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About Us

The James Jackson Society
Founded in 2011, the James Jackson Society is an organization that encompasses all Massachusetts General Hospital faculty as well as current and former trainees affiliated with the Mass General Department of Medicine. Dr. James Jackson was a co-founder of Mass General and its first physician. He worked to initiate reforms in the practice and teaching of medicine that included pioneering smallpox vaccinations in New England and devising protective measures against the spread of cholera. His legacy is the foundation on which the Department of Medicine was built.

The Jackson Society provides a forum to continue the beneficial engagement between current and past members of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and build support for initiatives that will ensure that the Department of Medicine enters its next 200 years in an even stronger position. The Jackson Society serves to augment the personal and professional interests of the current residents through ongoing communication with alumni to ensure that the next generation of leaders in medicine can meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Our Programs

Since its creation, the Jackson Society has been dedicated to establishing a connection between current and past members of the Department of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency Program, welcoming our alumni back to Massachusetts General Hospital to celebrate their successes both within and outside our hospital, and believing in our residents’ visions for the future of medicine. Our programming helps to further this life-long connection to Mass General, paving the way for a greater bond between all current faculty, residents and alumni.

The White Coat Grant Initiative

The Jackson Society is committed to establishing our current residents as future leaders in medicine within a diversity of fields, including clinical care, education, innovation and research. The White Coat Grant Initiative has been created in order to sponsor resident-led initiatives in hopes of forging the way for new advances in medicine.

The Jackson Society is proud to announce the 2016 – 2017 recipients of the White Coat Grant Initiative:
  • Pilot Analysis of von Willebrand Factor Content of Cryoprecipitate, Humate-P®, and Normal Plasma
    • Meaghan Colling, MD (Intern Class of 2014)
  • Utilization of Ambulatory Medications Contraindicated in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure (CHF): A Quality Improvement Assessment
    • Shaan-Chirag Gandhi, MD (Intern Class of 2015)
  • Staphylococcal Toxins as Urinary Markers of Disease Etiology in Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Maximilian Konig, MD, PGY-1 (Intern Class of 2016)
  • Improving Transitions of Care for Infective Endocarditis in Patients with Substance Use Disorder
    • Julian Mitton, MD (Intern Class of 2013)
  • Continuity Clinic in Rural Nepal
    • Shreya Shrestha, MD (Intern Class of 2016)

White Coat Grant Updates, 2015-2016 Cycle

MONITAS: The Early Warning System to Prevent Acute Clinical Decompensations in Medicine Patients at Massachusetts General Hospital

Edward Chu, MD and Robert Rogers, MD (Intern Class of 2013)
The ‘art’ of medicine in 2016 revolves around managing acute deterioration in patients with baseline chronic impairment. Real-time collection and analysis of trends in clinical status will allow clinicians to rapidly identify patients at-risk of acute decompensation and provide early intervention to mitigate morbidity and mortality. Warning systems have the potential to revolutionize medical practice in every context, from ICU patients to frail outpatients with CHF to young patients prone to episodes of major depression. We are developing and implementing a clinical algorithm and accompanying tool that demonstrates the power of context-specific, data-derived early warning systems for a major Mass General Medicine challenge: 1,344 floor patients/year who “code”, “rapid” or transfer emergently to the ICU.

Our tool assigns a continuously updated risk score to every hospitalized patient based on background factors and real time vital signs. When the score reaches a threshold whose sensitivity and specificity are determined by the actual data experience of Mass General medicine patients, an alert “triggers” along with a protocol for potential interventions. This is the first ever such system to generate risk scores that are data-derived and institution-tailored, not arbitrarily pre-specified; it will serve as the model for future development of many tools in clinical medicine.

Doctor in Your Pocket: Trialing Diagnostic Decision Support for the Developing World

C. Lee Cohen, MD, MBA (Intern Class of 2015)
Diagnostic decision support systems (DDSSs) are computational aids designed to prevent errors of omission by prompting physicians to broaden their differential diagnoses. DXplain is an Mass General-affiliated DDSS that takes in “features” (e.g. geographic location, symptoms, lab or radiology findings) and produces a broad differential complete with a probability score and severity index for each output diagnosis. However, DDSSes have not been designed for the developing world. Developing world health systems face a shortage of Medical Doctors and have been increasingly looking to Community Health Worker (CHW) systems to expand the scope of medical care. Using charts from all-comers to two rural Indonesian clinics, we are comparing the accuracy of DxPlain against two MDs (diagnosing MD and a control) to evaluate:
  1. If DxPlain can help combat errors of omission
  2. If DxPlain is accurate compared with MDs
  3. If the degree of accuracy is adequate to guide triage or treatment
  4. How the quantity and type of input data changes the result of DxPlain
We will use this study to guide a live trial in Indonesia of the smart-phone optimized version of the software.

MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center Community Garden

Katherine Crabtree, MD (Intern Class of 2014) and Caitrin Kelly, MD (Intern Class of 2015)
Food insecurity is not always the first topic that springs to mind when we think of Charlestown, but the MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center serves a diverse population with many needs. The Jackson Society White Coat Fund enabled us to start a community garden to allow patients of the clinic to have a space for growing their own vegetables.

This year we were able to provide boxes for 15 patients as well as gardening supplies, seeds and plants. There was an incredible amount of interest in the project which we hope will continue to carry forward throughout the summer as our nutritionist uses vegetables grown in the gardens to teach about healthy cooking and eating. Our hope is that this garden will benefit patients in multiple ways. For some it will help them to take control of their relationship with food, for others it will be a therapeutic outlet, and for some it will provide an opportunity to engage with people in the community of Charlestown whom they would never otherwise meet. Evaluation of the project will include monitoring the patients’ vitals and parameters related to metabolic syndrome, but much of the benefit will likely be intangible.

Empowering housestaff scientific investigation through clinical observations

Peter Kim, MD, PhD, Victor Fedorov, MD, PhD, Lauren Zeitels, MD, PhD, Johannes Scheid, MD, PhD, Brian Rosborough, MD, PhD, and Jacob Lemieux, MD, PhD (Intern Class of 2015)
Housestaff at Mass General encounter patients with intriguing clinical phenotypes every day. These phenotypes spark discussions on rounds, but clinical observations and scientific minded discourse is rarely captured or actionable. This information drain is a missed educational opportunity and impedes scientific discovery that has the potential to directly impact patient care.

We aim to create tools by which the systematic capture of unique clinical phenotypes can serve as the basis for inquiry. To this end we have designed and proposed a functionality that will allow housestaff to “tag” interesting patients and record discussions. Eventually, we hope this database of phenotypes, curated by the frontline housestaff, can launch a consult service designed to expedite molecular characterization in the form of “n=1” experiments, and thereby serve as inspiration for future clinical trials. Additionally, “tagging” and curating patients will engender housestaff inquiry and observation during future admissions, further promoting a culture of intellectual curiosity and exploration.

Thoughtful Thursdays: An intervention to improve feedback in a graduate medical education program

Jenna McNeill, MD, Sheela Krishnan, MD and Vimal Jhaveri, MD (Intern Class of 2014)
Feedback is an important teaching skill and is recognized as critical to effective learning in medical education amongst students and house officers. In an attempt to improve the feedback given and received throughout the Internal Medicine Department we created “Thoughtful Thursdays.”

Our proposed intervention occurred in two phases. The first phase was aimed at increasing the frequency of feedback occurring on the wards. Residents in the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Mass General were surveyed in August, 2015 regarding their perceptions of the quantity and quality of feedback they receive on the inpatient wards, as well as their own comfort in giving effective feedback to others. Following this, we held a one-hour noon conference led by a faculty member with expertise in feedback aimed at teaching residents the basics of giving and receiving effective, high-quality feedback. Over the course of the year residents on inpatient services had an hour of time each week entitled “Thoughtful Thursdays,” dedicated to wraparound individual and group feedback. Residents received periodic reminders to conduct feedback sessions with their teams during this on-hour period on Thursday afternoons, in addition to receiving spaced, succinct tips via email about how to give effective feedback.

The second phase of the intervention aimed to provide residents with concrete methods for giving high-quality feedback. This was marked with expert discussants on feedback from Keith Baker, MD and Jo Shapiro, MD delving into the specifics of high quality feedback, and how to overcome barriers in giving and getting feedback in the clinical education setting. We then created videos demonstrating various models of giving feedback that were presented to all residents during noon conference. They were encouraged to then practice and apply these methodologies in exchanging feedback with their teams. Periodic evaluation by the program administration and residents involved in the project were critical to assessing progress towards the initiative’s stated goals. The intervention will end with a town hall-style noon conference at the end of the academic year to elicit assessment of the year-long intervention from residents.

Learn about past White Coat Grant projects.

Faculty White Coat Words of Wisdom

Each June, the Internal Medicine Residency Program welcomes a new Intern Class and bestows upon them the white coat that represents the Mass General transition from medical student to doctor in training. To show our incoming residents that they are valued members of our community, we ask our Department of Medicine faculty to provide “words of wisdom” to the new class. These mementos are written on note cards and placed in the interns’ white coat pockets. Through this gesture we hope to display the network of support available to the Department of Medicine community throughout the spectrum of their careers.

Jackson Society Grand Rounds

The Jackson Society Medical Grand Rounds series increases engagement between our alumni and current residents. A resident led program, Mass General Department of Medicine alumni are invited to present their career journey at Medical Grand Rounds and interact with current residents and fellows interested in their specialty. These series have been a wonderful opportunity to engage Mass General alumni who are no longer members of the Department of Medicine with current residents, allowing both parties to deepen their connection and involvement with Mass General. Please take a look at our speakers for our upcoming 2018–2019 academic year lecture series:

  • February 7: Ned Sharpless, MD
    • National Cancer Institute
  • April 18: Tony Coles, MD
    • Yumanity Therapeutics
  • May 23: Carmella Evans-Molina, MD
    • Indiana University