(San Diego, CA) – Two projects recently submitted by Valley Children’s third year pediatric resident Dr. Thanh Huong Nguyen were accepted for presentation at the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare (ICCH) in San Diego in October 2019.
The conference is the largest gathering of healthcare professionals – including researchers, educators, physicians and administrators – and provides an opportunity to learn the latest research and teaching methods in the field of health communication.
Poetry for Professional and Personal Growth
Dr. Nguyen’s first abstract, titled "Poetry for Professional and Personal Growth," included original poetry that was accepted for oral presentation in the Creative Arts section, a new category introduced just this year.
“Narrative medicine is an important component of my professional and personal growth,” Dr. Nguyen said. “It allows me to reflect on my journey and hopefully foster mindful practice, emotional healing and self-improvement. I submitted to the conference not only to share my personal experiences, but to also challenge myself to improve my own communication.”
Reflective Writing for Personal Growth
Dr. Nguyen also submitted a reflective writing project she is working on with Valley Children’s pediatric hospitalist and pediatric residency program faculty member Dr. Nicole Webb, “Effect of Reflective Writing on Personal Growth of Healthcare Professionals in the Setting of Patient Care and Inter-professionalism,” which was accepted for a poster presentation in the Scientific Research category.
The project focuses on the concept of self-reflection for direct patient care providers, and invites them to use creative writing as a means to reflect on their interactions with patients and their colleagues to spur learning and personal growth. It asks providers to write according to a specific prompt: Identify a patient care experience that evoked any feelings or thoughts, then analyze these feelings, identify potential roles of health advocacy, communication, collaboration and/or professionalism and develop a new perspective after rethinking current knowledge. At the end of a three-month period of reflective writing, participants are asked to describe how the process of reflective writing may have changed their attitudes or behaviors towards themselves, their work, patients and/or colleagues.
“This project sprouted from my own interest and personal investment in creative writing in medicine,” Dr. Nguyen said. “The hypothesis of this research project is that reflective writing on patient-care interactions may provide a direct benefit to participants and patients alike, as studies have shown that deep critical reflection is correlated with increased professionalism, critical thinking and personal growth.”
More About Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Thanh Huong Nguyen is part of the inaugural class of Valley Children’s Pediatric Residency Program, Affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine. She comes to Valley Children’s from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.