Dr. Pham emigrated with his family to the United States from Vietnam on February 16, 1993.  He grew up in San Diego and moved to Orange County, California at an early age.  He enjoys the outdoors, going to the beach, is easy going and loves to try new food.  For his education, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Riverside and completed his Masters Degree at Barry University in Biomedical Sciences.  He also completed his Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine degree at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery in Miami Shores, FL.  Currently, he works in one of the best Diabetic Limb Salvage program at Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC under the tutelage of Dr. John Steinberg, DPM.  This sub-specialty can be both challenging and rewarding.  He states, “I am the person I am today because somebody decided to mentor me.  I hope to do the same through QIPS and improve patient safety at Medstar.”

Why Patient Safety?

After meeting Dr. Meyer at our weekly Podiatric Surgery Conference regarding patient safety this past June, I became passionate about patient safety and interested in joining QIPS. Dr. Meyer spoke on various topics from his personal experience. In particular, one of his experiences stood out that changed my own approach to patient care was regarding blood transfusion, about how it was normal to transfuse multiple blood units for patients with anemia.  The idea at the time was, “if one blood unit is good, then two should be better.”  However, we are now aware of the complication risks for blood transfusion and other alternatives like iron supplementation.

From my personal experience regarding patient safety during a surgical case, I recall looking through a chart to get a sticker for logging purposes.  Among the pile of papers, I had noticed an informed consent form as the patient prepared to undergo anesthesia and realized it was documented for the opposite extremity. Quickly, I walked over to inspect the signed extremity and noted it was different from the informed consent.  I decided to speak up and let my attending know regarding the error and we went to reconsent with her parents.  Luckily, no harm came to the patient. This experience taught me that despite the many layers of security installed, mistakes may still occur.

My ultimate goal of attending the joining QIPS is to share what I learned during our quarterly meetings and to become a better physician.  Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.  The important thing is to not stop questioning”.  In a recent article I read, preventable medical errors remain the third highest killer in the United States, just behind heart disease and cancer while claiming the lives of 400,000 people each year.  I hope improve patient safety at Medstar and to continue upholding our High Reliability Organization principles.