Integrity: To Know and Do What Is Right

Photo by Leisa Thompson Photography

I've had the privilege of meeting many outstanding people — physicians, leaders, support staff, nurses, technicians, and many others — who exhibit great integrity. When they've been recognized for acting in an honorable way, most often they are surprised by the attention and simply say, "It was the right thing to do." 

Here are just a few examples that I have heard about recently. They reminded me that it is the little things that make a difference:   

  • Nicole Zabel, R.N., continued to stay by the bedside of a patient through a long transplant beyond her normal shift. Her caring and integrity earned her the DAISY Award.
  • Andrea Arlen, compliance manager for the pathology department, offered to use her previous extensive laboratory experience to assist with COVID-19 testing.
  • Nurses on the 5A medical surgical unit developed an initiative to diffuse bullying situations, including a code of conduct and tools to promote a positive culture.
  • A multidisciplinary team, led by House Officer Ahmad Abdul-Aziz and pharmacist Sarah Adie, were concerned that internal medicine residents from the cardiac intensive care unit doing rotations on the unit may lack confidence to provide quality care for these complex patients. They developed a handbook to improve knowledge and confidence related to several common topics. Follow up surveys indicated improved confidence in care. 
  • During a routine brain scan, MRI technician Andrea Kaiser astutely recognized a patient with a markedly abnormal condition and called out the concern to the physician. The patient was immediately admitted to the hospital and sent to the ER. The call was very likely lifesaving.
  • A group of Rogel Cancer Center researchers, community outreach team members, and U-M faculty members surveyed the Middle Eastern North African community, identifying their specific needs to address health concerns and ultimately improve screening rates for certain cancers. 

Doing what is right and reaching out to one another and the community helps all of us build and sustain the team. I'm heartened by these examples of team members upholding our core value of integrity.

Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, U-M Medical School
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Michigan
CEO, Michigan Medicine

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