Sophomore Seminars

Critical Illness: Patients, Physicians, and Society

ANES 70Q

This seminar examines the impact of critical illness on patients and their family members, and the psychological and socioeconomic influences that affect the subsequent course of hospitalization. The weekly sessions and readings will challenge students' preconceived notions about the disease course of critically ill patients, and, it is hoped, reveal the difficulties involved in the decision-making process for both the health care professionals and the patients' families and loved ones as various medical challenges arise. Some of the topics we will cover are conventional views of death and dying; the epidemiology of critical illness; trends of inpatient care in the United States; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; health economics, such as the cost of an intensive care unit (ICU); grief and coping skills; euthanasia/withdrawal of care; palliative and hospice care; advanced directives and legal aspects of medical catastrophe; family meetings, including psychosocial dynamics; emotional ramifications of medical decisions; and rounds in the ICU.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Erin Hennessey, MD

Erin Hennessey is a clinical instructor of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine and associate program director of the Anesthesia Critical Care Medicine Fellowship at Stanford School of Medicine. She joined the faculty at Stanford in 2012 and performs clinical duties that include the anesthesia preoperative care clinic, the cardiothoracic intensive care unit, and the medical-surgical intensive care unit. Her clinical areas of study include early mobility and delirium management of critically ill patients, as well as patient-family interactions in the ICU. Her medical education interests include simulations, flipped-classroom models, and patient-doctor communication skills.