Kevin J. O'Leary, MD, MS
Class of 2009
Chief, Division of Hospital Medicine
Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
“I remember the uneasy feeling I got from time to time during my internal medicine residency. Whether it related to a patient handoff (or pickup), diagnostic confusion, or an ominous feeling that something was about to fall through the cracks, things often just didn’t feel right. The delivery of our care was full of redundancy and distractions as well. For a while, these concerns went away as I finished my residency and concentrated my clinical effort on primary care.
In 2003, we created a resident uncovered hospitalist service at my institution. The uneasy feelings of the past returned, only now I had a greater appreciation of their causes and the responsibility of addressing them as I helped lead the development of this new service.
Although I have been involved, and often led, quality improvement efforts at my institution, I have always felt I could bring more to the table. The Master’s Program in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety at Northwestern University is providing me with the knowledge and skills to better contribute and lead current and future efforts at my hospital. Additionally, it’s given me the foundation for performing research in patient safety.
Beyond improving my ability to contribute locally, this program has opened my eyes to quality measurement and improvement at the national level. We’ve had teachers from CMS, NCQA, AMA, etc; people who are influencing health care policy as part of their daily work. The diverse background of my classmates and interactive style of the teachers makes for a learning experience that is both deep and broad.”