Medical and nursing students chosen for patient safety scholarship

Four UNC Medical and Masters in Nursing students were chosen for a full scholarship to attend a week long conference in patient safety led by leaders in quality improvement and patient safety from across the world.

Medical and nursing students chosen for patient safety scholarship click to enlarge from left to right in this photo: Brandi Robinson, April Peterson, David Meyer (Founder of Telluride Experience), Sean Donohue, and Ian Garbarine

Between 250,000 to 400,000 deaths occur per year due to medical error in the U.S, making it the third leading cause of death as compared to CDC estimates. Despite the Institute of Medicine's now landmark report in 1999 titled, To Err is Human, medical error has continued to harm or cause death to progressively more patients every year. 

For the past 15 years, leaders from across the world gather to teach approaches to improving patient safety and quality to an interdisciplinary group of US resident physicians, medical students, nurses, and pharmacists. This 6 day experience is called the Telluride Summer Camp, named for its founding location in Telluride, Colorado. Four UNC students were chosen among hundreds of applicants to attend the Telluride Experience where they became certified Patient Safety Scholars. Brandi Robinson (pictured below) recently completed her Masters in Nursing at UNC School of Nursing and works for UNC HealthCare. Ian Garbarine is a first year Medical Student, Sean Donohue is a third year medical student, and April Peterson is a fourth year medical student. 

The students earned a full scholarship to the conference, where they exchanged both UNC's best practices on patient care and received support on finding ways to further improve patient safety and quality on their return to the University. They met with patient advocates and families that had been hurt by medical error and learned of their stories and struggles. Building out new skills in human factors engineering and quality improvement, they plan to begin a new interdisciplinary organization on campus so that nursing, medical, pharmacy, and physical therapy students can learn ways to further work together to provide safe and effective team-based care. 

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