician pandemic-related burnout. Analyzing an ongoing, IRB approved qualitative study by Dr. Dominic Vachon and the Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine research team, this paper seeks to identify the ways in which pandemic-related burnout has exacerbated the causes of general burnout: excessive workload, lack of efficiency at work, disruption to work-home balance, loss of control, and loss of purpose. Additionally, a number of physician and organizational level techniques to mitigate burnout, utilized both before and during the pandemic, are presented in this paper, with emphasis on compassionate care as an effective remedy. The research reported in this paper is meant to initiate continued study in the area of burnout, particularly as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, with hopes of better addressing a critical need among physicians.  

Anabelle Wondrasch -  Porges' Polyvagal Theory in Veterinary Medicine

Anabelle Wondrasch

In the medical field, in order for a productive physician/patient relationship to develop, trust must exist as the forefront component of the interaction. It increases patient transparency, compliance, and adherence, enhancing the value of the exchange for all parties involved. But how is trust established in a relationship with a significant language barrier? More specifically, how does this occur without the use of words? Because of the primarily nonverbal nature of animal medicine, everyday veterinarians work to communicate safety to their patient through behavior rather than linguistics. And they must undertake this challenge before any social engagement between the two can occur. Despite the importance of this interaction, veterinary schools currently do not teach their students about how to wordlessly convey safety to an animal, exposing a significant gap in the curriculum. This may be able to be remedied, though. The polyvagal theory, proposed in 1994 by Stephen Porges, states how the physiological state of a mammal can influence their affective experience. Following an unconscious assessment of the situation, one of the two branches of the autonomic nervous system is mobilized, either promoting the “rest and digest” state of social engagement or the “fight or flight” state of survival. Thus, by improving our understanding of how certain non-verbal cues and behaviors may be perceived by an animal, we may be able to develop a meaningful educational tool within the field of veterinary medicine.

Avery Wright - The Relationship Between COVID-19 and Compassionate Care

Avery Wright

COVID-19 affected the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of people. In the United States, between January 21, 2020 and March 19, 2022, there have been 79,522,906 total SARS-CoV-2 cases and 4,577,492 hospitalizations due to SARS-CoV-2 (CDC, 2022). But even more people were affected in some other way, especially the health care professionals taking care of COVID-19 patients. When an unknown disease starts to spread, such as SARS-CoV-2, it is important for healthcare organizations to return the basics of care, including compassionate care, while gathering more information about the pathogen and its effects. But SARS-CoV-2 has affected clinicians’ ability to deliver compassionate care to patients and has impacted the healthcare system as a whole. On the other hand, compassionate care has the potential to combat COVID-19 and produce improved health outcomes for COVID-19 patients due to its benefits for patients, clinicians, and entire healthcare organizations. It is essential to evaluate the ways in which compassionate care has been negatively affected by COVID-19 in order to be able to regain clinician’s compassion so they are better able to deliver compassionate care to patients in need. Compassionate care should be delivered by healthcare professionals in all situations and to all patients, but it is especially essential during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic when people are suffering both physically and mentally.

Julia Zappa - Preserving Compassionate Care in the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Julia Zappa

COVID-19 has resulted in a global health emergency that has significantly affected healthcare workers. The stresses of the pandemic have resulted in staggering numbers of medical providers experiencing mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. Specifically, pandemic challenges such as insufficient knowledge concerning COVID-19, shortages of personal protective equipment, and lack of necessary medical devices have created stressful working conditions that are contributing to poor provider mental health. Similarly, systemic changes in healthcare workers’ job descriptions, difficulties dealing with unvaccinated patients, and new challenges associated with long-term COVID-19 have forced providers into unknown and uncomfortable positions. All these conditions created by the pandemic have ultimately placed strenuous and burdensome responsibilities on providers that threaten their ability to persist in their roles as compassionate caregivers. However, there are proven strategies to support medical workers. Employing techniques and practices such as Balint groups, palliative care, proper communication, and patient-centered care can enable healthcare providers to combat these obstacles and remain in a compassionate caring mindset. Thus, despite the challenges introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are various solutions that can help healthcare workers to persevere in their work and ultimately continue to compassionately care for their patients.

Emily Ziliak - Applying A Multifaceted Approach to Compassionate Genetic Medicine: A Synthesis of Determinants and Resolutions

Emily Ziliak

In 2018, it was found that 80% ofBRCAmutation carriers were unaware of its existence. What is perhaps more troubling, and what may explain this deficit, is that 70% of OB/GYNs claimed they did not possess the skills nor knowledge necessary to provide genetic counseling, specifically in regard to cancer. This figure is one example of the systematic lack of genetic medicine comprehension among primary care providers. Inevitably, this scarcity of awareness leads to missed opportunities for early detection and the possibility of preventative care.Fortunately, a review of the literature presents distinctive critiques, as well as approaches for improvement. Despite enhancement at the primary care level, there are indeed many other obstacles to genetic screening and counseling, namely socioeconomic and psychosocial concernments, which generally affect low-income or minority populations. Some of these include unequal access to high-quality medical care, expenses, linguistic barriers, and religious objections. As more attention is being placed on these matters, researchers have developed methods to minimize their burden. Many of the difficulties in obtaining genetic care begin prior to meeting with a genetic counselor; however, equal analysis should be given to the role of the genetic counselor, specifically in how to maintain a compassionate approach in response to patient suffering and grief. This capstone attempts to analyze the aforementioned components while providing numerous suggestions for advancement.

Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine


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