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$200K Breakthrough Grant Elevates Diagnostic Training


Chicago, IL—June 24, 2015—The Doctors Company Foundation (TDCF) today awarded a first-of-a-kind $200K grant to The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) and MedU. Up to 80,000 patients[i] are harmed annually due to misdiagnosis. The goal of the grant is to improve patient health by elevating diagnostic training among medical students.

The training will address biases that cause errors in clinical reasoning, assist in recognizing and avoiding cognitive pitfalls, and provide methods for creating discourse around everyday errors. By leveraging MedU’s learning platform, SIDM can reach a substantial portion of U.S. medical trainees. Each trainee—third- and fourth-year students—will benefit from six virtual patient teaching modules.

“For centuries medical trainees have learned about diagnostic error the hard way—when they make them. This is the first curriculum to focus specifically on the problem of diagnostic error. It is a giant step toward our vision of a world where improved diagnosis is a critical factor in better outcomes,” said Mark Graber, MD, FACP, senior fellow RTI International and SIDM president.

The project will be co-directed by SIDM’s Andrew Olson, MD, and MedU’s Valerie Lang, MD. SIDM Education Committee leaders Gurpreet Dhaliwal, MD, and Bob Trowbridge, MD, will play key roles as content specialists. Educators from MedU will include Leslie Fall, MD, and Sherilyn Smith, MD. Dr. Lang and Dr. Fall are both experts in medical learning and developing virtual patient teaching modules.


About the Organizations

The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) is a nonprofit, physician-led organization dedicated to ending the significant harmed caused by diagnostic error by increasing timely, accurate, efficient, and safe diagnosis. Contact Paul Epner, MBA, MEd, EVP, at

MedU is a nonprofit organization dedicated to delivering the best healthcare education through collaborative development and research into innovative, high-impact virtual teaching and learning methods. Each year 42,000 students take MedU courses and complete over one million cases. Contact Leslie Fall, MD, at

The Doctors Company Foundation was created in 2008 by The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer. The purpose of the Foundation is to support patient safety education for healthcare professionals, patient safety research with clinically useful applications, and medical professional liability research. Contact Leona Rice at


[i] Newman-Toker DE, Pronovost PJ. Diagnostic Errors—The Next Frontier for Patient Safety. JAMA. 2009;301 (10): 1060-1062. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.249.