AdventHealth’s Inaam Hashim on his internal medicine residency

Doctors are often bogged down by administrative tasks.
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· 3 min read

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This week’s Making Rounds spotlights Inaam Hashim, a third-year internal medicine resident at AdventHealth in Orlando, Florida. Hashim spoke about steps his program has taken to improve the well-being of residents, as well as how administrative tasks, such as receiving prior authorizations for diagnostic testing, decrease the time he can spend with patients.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

What’s the best change you’ve made or seen at a place youve worked?

In residency, wellness and resiliency is a huge topic, given the culture of medical training that historically has been pretty tough; you deal with burnout. Our hospital and my training program has kind of been very open-minded in terms of adopting new things to improve well-being.

We have a wellness committee—they have licensed counselors on it who also work with some other staff, and they organize multiple events for wellness. Every month we have a resident well-being day or we have dedicated time off. And this week, we have massage chairs. In the hospital, they bring people in to do yoga. They’ve had therapy pets come by. They organized an educational culinary experience nearby at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation [Kitchen House and Culinary Garden]. We can go there and learn how to cook foods that can be creative and healthy—and it’s all provided by the hospital.

What’s the biggest misconception people might have about your job?

In our job—because of the complexity of what we deal with—sometimes we don’t have the answer. And sometimes the answer isn’t something we can do anything about. Sometimes people go to a doctor looking for something that they can fix. And we can fix things more often than not—we can fix more things today than we could have ever.

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What healthcare trend are you most optimistic about, and why?

We’ve already gotten into a place where medications are able to have a very, very remarkable effect on weight, and it’s really nice to see that being an option because of the dramatic effects that obesity has on patients’ lives.

What healthcare trend are you least optimistic about, and why?

Because of the nature of medical practice today and the responsibilities and the structure of it, a lot of our time is spent doing other things that take time away from that patient encounter.

A few weeks ago, I had to order a CAT scan for a patient, and it’s an appropriate diagnostic study for a patient, but I spent 45 minutes on the phone, running through hoops to get through to an insurance company’s calling machine or just to find a person to tell me that what I was doing was OK—a person who’s never seen the patient.

So you get bogged down with those things.

Tell us one new or old health tech product or platform that’s made your life easier.

Medical podcasts have been this really fascinating middle ground between education and in some ways, for nerds like us, entertainment. In the internal medicine sphere, we have an abundance of them. There’s a really popular one called The Curbsiders.

Sometimes it’s hard to sit down and do all of that primary research yourself. We try to, but when you get to see experts really talk about the data out there in discussion in a digestible fashion—it has helped me and so many other colleagues really get a nuanced understanding of something without falling asleep.

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