Skip to Main Content

You aren’t the only one making resolutions for the new year.  STAT asked clinicians across the country this question: What resolution are you making for 2016 to improve the care you give your patients?

Marie A. Bakitas, professor of nursing and associate director of the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

I hope to improve access to palliative care services for people with serious illnesses in communities in rural Alabama, a state that ranks 47th in access to these important services.

Dr. Harold Burstein, breast oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston


Turning off estrogen production in the ovaries, an approach called ovarian suppression, may help prevent the recurrence of breast cancer in some women — but at the price of hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause. In 2016, I am going to be talking a lot more about ovarian suppression with my younger breast cancer patients.

Dr. Antonio Dajer, chief of emergency medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital

I resolve to keep hoping that the medicolegal system will become more open to honest and risk-free reporting of medical error. Without this kind of feedback, clinicians can’t learn from their mistakes.


Dr. Melinda Ring, executive director, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago

In 2016, I will be adding the need to connect with nature to my usual integrative medicine recommendations for a whole-person approach to wellness. Nature has a profound impact on emotional, physical, cognitive, and social health — so more “nature prescriptions” for my patients.

Lillian Sonnenberg, registered dietitian at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston

Employee wellness is an important focus of my work at Massachusetts General Hospital. The resolution I’m making for 2016 to improve the care I give my patients and MGH employees is to teach them two things: 1) ways to include more whole grains in their diets and 2) strategies to evaluate how many calories are in different foods and the impact of what they eat on daily calorie intake.

Dr. Michael Bummer, assistant clinical professor at Magee Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Although it may sound like a cliché, 2016 brings us new challenges as well as better tools to engage our patients. With the evolution of the electronic medical record and improved access to online resources, my resolution is to empower my patients to take charge of their own health.

Dr. Conor P. Delaney, chairman of the Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic

At the Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease Institute, our resolution is to continuously monitor, evaluate, and improve the care we offer patients and each patient’s experience. We will also continue to improve integrated care — making sure each patient gets to the right specialist at the right time. That will ensure that patients benefit from the newest and least invasive therapies, and have the best possible medical and surgical outcomes.

Dr. David Jackman, thoracic oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

I am dedicating 2016 to broadly implementing Dana-Farber’s Pathways Program. This program helps every oncologist in our extensive network have immediate access to the most up-to-date medical information, expertise, and clinical trial opportunities. Better access to this information will translate into better care for every patient we see.