Sharing expertise: Doctors learn stroke care from experts at Upstate

Chief neurology residents Gurmeen Kaur, MBBS (left), and Vishal Shah, MBBS (right), facilitate a stroke simulation with resident Claribel Wee, MD, and a “patient” (Puneet Kapur, MD).

Like neurology residents throughout the United States, the doctors training in neurology at Upstate learn the National Institutes of Health “stroke scale.” This is a tool that helps health care providers measure a patient’s impairment from a stroke.

In addition, the neurology residents participate in a simulation program with details from patient care that took place at Upstate University Hospital.

“This is different from watching videos on the Internet,” says Hesham Masoud, MD. “There’s a lot of utility and advantage to practicing stroke skills in front of an audience.”

Masoud, a member of Upstate University Hospital’s stroke team, is a clinical  assistant professor of neurology, neurosurgery and radiology. That means when he is not taking care of patients, he is involved in stroke research and the education of doctors who will care for stroke patients.

Identifying and treating stroke “takes coordination and rapid analysis. It’s a sophisticated interpretation,” Masoud says. He add that through the simulation  — in which one resident plays the role of the patient while another provides the care — residents learn how to make crucial decisions quickly.

“It’s essentially a confidence-building exercise,” agrees Vishal Shah, MBBS, one of the chief residents.  He says nurses and pharmacists are part of the simulation, so that the resident in the spotlight goes through the motions as he or she would in the emergency department

After the simulation, the residents ask and answer questions, hear about pertinent research that has been published and discuss the reasoning behind certain aspects of treatment. They also take test before and after the simulations to show their level of knowledge of vascular neurology.

This article appears in the spring 2017 issue of Upstate Health magazine.

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