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The artistry of medicine

Mar 24, 2022
5 min Read
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How does a medical student choose a specialty in medicine? How do these students choose the program through which they refine their ability to uphold the Hippocratic Oath? Those questions played a large role in Syna Daudfar’s journey to Phoenix for residency.

Having grown up in Arizona, Daudfar, DO, was interested in a residency program in Phoenix. But what other factors would sway his decision? For one, understanding how the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance programs are built to serve their learners was key. The emergency medicine program that interested Daudfar embraces a learner’s preferences within medicine and adapts to advances within the Graduate Medical Education community. Additionally, the program needed to feel like family, Daudfar said. He sought a supportive community during his three years of residency training.

After matching into the Creighton Alliance emergency medicine residency program, the real work began and so did COVID-19. This pandemic did much to shape Daudfar’s training and education.

The pandemic allowed him to witness the delicate and important work of hospice and palliative care. Palliative care is an umbrella term used when aiming to decrease discomfort in a patient while increasing their quality of life, while hospice is a subset of palliative care focused on end-of-life care.

“COVID opened my eyes to the intricacies of palliative care and how important it is to set goals of care with patients,” Daudfar said.

Daudfar said he watched hospice and palliative care physicians conduct sensitive conversations with patients and their families, whether over the phone or in person, and navigate tough decisions.

“Sometimes medicine can be algorithmic,” he said. “Palliative care provides an opportunity to advocate for patients by helping them with what really matters in their life.”

While working in the emergency department, Daudfar saw the effects of the pandemic firsthand and the strains that it imposed on the patient, the health care team and the community. Interprofessional teams were a core piece of how the staff worked together to serve those affected by the pandemic. Techs, EMS, nurses, pharmacists, and physicians had to rely on each other to come up with ways of supporting our hospital system and patients. . Working with every specialty, trusting in each other’s skillsets, and building friendships have been crucial to Daudfar’s education.  

Throughout all this, Daudfar has also been participating in the Housestaff Leadership Council (HLC) as president. The council allows for all disciplines to be represented and advocate for their programs, residents and fellows, and overall improvements to the programs.

Daudfar said the HLC is a great opportunity for those who wish to advocate for their fellow co residents and for those who may may be interested in, one day, pursuing. Whether that be serving on committees such as Wellness or Quality Improvement or advocating for change else, HLC is a great avenue to make this happen for all Creighton residents. If interested, keep an eye out for an email from your program coordinators or program leadership on how to get involved.