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Delivering bad news to be topic of Pathways to Knowledge lecture
Delivering bad news to be topic of Pathways to Knowledge lectureOctober 23, 2008Janel Martinezjmarti11@syr.edu
The second installment of the Fall 2008 Pathways to Knowledge: A Lecture Series for Undergraduates and Graduates is Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. Jennifer Flad, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology in the Maxwell School, will present “The Good and Bad of Delivering ‘Bad News’: Using qualitative methods to investigate doctor/patient interaction around a serious diagnosis” in Grant Auditorium. Her presentation is free and open to the University community.
Flad’s lecture will center on how individuals receive and experience the news of a serious diagnosis, and how health care institutions make it possible for such instances to occur. The research topic was inspired by her father’s diagnosis with lung cancer. The unemotional way in which the doctor delivered the diagnosis to her father and what Flad considered poor treatment of her family served as a foundation for her research.
“When thinking about what I wanted to research, I kept thinking about this moment and I kept thinking, ‘Am I the only one?'” Flad says. “Is this just something that happened to me or is this something other people are experiencing as well?”
She interviewed 41 medical students about how they are trained to give a diagnosis and observed how the experience of the medical students shaped the way in which they diagnose patients. Flad attributes this lack of effective communication to ideas and discourse on curing individuals. “I point in my research to pretty specific ways that little things can be changed that can make things so much better, or at least reduce suffering on the part of the patient and their family,” she says.
Flad believes that coming to lectures such as the Pathways Series is beneficial to undergraduate students: “I think it’s exciting. Maybe it will inspire students to think about graduate school or maybe think about changing the world in any way that they want.”
The final lecture in the fall series is Nov. 18. David Deacon, doctoral candidate in the Department of History in the Maxwell School, will discuss “Paper Towns: Industrialization and Sense of Place in Northern New England, 1870-1930.”
The Pathways to Knowledge Lectures invite SU students to discover the possibilities of graduate school through notable research presentations given by doctoral candidates. The series is coordinated by Marvin Druger, Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence and professor of biology and science education, and Derina Samuel, acting director of professional development programs in the Graduate School. The series is co-sponsored by the Department of Science Teaching in The College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School.