Housestaff Spotlight: Summer 2018

Krupa Patel, Combined IM/Preventative Medicine Residency

Specialty

GIM, Preventive Medicine

Pathway/track

Combined Internal Medicine-Preventive Medicine residency
Primary care track
QIPS (Quality Improvement & Patient Safety) pathway

Professional Interests

I’m interested in a career that combines clinical medicine (primary care) and public health. I am especially interested in how climate change affects health, including increased air pollution, extreme weather events, higher temperatures, and the spread of infectious diseases. I want to work with communities and institutions to share these stories, highlight the urgency of the problem, and advocate for solutions.

Current projects

As part of the preventive medicine residency, I am getting an MS in Epidemiology. This involves part-time classes at the BU School of Public Health, working on my thesis, and completing a public health practicum. For my thesis, I will be examining the effects of a plant-based diet on health outcomes. For my practicum, I am working with the Boston Public Health Commission to help update their extreme temperatures response plan, which is needed now more than ever due to climate change.

In addition to my preventive medicine training, I am interested in quality improvement, especially in the outpatient setting. My continuity clinic is located in the Shapiro building and I am part of the Residents of Shapiro Clinic (ROSC) Committee, which is working on a few clinic-based QI projects. My project is focused on improving communication between residents and medical assistants during clinic and using the EMR to help facilitate this communication.

Outside of residency, I am most active in two organizations – BUMC Climate Action and Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (GBPSR).

BUMC Climate Action is a mostly student group (I initially joined as a 4th year medical student) dedicated to sustainability and climate change advocacy, particularly on the BU medical campus. We helped advocate for BU divestment from fossil fuels and are currently working with BUMC leadership to increase sustainability on campus.

GBPSR advocates for climate change solutions as well, but also focuses on the issue of nuclear disarmament. Given that use of nuclear weapons would cause uniquely devastating injuries, disease, and death – and yet is completely preventable if such weapons no longer existed – we advocate for reducing the risk of using current weapons and for the eventual elimination of all nuclear arsenals. I think this is an important issue that many healthcare professionals – especially students and residents – are not familiar with, but I hope that will change as we engage with the BUMC/BMC community over the next year, starting with Medicine Grand Rounds on October 26, 2018 at 12pm. Please join us if you can!

Favorite experience, case, or project

I think my favorite project so far has been working on my thesis. Learning about the health and environmental benefits of plant-based diets has been both fun and informative.

One goal you hope to accomplish in the future

To increase awareness among both medical professionals and the public that the impact of climate change is not just about the environment but is fundamentally about human health. I hope we can then use that knowledge to advocate for solutions.

One thing you are going to miss from residency

Besides the amazing people, I will miss the incredible teaching we received as residents and the overall educational atmosphere of residency.