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2023 ‘Research Day’ Highlights Breadth of Graduate Medical Education Scholarly Efforts

May 9, 2023

Residents and fellows showcased the research impact of graduate medical education at Dell Medical School during this year’s Resident and Fellow Research Day. The event, co-hosted with Ascension Seton, was an opportunity for residents and fellows to present their efforts to improve patient care, advance health systems and explore clinical case presentations.

Trainees representing 12 residency and fellowship programs submitted 91 abstracts with topics ranging from barriers of breastfeeding to timeliness of patient follow-ups and more. The judges selected nine finalists and three winners from the abstracts. Explore a selection of their work below.


Infant Feeding Disparities in Hispanic Women Compared to Non-Hispanic Women in the United States

OB-GYN Residency
Alexandra Abbate, M.D.; Jordyn Pike, MPH; Jeny Ghartey, D.O, M.S.; Stephanie Nutt, M.A., MPA; Nandini Raghuraman, M.D., MCSP; Lorie M. Harper, M.D., MSCI; Alison G. Cahil, M.D., MSCI 

Researchers used a national dataset to hypothesize that Hispanic women had lower exclusive breastfeeding rates compared to their non-Hispanic counterparts. Through deeper analysis of the dataset, they discovered that while there was no difference in the probability of exclusive breastfeeding after one week postpartum, Hispanic women initiated breastfeeding more than non-Hispanic women, suggesting that intervention to sustain breastfeeding may achieve higher sustained exclusive breastfeeding rates.

Improving the Effectiveness of a Safety-Net Teledermatology Consult Service Through a Standardized Referral Template

Dermatology Residency
Mika Tabata, M.D.; Michelle Bach, B.S.; Aarthi Parvathaneni, B.S.; Anokhi Jambusaria, M.D.; Dayna Diven, M.D.

CommUnityCare Health Centers, the Travis County safety-net clinic, developed a teledermatology consult service to address long dermatology appointment wait times; however, attending physicians are struggling to keep up with the high number of requests and lack of complete patient information. To enhance consult quality, researchers developed a standardized template that improved clarifying questions from the dermatologist to the referring provider and the number of photos provided while simultaneously decreasing inadequate data presented in a consult.

Two Cases of Pediatric Associated Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome & Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis

Pediatric Residency
Stacy Yanofsky, M.D.; Vivy Ngo, M.D.; Alyssa Riley, M.D., M.Ed.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis have similar clinical presentations of progressive anemia, low blood platelet count and fever; however, associations of the conditions are not often recorded in pediatric medical literature. Researchers explored two cases to document the association between the conditions and the importance of determining the proper diagnosis in order to decrease treatment delays, hospitalization and mortality.


Behavior Difficulties in a Child With Autism After Sickness: Is it PANDAS?

Psychiatry Residency
Taylor Baskin, M.D.; Gabriel Garza, M.D.

Autism spectrum disorder and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (the latter being commonly known as PANDAS) can be difficult to differentiate between worsening symptoms of autism due to illness versus occurrence of PANDAS. Researchers explored the case of an 11-year-old boy with autism symptoms that appeared to worsen after illness, potentially alluding to a PANDAS diagnosis, but ultimately ruled out PANDAS due to the patient not meeting specific diagnostic criteria.

Evaluation of a Novel Integrated Care Model for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

Psychiatry Residency
Bradford Unroe, M.D.; Lexie Grove, MSPH, Ph.D.; Tim Mercer, M.D., MPH; Justin Benzer, Ph.D.

The Mobile, Medical, and Mental Health Care Team integrates primary care with mental health services to treat and improve outcomes for patients experiencing chronic homelessness and medical conditions or co-occurring disorders. Researchers compared this integrated care model to another model that does not require primary care establishment and found that M3 clients had fewer visits to the emergency department, potentially a result of M3’s explicit integration of primary care and mental health services.

Inpatient Treatment & Management of Alcohol Use Disorder at Dell Seton Medical Center

Internal Medicine Residency
Monica Kundra, M.D.; Alanna Boulton, MSHS; Jananie Ramesh, M.D.; Christopher Moriates, M.D.

To address the under-treatment of alcohol use disorder, researchers implemented a quality improvement project to increase screening, brief intervention, referral and treatment for alcohol use in patients admitted to Dell Seton Medical Center. This resulted in screening 63% of admitted patients and expanding substance use care to a safety-net population that otherwise has limited access.

Outcomes of Pediatric Facial Laceration Repair Using 5-0 Fast-Absorbing Gut Sutures With & Without Steri-Strips: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship
Richard Thompson, D.O.; Andrew J. Kienstra, M.D.; Patrick D. Combs, M.D.; Lina Palomares, LMSW; Matthew Wilkinson, M.D., MPH

Absorbable sutures are comparable to non-absorbable sutures when considering effects on cosmetic outcomes. Researchers tested the additional use of Steri-Strips on top of absorbable sutures on pediatric facial lacerations to determine if cosmetic outcomes improve due to the additional support of the strips, a common practice among plastic surgeons. Ultimately, while this approach is useful for wound reinforcement, Steri-Strips provide a similar cosmetic outcome to using absorbable sutures alone.

QR Codes — Not Just for Menus Anymore: An Efficient Method for Documenting Realtime Feedback

Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship
Timothy Wilson, M.D.; Cat Yee, M.D.; Irene Teeler 

There are many barriers to providing effective and timely clinical feedback to learners. Researchers developed a QR-code system to improve the quality and timeliness of feedback for pediatric emergency medicine fellows, improving satisfaction, specificity and quantity of evaluations given on clinical shifts.