To find out more or share your own success stories, contactLalitha Bhagavatheeswaran
Programme Manager, BMJ Global Health Initiatives
Dr Van Anh Pham is a busy infectious disease doctor, teacher and researcher. We follow her through her day to see how BMJ’s resources help her improve patient care and support medical education in Vietnam.
“I use BMJ Best practice every day on my mobile phone either online or using the app offline when there is no internet available. There is a lot of information on infectious diseases on BMJ Best Practice, which is useful as there are many infectious diseases in Vietnam. For example, there is currently an outbreak of measles and the information on BMJ Best Practice is a great resource for our doctors.”
In the morning, I arrive at the Viet Tiep General Hospital in Hai Phong City where my team and I visit patients in the Tropical Disease Department.
I provide bedside teaching to residents, each of whom are responsible for a patient. They are required to know their patients well and be able to discuss symptoms, laboratory findings, diagnosis and treatment options with doctors in the department during the patient visit. I provide students with information from BMJ’s resources so they can discuss any complications with patients and implement health education.
After the morning rounds, I study my patients more carefully with the available information and make a further decision on their treatment or procedure. I regularly refer to BMJ Best Practice to find treatment options for the patient. I discuss treatment options with the patient and involve them in the decision-making. Using BMJ’s resources allows me to provide the patient with enough information to make an informed decision based on their situation.
A challenge I face as a doctor and an educator in the field of infectious disease is that during an epidemic, things change very rapidly. We need updates as soon as possible. However, we are not always able to get quick updates. That’s why doctors need a good resource, like BMJ Best Practice to rely on to update ourselves regularly.”
I lead case discussions. Students bring a patient case, usually from the previous night. This morning they presented a patient with chickenpox. I have had similar case discussions on dengue fever, HIV, viral hepatitis, measles, sepsis, influenza, meningitis, encephalitis, and Zika where we consulted BMJ Best Practice. The BMJ Best Practice topic on acute varicella zoster infection supported the case discussion today. I guided them using the BMJ Best Practice topic on how to approach a patient with a similar skin lesion emphasising differential diagnosis. After we finished the discussion, I printed PDF versions of the topic for the students.
I teach medical students at the university. I create lectures for medical students and checklists for them to use when they see patients, based on the structure of BMJ Best Practice. The topics on BMJ Best Practice are presented in a clear structure, taking the doctor through epidemiology, clinical approach, management and patient discussion.
I also use BMJ’s resources to create multiple-choice questions for students. This ensures that the answers to the questions come from evidence-based resources.”
Vietnam is currently going through medical education reforms and sometimes during my afternoons, I work on redesigning the curriculum for medical students in years two to six. We want to increase the standards and competency of medical students in order for them to be better prepared for residency.
As a faculty member at the Department of infectious disease at Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy, I already use BMJ’s resources in my lectures.
I recently proposed the idea of integrating BMJ’s resources into the medical curriculum to help define the minimum competencies the medical students should have each year.”
After a long day seeing patients and teaching students, I come home and prepare lectures, work on research or complete non-clinical duties, such as updating hospital guidelines. Recently, I was assigned to update the hospital guideline for community-acquired pneumonia, which BMJ’s resources helped me to do.
BMJ Best Practice and Learning are important tools which help me connect my clinical practice to medical education and research.”