Josiah Macy Foundation Supports Project in Integrated Care for Psychologists & Doctors

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Josiah Macy Foundation Supports Project in Integrated Care for Psychologists & Doctors
Geropsychologist Lauren N. DeCaporale-Ryan, PhD, works at the University of Rochester Medical Center, but her focus isn't on patients.
Instead, she focuses on the physicians, surgeons and other clinicians who care for them. As an assistant professor embedded in the psychiatry, medicine and surgery departments, her job is to improve care by helping health-care providers communicate more effectively with patients, families and each other.
"My role is different from that of anyone else I know in psychology," says DeCaporale-Ryan, who earned her clinical psychology doctorate from the University of Missouri–St. Louis in 2011.
DeCaporale-Ryan spends her day doing rounds with individual clinicians or teams, observing surgeons, physicians and other clinicians as they interact with patients. With each physician/patient encounter, she tracks a series of behaviors, such as how they greet patients and even whether they smile. She then provides immediate feedback or follows up one on one to tackle problems.
Interactions between surgeons and patients typically last less than three minutes, so DeCaporale-Ryan teaches surgeons how to be warmer so patients don't feel they're just a number to be checked off. With physicians, whose interactions last longer, the goal is to boost efficiency so they don't get burned out by day's end. . .
With a grant from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, DeCaporale-Ryan, APA President Susan H. McDaniel, PhD, and an educational psychologist are helping surgical faculty give more constructive feedback to residents and to each other. . .
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