We asked our Leadership Council a few questions to get insights on their philosophy of practice and to learn a bit about their background. Here is our Q & A with Dr. Stefanie Ellison.
1) What is your favorite part of practicing medicine (or working in your current role)?
It is tough to name just one – in the emergency department, I enjoy working as a team. We function like one big family supporting each other through difficult cases and in helping our patients.
In academics, I enjoy the constant education. Teaching residents and medical students require me to stay current on the literature and current practice of emergency medicine. I also have the opportunity to work with faculty from different departments to collaborate and educate our medical students.
2) How do you relax?
I spend time with my family (my girls are very active), garden, run and I have just discovered cycling and yoga.
3) Tell us about your family.
My husband is a general surgeon who practices at Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Providence Medical Center. We have three daughters Sarah (14), Samantha (12), and Sofia (10), and a Papillon named Sonny. We love the outdoors and traveling.
4) What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing physicians?
Keeping up with the electronic medical record. This is an added expectation on top of increasing continuing medical education and expectations of my specialty.
5) What do you love about Kansas City?
It is a big city with great food and things to do. It is also a great place to raise a family.
6) What are your favorite movies and books?
It’s a Wonderful Life, The Contender, and Presumed Innocent. I could also read Presumed Innocent, Being Mortal, and The Road to Character over and over.
7) Who is a mentor that shaped the way you practice medicine?
There are many but I will try to limit it to three:
My chair, Matt Gratton. He was my research advisor when I was a resident and then became our chair. I find that with difficult cases I think about he would say and do during such cases. I also take his advice on how to strike balance in practice, academics, and life.
Louise Arnold was the assistant dean for medical education at the UMKC School of Medicine and influenced my academic career for almost 10 years. She modeled professionalism and helped shape the way I manage my practice and career.
And thirdly, my husband, Scott. We were residents together and when I find doing the right thing for my patients difficult, I remember the supportive words that he gives me when I am having a tough day. He models doing the right thing with an open and kind heart.
8) What are your favorite pastimes or hobbies?
9) If you could change anything about health care, what would it be?
I would remodel the documentation and the electronic medical record so that we can spend more time at the bedside with patients. With shared decision-making, we need to improve our communication skills with patients and their families and the computer gets in the way of that. I also believe that an interprofessional, team-based approach to care can help us avoid errors and take better care of our patients.
10) What else can you share with us that would allow members to get to know you?
I am passionate about patient care and medical education. I am excited to be in The Kansas City Medical Society to help make a difference in how we care for patients in Kansas City.