Third-year medical student Sophia Hayes leads study about nurse practitioners and POLST

October 24, 2016

Another OHSU School of Medicine medical student has been published through the completion of a required scholarly project within YOUR M.D., the OHSU undergraduate medical education curriculum.

Sophia Hayes, M.D. studentThird-year M.D. student Sophia Hayes (pictured) led an OHSU study published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine that found that in Oregon, nurse practitioners completed nearly 25,000, or 11 percent, of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms, in the past six years.

"It is vital that the next generation of physicians honor and champion the role that nurse practitioners play in patient-centered care at the end of life," said Hayes.

Hayes, in her analysis of the data, adds that the inclusion of nurse practitioners in the POLST process is increasingly important as the number of physicians and physician assistants trained in hospice and palliative medicine is inadequate to meet the needs of the aging population. Co-authors include OHSU School of Medicine faculty members Susan Tolle, M.D., professor of medicine; Dana Zive, M.P.H., research assistant professor and Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., of the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. Read more in the OHSU media release.

Scholarly projects encourage medical students to develop skills to become self-directed learners and allow them the opportunity to work alongside faculty members to publish on topics of interest to them. Students choose from six areas of concentration when they begin a scholarly project. Erik Fromme, M.D., M.C.R., F.A.A.H.P.M., associate professor of medicine, OHSU School of Medicine, leads the area in which Hayes's study was developed – ethics, quality improvement and education.


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