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HMS 2022 Annual Meeting Highlights

President Bernard Kosto welcomed nearly 70 attendees to the Hartford Medical Society’s 2022 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, September 13, at the beautiful Pond House Café in West Hartford.   

Executive Director Tessa O’Sullivan briefly recounted the achievements of this past year with the Society’s growth to over 100 members, a successful evening event with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel in the spring, the HMS Library move back to Hartford’s own Watkinson Library on the campus of Trinity College, and the impact of the Lunchtime Learning webinar series amongst members. She also looked forward to HMS’ future with an Awards Celebration scheduled for May 18, 2023, at the Mark Twain House, and more opportunities for members to network and learn from one another. The final act of business was to approve the 2022-2023 Officers and Trustees which was met with unanimous acclaim. 

Prior to enjoying a delicious buffet dinner, HMS honored the 125th Anniversary of St. Francis Hospital with a heartfelt toast followed by welcoming Dr. Rolf Knoll to the podium to give a brief history of the hospital. In honor of their anniversary, HMS donated $1,250 to the St. Francis Hospital Foundation and provided Dr. Knoll with a check. 

After dinner, the Hartford Medical Society welcomed Dr. Lisa Sanders to provide an insightful keynote address. Dr. Sanders is widely known for her diagnostic skills and used them as an advisor on the TV series, House, the Netflix docuseries, Diagnosis, and a writer of a number of best-selling books., Dr. Sanders’s topic was diagnostic in nature entitled, Cognitive Pills for Diagnostic Ills.  

She started out her presentation with her own case studies, illustrating two different kinds of diagnostic errors made by medical professionals: the error of not knowing, and the error of not asking. In her presentation, she addressed the differences between mistakes (which may be avoided by carelessness or poor training) and errors (made because of uncertainty inherent in the process). Her advice to reduce diagnostic errors in medicine is to know more and think better. Know more by reading more, using online diagnostic aids like Isabel and UpToDate, and listening to podcasts like The Curbsiders and Annals On Call.  

Dr. Sanders also highlighted the Human Diagnosis Project as a fun and engaging way for medical professionals and trainees to build their differential diagnosis and clinical reasoning skills. Medical professionals can do this by using their Global Morning Report – a program that publishes a new case via email and in their app for clinicians across the world to solve. Cases featured on GMR typically take two minutes to solve and provide answers and feedback immediately. 

She almost ended her presentation with a quote from House, but instead chose a quote by Dr. Don Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and former administrator of the Centers Medicare and Medicaid Services, “Genius diagnosticians make great stories, but they don’t make great health care. The idea is to make accuracy reliable, not heroic.”  

Dr. Sanders ended the informative evening by spending nearly a half-hour answering questions and discussing topics in further depth with HMS members.