Excellent patient care remains a top priority for health care professionals who are both established and in the making. On Friday, Feb. 13, about 20 medical students from three University of Tennessee College of Medicine campuses in Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga will participate in National Solidarity Day. The medical students, who are all members of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, have set aside the day to recognize and honor all who are involved in patient care. The UT College of Medicine is part of the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC), the state’s only public academic health science facility, which trains the majority of health care providers for the state and region.
National Solidarity Day was established after the Tucson, Arizona, shootings in January 2011 in which a lone gunman critically wounded then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, injured 13 others and killed six people. The initiative is sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, and is held during the second week of February.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., UTHSC medical students will be distributing fliers, solidarity buttons and engaging in discussions about the importance of compassionate patient care. Students will be located at:
Chattanooga — Erlanger Health System Cafeteria, 975 E. Third St.
Memphis — General Education Building Lobby, 8 S. Dunlap St. and Madison Plaza Lobby, 910 Madison Ave.
Knoxville — Preston Medical Library, 1924 Alcoa Highway
The first trauma surgeon to treat Giffords, Randall Friese, MD, struck a chord when he stated to the press that his most important actions that terrible day were “holding her hand, speaking to her, and reassuring her that she was in the hospital and would be cared for.” That is why, for the fourth consecutive year, medical schools and institutions across the United States and Canada plan to stand in solidarity, paying tribute to all compassionate caregivers like Dr. Friese and the University Medical Center team in Tucson who cared for the wounded and dying that day.
The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and its national Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) Chapters established the Annual National Day of Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care. The GHHS Chapter at the UT College of Medicine, and the Transitional Year Residents at the UT College of Medicine, Chattanooga, planned this outreach to their colleagues at UTHSC campuses in Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga. UTHSC students plan to set up poster displays at each location to honor health care team members who exemplify the ideals of GHHS through consistent demonstration of high-touch skills, empathy, compassion, and patient-centered care.
The Gold Humanism Honor Society recognizes individuals who are exemplars of humanistic patient care. The power of the organization brings them together to sustain their own humanism and to inspire and nurture humanism in others. Begun in 2002, the GHHS has chapters nationwide based in medical schools and residency training programs and has more than 20,000 members in training and practice. For more information about GHHS and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, visit https://www.humanism-in-medicine.org/ghhs/. To see a video in which UT medical students salute the compassionate caregivers they have encountered during their studies, go to https://youtu.be/Ew3ABkqK8Ig.