Shared Learning Sessions
As the global thought leader in wound management, Vohra Wound Physicians believes in continually educating its physicians. The Vohra Clinical Affairs team, led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shark Bird, M.D., is regularly sharing the latest developments in wound management, as well as best practices with its more than 270 physicians across the United States. Those physicians are then able to pass on their clinical expertise by providing superior wound care to their patients. Much of this education comes from annual meetings, as well as Vohra’s Shared Learning Sessions. These shared learning sessions are presented each week by and for the Vohra physicians. Each Vohra physician attends a 4-hour session twice a year and receive CME’s for their participation.
We sat down for a Q & A with the Director of Vohra’s Shared Learning Sessions Program, Dr. Dennis Ng, M.D. who gives us more insight into the clinical oversight and education that Vohra provides its physicians.
How do the Vohra shared learning sessions work?
“The Vohra shared learning sessions are basically the current iteration of what we used to call the peer review sessions. The purpose of the shared learning sessions is to offer clinical teaching from all the different clinicians that participate. In so doing, it reinforces the standardization of different practices across the country. There are more than 270 Vohra physicians across the country, and this is one way to drive towards standardization.
There are two portions to each session. The first portion is a review of the charts. The charts are actually selected in a semi-automated process. Vohra Chief Information Officer Dr. Chris Leonard, D.O. came up with an algorithm that would pull charts matching various criteria set by his team. In so doing, ensuring that the charts to be discussed would be of interest and not be routine cases.
The second section is the special topic section. In that section, the physicians have a lot of leeway. The general guideline and recommendation from us is that the presenting physician should review an exceptionally challenging case that the clinician would like to share with the group. We do this in order to help educate the group while the presenter also receives some ideas and other viewpoints and approaches. Alternatively, some physicians choose to identify a clinical subject matter that they want to delve into. They will do research on the topic and put together a short presentation so that everyone can share in this information that’s being reviewed.”
What is your role as the director of the program?
“I’m basically the silent observer, behind the scenes. Almost like a producer behind a cable news show, wearing a headset and directing everybody. My role is to assist the moderator in facilitating useful and educational conversation. Obviously, the moderators who have been selected are very good at what they do. The moderators were chosen by the Vohra executive committee. They obviously have to be superior clinically and very knowledgeable about the Vohra Electronic Health Records. I also review every chart that is being presented as I am observing every session as well as occasionally operating as the moderator.”
Shared learning sessions are just one of the clinical affairs oversight initiatives Vohra has put into place for training and educating its physicians, including a one-year Vohra Wound Fellowship Program. In your view, how important is it that Vohra has become a leader by educating and holding its physicians to a standardized approach?
“It’s quite important in our particular model of wound care management. There are 270 physicians in our group across the country. On any given day, a physician would be rounding as an individual practitioner, in their particular geography, in 27 states. And although we encourage it, not everyone can attend a national educational conference such as the Vohra Annual Wound Care Conference or the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC) each year. So, these shared learning sessions are a way for us to bring the essence of those lectures and finer points to our physicians who may or may not have been able to attend. It’s very important that we hold ourselves to a superior standard.”
Do the Vohra physicians appreciate the opportunity to learn from each other?
“I think a great majority of the Vohra physicians find the shared learning sessions to be very productive and educational. Over the years, we’ve evolved the culture and the style of the sessions. We’ve tended to stay away from the traditional practice of a M & M (Mortality & Morbidity) conference like you’d find in the surgical world. In that format, those physicians really go after each other. The culture we want to instill in these sessions is that it’s a friendly and fair learning experience. Everyone has strong points, and everyone has some degree of weak points. Because we’re able to share all these teaching points, everyone is able to come up to speed to develop a practice with an expert standard. There is strength in numbers. Rather than a being solo practitioner on their own, Vohra physicians are able to learn from each other. That is a powerful tool.”
Dr.Dennis Ng, MD
Joined Vohra Wound Physicians in 2012- Provides bedside wound management at skilled nursing facilities throughout Connecticut
Certified Wound Specialist Physician (American Board of Wound Management)
Vascular & Endovascular Surgeon
Former Medical Director of Wound Care at Portsmouth Regional Hospital (NH)