Page 16 - Regions Annual Report 2022
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16 | Emergency Medicine Residency 2022 Annual Report
 Peter Baggenstos, MD
    You have taken a unique path to get where you are now—can you share with us your journey from working, to deciding to go to medical school, to training with an EM/IM combined residency followed by a critical care fellowship?
I grew up in Southern California in the 70s and 80s with Star Wars, video games, and new things called computers. I left the west coast for Boston to study Aerospace Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I escaped with a B.S. degree (barely, I was far from their most stellar student). I worked on various projects in the aerospace field over the next several years, eventually leading the company Beal Aerospace in the development of the largest rocket up to then. When that was finished, however, I decided I was ready for a new direction and new challenges. It took me a bit to complete the medical school perquisites, but eventually I entered University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas for my M.D. degree. I had originally thought I would pursue Burn Surgery, though my experience in the operating quickly proved I did not have the requisite attention span for
a surgeon, but I did discover I was energized by taking care of patients in the ICU. My wife and I moved to Minneapolis where I completed an Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine residency at Hennepin County Medical Center (now Hennepin Health). I stayed on for an additional two years to complete fellowships in Critical Care and Emergency Cardiology.
What brought you to Regions for your Emergency Medicine and Critical Care jobs, and what keeps you excited about working here now?
I wanted to work at academic program and finding a position that would allow the flexibility of working in both the Emergency Department and the Critical Care Unit was key. Coming from HCMC, Regions Hospital was not on my list originally. But when Dr. Isenberger was a strong salesman, and everything he said was true. Regions Hospital has an unwavering dedication to the care of the patients that seek care here. There is a culture that looks to build its people up and support the work they are doing. We set high standards for ourselves and learners, but ensure the tools are available succeed and space to carry out the individual and departmental goals and education.
Weekly conferences are such a big part of our residency education, and you were very involved in shaping and now running our weekly resuscitation conference hour. Tell us about your passion for that session?
Education researchers and thought leaders like Dr. Felix Ankel have changed the way we teach. Our goal for medical students and residents is not only fact based knowledge transfer, but to form life-long learners that build their own network of learning. This means that the hour long lecture with 50 slides is at best worthless and may actually be harmful for motivating learners incorporating structures of knowledge into their practice. More dynamic techniques including simulation, collaborative knowledge development, direct mentorship, and others need to
play a more prominent role in our education model. I have a personal interest in case-based reflective practice. I don’t think I am unusual in that I remember cases much easier than lists of facts. We developed the Resuscitation Conference as a departmental wide conference to provide timely review, discussion, and learning of major cases seen in our Emergency Department. To work and not devolve into a punitive M&M we focused of encouraging collaborative multidisciplinary discussion (residents, physicians, nursing staff, administration, EMS staff, and specialty experts) and highlighting cases for their educational value rather than negative outcomes or perceived mistakes. While we don’t shy away from reviewing cases where our care could be improved, we highlight cases
with difficult medical decision making, interesting and new techniques, and cases where the care team performed extraordinarily. We have learned that discussing recent cases provides much more insight and education, than cases that have faded from short-term memory. It has been a learning process, but so far it has been well received.
Anything else you would like to share with us about life, your job, etc.?
In my short career I have seen my challenges. The I-94 bridge collapse, the H1N1 epidemic, the Ebola scare, the COVID-19 pandemic, violence, the scourge of substance abuse, long overdue social justice reckoning, and most recently hospital staffing and bed shortages. Looking back it would have been impossible to have predicted where I am now. What I have learned though, is that it is the journey and those who walk along the path with you that matters more than the destination.

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