Denise Connor, MD

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of California San Francisco
Address4150 Clement St
San Francisco CA 94121
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of PennsylvaniaMD2007School of Medicine
    University of California, San Francisco2010Internal Medicine Residency
    University of California, San Francisco2010Health Equities: Academics & Advocacy Training Program
    University of California, San Francisco Inpatient Chief Resident2011San Francisco VA Medical Center
    University of California, San FranciscoTeaching Scholars Program2016Academy of Medical Educators
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    UCSF, Academy of Medical Educators2012Excellence in Teaching Award
    UCSF, PRIME Program2014Calvin Chou Award for Education
    UCSF, Academy of Medical Educators2016Accepted into Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators
    Society of General Internal Medicine2016David E. Rogers Junior Faculty Education Award for workshop “Teaching Clinical Reasoning"

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    As a founding member of the San Francisco VA Medical Center’s Faculty Hospital Medicine Group, I attend on a range of inpatient services including the medicine ward service, a traditional teaching service, the Faculty Hospitalist Service, an attending-only service, the Co-Management Service, a consultative service for peri-operative patients, and our Swing Service, where I serve as Transfer Attending, Medicine Consult attending, Procedure attending (teaching bedside procedures), while admitting new patients and supporting the on-call team. As a safety net hospital, much of our clinical care at the SFVA is focused on underserved patients.

    Medical education is at the heart of my career. In 2013, I joined the faculty of PRIME, a VA-based Area of Distinction for second and third year internal medicine residents which offers training in understanding the medical literature, designing clinical research, and expanding clinical skills. As Associate Director of the clinical curriculum, my focus is on developing PRIME’s weekly didactic sessions. I have expanded this curriculum by developing a case-based, longitudinal clinical reasoning series, and a career series dedicated to building tools for successful academic careers.

    My interest in formal undergraduate medical education began in my year as a chief resident, and was reinforced through my early experiences in the Foundations in Patient Care course and at the Kanbar Simulation Center. Inspired by these experiences, I joined the Clinical Guidance Program, coaching students as they worked to improve patient care skills. And, by designing and launching an elective titled “Hospital-Based Medicine: A Clinical Skills Tutorial” for pre-clerkship medical students, I had the opportunity to plan a hands-on curriculum for early clinical learners.

    I recently took on new roles within the School of Medicine as the theme leader for Clinical Reasoning within the Clinical Microsystem Clerkship (CMC) (sessions launched in September 2016), and Design Lead and Director for a capstone course in the Bridges Curriculum, titled the Diagnostic Reasoning (DR) Block, which launched in November, 2017. This work has given me the opportunity to develop a novel, longitudinal curriculum focused on building skills in clinical reasoning for early learners.

    My research interests are intertwined with my focus on medical education, specifically with curricular development and clinical reasoning. I am particularly interested in the intersection between communication and clinical reasoning. Highlights of my current projects are described below:

    • I am in the midst of a multi-year project aimed at learning how our elective, “Hospital-Based Medicine: A Clinical Skills Tutorial,” influences students’ clerkship preparedness, and whether the competencies stressed by our clinical faculty mirror the milestones expected of second-year students.

    • As I expand PRIME’s clinical reasoning curriculum, my goal is to harness residents’ own, authentic cases to hone skills in metacognition. I am in the midst of analyzing a series of focus groups with graduating Internal Medicine residents to understand how they approach concepts related to diagnostic reasoning. My goal is to use the results of this thematic analysis to shape our future curriculum.

    • As Director for the Diagnostic Reasoning (DR) Block in the Bridges Curriculum, I hope to enhance our understanding of successful strategies for teaching and assessing clinical reasoning in early learners.

    • I am working with a team of colleagues to develop a web-based platform aimed at helping faculty teach concepts in clinical reasoning to their learners, as an extension of the Journal of General Internal Medicine’s Exercises in Clinical Reasoning series. Ultimately, we hope to study the site’s impact on disseminating clinical reasoning concepts.

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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Wang EY, Patrick L, Connor DM. Blind Obedience and an Unnecessary Workup for Hypoglycemia: A Teachable Moment. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Feb 01; 178(2):279-280. PMID: 29181533.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Wheeler DJ, Cascino T, Sharpe BA, Connor DM. When the Script Doesn't Fit: An Exercise in Clinical Reasoning. J Gen Intern Med. 2017 Jul; 32(7):836-840. PMID: 28337688.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Connor DM, Conlon PJ, O'Brien BC, Chou CL. Improving clerkship preparedness: a hospital medicine elective for pre-clerkship students. Med Educ Online. 2017; 22(1):1307082. PMID: 28395598.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Kohlwes J, O'Brien B, Stanley M, Grant R, Shunk R, Connor D, Cornett P, Hollander H. Does Research Training During Residency Promote Scholarship and Influence Career Choice? A Cross-Sectional Analysis of a 10-Year Cohort of the UCSF-PRIME Internal Medicine Residency Program. Teach Learn Med. 2016 Jul-Sep; 28(3):314-9. PMID: 27143394.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Connor DM, Elkin GD, Lee K, Thompson V, Whelan H. The Unbefriended Patient: An Exercise in Ethical Clinical Reasoning. J Gen Intern Med. 2016 Jan; 31(1):128-32. PMID: 26438516; PMCID: PMC4699999 [Available on 01/01/17].
    6. Connor DM, Dhaliwal G. When less is more for the struggling clinical reasoner. Diagnosis (Berl). 2015 Sep 01; 2(3):159-162. PMID: 29540031.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Connor DM, Binkley S, Fishman NO, Gasink LB, Linkin D, Lautenbach E. Impact of automatic orders to discontinue vancomycin therapy on vancomycin use in an antimicrobial stewardship program. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2007 Dec; 28(12):1408-10. PMID: 17994524.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Drake CT, De Oliveira AX, Harris JA, Connor DM, Winkler CW, Aicher SA. Kappa opioid receptors in the rostral ventromedial medulla of male and female rats. J Comp Neurol. 2007 Jan 20; 500(3):465-76. PMID: 17120286.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Williams H, Connor DM, Hill JW. Testosterone decreases the potential for song plasticity in adult male zebra finches. Horm Behav. 2003 Dec; 44(5):402-12. PMID: 14644634.
      View in: PubMed