All Publications

  • A Pilot Study of the Chronology of Present Illness: Restructuring the HPI to Improve Physician Cognition and Communication. Journal of general internal medicine Mazer, L. M., Storage, T., Bereknyei, S., Chi, J., Skeff, K. 2017; 32 (2): 182-188


    Patient history-taking is an essential clinical skill, with effects on diagnostic reasoning, patient-physician relationships, and more. We evaluated the impact of using a structured, timeline-based format, the Chronology of Present Illness (CPI), to guide the initial patient interaction.To determine the feasibility and impact of the CPI on the patient interview, written notes, and communication with other providers.Internal medicine residents used the CPI during a 2-week night-float rotation. For the first week, residents interviewed, documented, and presented patient histories according to their normal practices. They then attended a brief educational session describing the CPI, and were asked to use this method for new patient interviews, notes, and handoffs during the second week. Night and day teams evaluated the method using retrospective pre-post comparisons.Twenty-two internal medicine residents in their second or third postgraduate year.An educational dinner describing the format and potential benefits of using the CPI.Retrospective pre-post surveys on the efficiency, quality, and clarity of the patient interaction, written note, and verbal handoff, as well as open-ended comments. Respondents included night-float residents, day team residents, and attending physicians.All night-float residents responded, reporting significant improvements in written note, verbal sign-out, assessment and plan, patient interaction, and overall efficiency (p < 0.05). Day team residents (n = 76) also reported increased clarity in verbal sign-out and written note, improved efficiency, and improved preparedness for presenting the patient (p < 0.05). Attending physician ratings did not differ between groups.Resident ratings indicate that the CPI can improve key aspects of patient care, including the patient interview, note, and physician-physician communication. These results suggest that the method should be taught and implemented more frequently.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-016-3928-3

    View details for PubMedID 27896691

  • A Mixed-Methods Analysis of a Novel Mistreatment Program for the Surgery Core Clerkship. Academic medicine Lau, J. N., Mazer, L. M., Liebert, C. A., Merrell, S. B., Lin, D. T., Harris, I. 2017


    To review mistreatment reports from before and after implementation of a mistreatment program, and student ratings of and qualitative responses to the program to evaluate the short-term impact on students.In January 2014, a video- and discussion-based mistreatment program was implemented for the surgery clerkship at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The program aims to help students establish expectations for the learning environment; create a shared and personal definition of mistreatment; and promote advocacy and empowerment to address mistreatment. Counts and types of mistreatment were compared from a year before (January-December 2013) and two years after (January 2014-December 2015) implementation. Students' end-of-clerkship ratings and responses to open-ended questions were analyzed.From March 2014-December 2015, 141/164 (86%) students completed ratings, and all 47 (100%) students enrolled from January-August 2014 provided qualitative program evaluations. Most students rated the initial (108/141 [77%]) and final (120/141 [85%]) sessions as excellent or outstanding. In the qualitative analysis, students valued that the program helped establish expectations; allowed for sharing experiences; provided formal resources; and provided a supportive environment. Students felt the learning environment and culture were improved and reported increased interest in surgery. There were 14 mistreatment reports the year before the program, 9 in the program's first year, and 4 in the second year.The authors found a rotation-specific mistreatment program, focused on creating shared understanding about mistreatment, was well received among surgery clerkship students, and the number of mistreatment reports decreased each year following implementation.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001575

    View details for PubMedID 28121657

  • Complementing Operating Room Teaching With Video-Based Coaching. JAMA surgery Hu, Y., Mazer, L. M., Yule, S. J., Arriaga, A. F., Greenberg, C. C., Lipsitz, S. R., Gawande, A. A., Smink, D. S. 2016


    Surgical expertise demands technical and nontechnical skills. Traditionally, surgical trainees acquired these skills in the operating room; however, operative time for residents has decreased with duty hour restrictions. As in other professions, video analysis may help maximize the learning experience.To develop and evaluate a postoperative video-based coaching intervention for residents.In this mixed methods analysis, 10 senior (postgraduate year 4 and 5) residents were videorecorded operating with an attending surgeon at an academic tertiary care hospital. Each video formed the basis of a 1-hour one-on-one coaching session conducted by the operative attending; although a coaching framework was provided, participants determined the specific content collaboratively. Teaching points were identified in the operating room and the video-based coaching sessions; iterative inductive coding, followed by thematic analysis, was performed.Teaching points made in the operating room were compared with those in the video-based coaching sessions with respect to initiator, content, and teaching technique, adjusting for time.Among 10 cases, surgeons made more teaching points per unit time (63.0 vs 102.7 per hour) while coaching. Teaching in the video-based coaching sessions was more resident centered; attendings were more inquisitive about residents' learning needs (3.30 vs 0.28, P = .04), and residents took more initiative to direct their education (27% [198 of 729 teaching points] vs 17% [331 of 1977 teaching points], P < .001). Surgeons also more frequently validated residents' experiences (8.40 vs 1.81, P < .01), and they tended to ask more questions to promote critical thinking (9.30 vs 3.32, P = .07) and set more learning goals (2.90 vs 0.28, P = .11). More complex topics, including intraoperative decision making (mean, 9.70 vs 2.77 instances per hour, P = .03) and failure to progress (mean, 1.20 vs 0.13 instances per hour, P = .04) were addressed, and they were more thoroughly developed and explored. Excerpts of dialogue are presented to illustrate these findings.Video-based coaching is a novel and feasible modality for supplementing intraoperative learning. Objective evaluation demonstrates that video-based coaching may be particularly useful for teaching higher-level concepts, such as decision making, and for individualizing instruction and feedback to each resident.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamasurg.2016.4619

    View details for PubMedID 27973648

  • Who Orders a Head CT?: Perceptions of the Cirrhotic Bleeding Risk in an International, Multispecialty Survey Study. Journal of clinical gastroenterology Mazer, L. M., Méan, M., Tapper, E. B. 2016: -?


    Traditional coagulopathic indices, including elevated international normalized ratio, do not correlate with bleeding risk in patients with cirrhosis. For this reason, head computed tomography (CT) has a low yield in cirrhotic patients with altered mental status and no trauma history. The initial diagnostic evaluation, however, is often made by nongastroenterologists influenced by the so-called "coagulopathy of cirrhosis." We sought to examine the prevalence, impact, and malleability of this perception in an international, multispecialty cohort.An electronic survey was distributed to internal medicine, surgery, emergency medicine, and gastroenterology physicians. Respondents were presented with a cirrhotic patient with hepatic encephalopathy, no history of trauma, and a nonfocal neurological examination. Respondents rated likelihood to order head CT at presentation, after obtaining labs [international normalized ratio (INR) 2.4 and platelets 59×10/μL], and finally after reading the results of a study demonstrating the low yield of head CT in this setting.In total, 1286 physicians from 6 countries, 84% from the United States. Of these, 62% were from internal medicine, 25% from emergency medicine, 8% from gastroenterology, and 5% from surgery. Totally, 47% of respondents were attending physicians. At each timepoint, emergency physicians were more likely, and gastroenterologists less likely, to scan than all other specialties (P<0.0001). Evidence on the low yield of head CT reduced likelihood to scan for all specialties. Qualitative analysis of open-ended comments confirmed that concern for "coagulopathy of cirrhosis" motivated CT orders.Perceptions regarding the coagulopathy of cirrhosis, which vary across specialties, impact clinical decision-making. Exposure to clinical evidence has the potential to change practice patterns.

    View details for PubMedID 27984401

  • Student perceptions of a simulation-based flipped classroom for the surgery clerkship: A mixed-methods study. Surgery Liebert, C. A., Mazer, L., Bereknyei Merrell, S., Lin, D. T., Lau, J. N. 2016; 160 (3): 591-598


    The flipped classroom, a blended learning paradigm that uses pre-session online videos reinforced with interactive sessions, has been proposed as an alternative to traditional lectures. This article investigates medical students' perceptions of a simulation-based, flipped classroom for the surgery clerkship and suggests best practices for implementation in this setting.A prospective cohort of students (n = 89), who were enrolled in the surgery clerkship during a 1-year period, was taught via a simulation-based, flipped classroom approach. Students completed an anonymous, end-of-clerkship survey regarding their perceptions of the curriculum. Quantitative analysis of Likert responses and qualitative analysis of narrative responses were performed.Students' perceptions of the curriculum were positive, with 90% rating it excellent or outstanding. The majority reported the curriculum should be continued (95%) and applied to other clerkships (84%). The component received most favorably by the students was the simulation-based skill sessions. Students rated the effectiveness of the Khan Academy-style videos the highest compared with other video formats (P < .001). Qualitative analysis identified 21 subthemes in 4 domains: general positive feedback, educational content, learning environment, and specific benefits to medical students. The students reported that the learning environment fostered accountability and self-directed learning. Specific perceived benefits included preparation for the clinical rotation and the National Board of Medical Examiners shelf exam, decreased class time, socialization with peers, and faculty interaction.Medical students' perceptions of a simulation-based, flipped classroom in the surgery clerkship were overwhelmingly positive. The flipped classroom approach can be applied successfully in a surgery clerkship setting and may offer additional benefits compared with traditional lecture-based curricula.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.surg.2016.03.034

    View details for PubMedID 27262534

  • Effectiveness of the Surgery Core Clerkship Flipped Classroom: a prospective cohort trial AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SURGERY Liebert, C. A., Lin, D. T., Mazer, L. M., Bereknyei, S., Lau, J. N. 2016; 211 (2): 451-U214


    The flipped classroom has been proposed as an alternative curricular approach to traditional didactic lectures but has not been previously applied to a surgery clerkship.A 1-year prospective cohort of students (n = 89) enrolled in the surgery clerkship was taught using a flipped classroom approach. A historical cohort of students (n = 92) taught with a traditional lecture curriculum was used for comparison. Pretest and post-test performance, end-of-clerkship surveys, and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) scores were analyzed to assess effectiveness.Mean pretest and post-test scores increased across all modules (P < .001). There was no difference between mean NBME examination score in the prospective and historical cohorts (74.75 vs 75.74, P = .28). Mean ratings of career interest in surgery increased after curriculum completion (4.75 to 6.50, P < .001), with 90% reporting that the flipped classroom contributed to this increase.Implementation of a flipped classroom in the surgery clerkship is feasible and results in high learner satisfaction, effective knowledge acquisition, and increased career interest in surgery with noninferior NBME performance.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2015.10.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368344800023

  • Predictors of Negative Intraoperative Findings at Emergent Laparotomy in Patients with Cirrhosis JOURNAL OF GASTROINTESTINAL SURGERY Tapper, E. B., Patwardhan, V., Mazer, L. M., Vaughn, B., Piatkowski, G., Evenson, A. R., Malik, R. 2014; 18 (10): 1777-1783


    Emergent surgery in the setting of decompensated cirrhosis is highly morbid. We sought to determine the clinical factors associated with negative intraoperative findings at emergent laparotomy.We performed a retrospective cohort study of consecutive inpatients with a diagnosis of cirrhosis (ICD-9 571) admitted to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, MA) who underwent emergent, nonhepatic, abdominal surgery between May 6, 2005 and September 3, 2012.Eighty-six patients with cirrhosis were included with a mean model for end-stage liver disease score of 21.3 ± 7.95 and a 90-day mortality rate of 39.5%. Twelve (16.2%) patients had negative laparotomies. Negative intraoperative findings were independently associated with (1) paracentesis prior to a preoperative diagnosis of perforated viscus (P = 0.006), (2) development of an indication for emergent surgery after 24 h into hospital admission for another reason (P = 0.020), and (3) a preoperative diagnosis of bowel ischemia (P = 0.005), with odds ratios of 10.1 (CI 1.92-66.83), 5.80 (CI 1.32-33.39), and 11.1 (CI 2.08-77.4), respectively. Free air on computed tomography (CT) imaging was found in 64.3% (9/14) of patients who had a paracentesis within the preceding 48 h compared to 10.1% (7/72) among patients who did not undergo a paracentesis (P < 0.001). Only 45% of patients with free air following a paracentesis had positive findings at laparotomy compared to 100% in those without a preceding paracentesis (P = 0.038). Negative laparotomy was independently predictive of in-hospital mortality (OR 4.7; P = 0.034).The possibility of a negative laparotomy is suggested by preoperative clinical factors. In particular, free air following a paracentesis does not necessarily indicate that operative intervention is required. Consideration of close observation before laparotomy in these patients is reasonable.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11605-014-2599-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000342450000008

    View details for PubMedID 25091839

  • The need for antibiotic stewardship and treatment standardization in the care of cirrhotic patients with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis - a retrospective cohort study examining the effect of ceftriaxone dosing. F1000Research Mazer, L., Tapper, E. B., Piatkowski, G., Lai, M. 2014; 3: 57-?


    Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is a common, often fatal affliction for cirrhotic patients. Despite all clinical trials of ceftriaxone for SBP using 2g daily, it is often given at 1g daily.We evaluated survival after SBP as a function of ceftriaxone dosage.  A retrospective cohort of all patients who received ceftriaxone for SBP (greater than 250 neutrophils in the ascites).As opposed to 1 gram, median survival is longer for patients receiving 2 grams (228 days vs. 102 days (p = 0.26) and one year survival is significantly higher (p = 0.0034).  After adjusting for baseline Model for End Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, however, this difference was no longer significant.  Similarly, there was a significantly shorter length of intensive care for patients receiving 2 g (0.59 ± 1.78 days vs. 3.26 ± 6.9, p = 0.034), odds ratio 0.11 (95% CI 0.02 - 0.65). This difference, too, was no longer significant after controlling for the MELD score - odds ratio 0.21 (95% CI 0.04 - 1.07). Additionally, 70% of patients received at least one additional antibiotic; over 25 different medications were used in various combinations.  Patients receiving 2 g of ceftriaxone may require fewer intensive care days and may enjoy an improved survival compared to those receiving 1 g daily. The complexity of antibiotic regimens to which cirrhotic patients are exposed must be studied further and rationalized.  We recommend fastidious antibiotic stewardship for patients with cirrhosis. Efforts should be made to craft local standards for the treatment of SBP that include appropriate antibiotic selection and dose.

    View details for DOI 10.12688/f1000research.3-57.v2

    View details for PubMedID 25165535

  • Tumor Characteristics and Survival Analysis of Incidental Versus Suspected Gallbladder Carcinoma JOURNAL OF GASTROINTESTINAL SURGERY Mazer, L. M., Losada, H. F., Chaudhry, R. M., Velazquez-Ramirez, G. A., Donohue, J. H., Kooby, D. A., Nagorney, D. M., Adsay, N. V., Sarmiento, J. M. 2012; 16 (7): 1311-1317


    Over half of all gallbladder carcinoma (GBC) is discovered incidentally after cholecystectomy for benign disease. There are scant data comparing presentation and outcome for patients with incidental versus suspected GBC. The goal of this study is to determine the clinical differences between these two entities.Patients with GBC were identified retrospectively from records at academic healthcare institutions in Temuco, Chile; Atlanta, GA; and Rochester, MN between 1984 and 2008. Overall survival was compared for patients with and without preoperative suspicion using Kaplan-Meier curves and a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model.Of 571 patients, 128 (22.4%) had preoperative suspicion of malignancy, and 443 (77.6 %) were discovered incidentally. Incidental tumors were of lower stage, better differentiated, and with lower rates of metastases. Median survival for incidentally discovered GBC was 32.3 versus 5.8 months for suspected GBC (p<0.0001). In a Cox proportional hazards model controlling for operation extent, T stage, differentiation, and other factors, preoperative suspicion remains a strong risk factor (odds ratio, 2.0; confidence interval, 1.5-2.9; p<0.0001).Tumor characteristics differed significantly between patients with incidentally discovered versus preoperatively suspected GBC. Incidental GBC has a significantly better median survival.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11605-012-1901-y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305224900004

    View details for PubMedID 22570074

  • Single versus multi-specialty operative teams: association with perioperative mortality after endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. American surgeon Mazer, L. M., Chiakof, E. L., Goodney, P. P., Edwards, M. S., Corriere, M. A. 2012; 78 (2): 207-212


    Endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) requires both endovascular and open surgical skills. Although usually performed by a single operating specialist, EVAR may alternatively involve multiple teams from different specialties performing separate procedural components. We examined the relative frequencies of single versus multi-specialty EVAR in the 2005 to 2008 American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Participant Use Datafile and explored the influence of multi-specialty EVAR on 30-day mortality. EVARs were identified and classified as single or multiple-specialty procedures based on Current Procedural Terminology codes. Baseline and procedural characteristics were compared using χ(2) or Fisher's exact test for categorical variables and t test for continuous variables. The association between multi-specialty EVAR and 30-day mortality was examined using a multivariate logistic regression model. Of 7269 EVAR patients identified, 7086 were single and 183 were multi-specialty. Multi-specialty patients had higher frequency of brachial or iliac artery exposure and longer operative times, but were otherwise similar in baseline and procedural characteristics. In the multivariate model, multi-specialty EVAR was associated with increased risk of 30-day mortality (odds ratio 2.35; 95% confidence interval 1.08-5.11; P value 0.031). Multi-specialty participation in EVAR procedures is associated with significantly higher 30-day mortality. Further research is warranted to determine whether multi-specialty participation reflects provider experience, institutional protocols, procedural complexity, non-surgical or other factors.

    View details for PubMedID 22369830

  • Non-Operative Management of Right Posterior Sectoral Duct Injury Following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy JOURNAL OF GASTROINTESTINAL SURGERY Mazer, L. M., Tapper, E. B., Sarmiento, J. M. 2011; 15 (7): 1237-1242


    The purpose of this study is to describe the outcomes of conservative management for patients with right posterior sectoral bile duct injury acquired during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.This retrospective, consecutive case series reviews seven patients with an isolated injury to the right posterior or right hepatic duct occurring during laparoscopic cholecystectomy.Seven patients with an isolated right sectoral duct injury were studied, six women and one man aged 22 to 71 years (mean age, 43.6 years). Diagnosis of bile duct injury occurred between 1 day and 13 weeks after the initial cholecystectomy. Three patients had plastic biliary stents placed and six patients had JP drains placed. All patients in this series were managed conservatively, with no reoperation for formal repair of the bile duct. Length of follow-up ranged from 2 to 14 months (mean, 8.2 months). At last follow-up, all patients were asymptomatic with no biliary drainage.Conservative management is an important option for patients with an isolated right posterior bile duct injury.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11605-011-1455-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291700800026

    View details for PubMedID 21347873

  • Docosahexaenoic acid status in females of reproductive age with maple syrup urine disease JOURNAL OF INHERITED METABOLIC DISEASE Mazer, L. M., Yi, S. H., Singh, R. H. 2010; 33 (2): 121-127


    Individuals with maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) have impaired metabolism of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) valine, isoleucine, and leucine. Life-long dietary therapy is recommended to restrict BCAA intake and thus prevent poor neurological outcomes and death. To maintain adequate nutritional status, the majority of protein and nutrients are derived from synthetic BCAA-free medical foods with variable fatty acid content. Given the restrictive diet and the importance of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in neurological development, this study evaluated the dietary and fatty acid status of females of reproductive age with MSUD attending a metabolic camp. Healthy controls of similar age and sex were selected from existing normal laboratory data. Total lipid fatty acid concentration in plasma and erythrocytes was analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Participants with MSUD had normal to increased concentrations of plasma and erythrocyte alpha linolenic acid (ALA) but significantly lower concentrations of plasma and erythrocyte docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as percent of total lipid fatty acids compared with controls (plasma DHA: MSUD 1.03 +/- 0.35, controls 2.87 +/- 1.08; P = 0.001; erythrocyte DHA: MSUD 2.58 +/- 0.58, controls 3.66 +/- 0.80; P = 0.011). Dietary records reflected negligible or no DHA intake over the 3-day period prior to the blood draw (range 0-2 mg). These results suggest females of reproductive age with MSUD have lower blood DHA concentrations than age-matched controls. In addition, the presence of ALA in medical foods and the background diet may not counter the lack of preformed DHA in the diet. The implications of these results warrant further investigation.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10545-010-9066-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000277178700003

    View details for PubMedID 20217236