- Emptage Group | Synaptic Pharmacology Research Group
MA, BMBCh, MRCPCH, MMSc (Med Ed)
My research focuses on medical decision-making, with particular emphasis on how best to acknowledge and communicate uncertainty.
Pressures on physicians to minimize or even dismiss uncertainty in clinical care are large and growing, and physician discomfort with uncertainty can impede open, honest and respectful communication with patients, undercutting the patient-provider relationship and decreasing trust. Yet, uncertainty is ubiquitous in medicine. The relationship that embracing uncertainty has on the creation of trust in patient-physician relationships is currently unknown.
We are working to develop a pre-clinical platform, a "Trust Lab", for assessing the impact of potential interventions on trust creation using oxytocin as a biomarker. We then plan to implement successful interventions into primary care practices to see if higher levels of patient trust in physicians results.
This study promises the chance to bring biomarkers to the study of trust; to determine whether improving the communication of uncertainty impacts trust; and to provide the foundations of a "Trust Lab" where new interventions could be tested, with short-term neuro-humoral markers, before being moved into practice.
Diagnostic Reasoning: An Endangered Competency in Internal Medicine Training
Simpkin AL. et al, (2017), Annals of Internal Medicine, 167, 507 - 507
A novel Integrated Clinical Apprenticeship: transforming medical students into student doctors
Simpkin AL. et al, (2017), Education for Primary Care, 28, 288 - 290
Reconciling technology and humanistic care: Lessons from the next generation of physicians
Simpkin AL. et al, (2017), Medical Teacher, 39, 430 - 435
Promoting Resilience in Academic Medicine: Fertile Ground for Future Work
O'Brien SE. et al, (2017), The Journal of Pediatrics, 182, 6 - 7
Tolerating Uncertainty — The Next Medical Revolution?
Simpkin AL. and Schwartzstein RM., (2016), New England Journal of Medicine, 375, 1713 - 1715