A Global Physician Scholar's Transformative Experiences in Hospital Medicine

Dr. Lucas Gortz reflects on the professional and personal experiences he gained through the Global Physician Scholar Program and his time at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

ACP's Global Physician Scholar (GPS) Program provides opportunities for early/mid-career physicians from outside the United States and Canada to gain expertise in a focused area relating to the prevention, diagnosis, and/or management of a clinical problem in internal medicine and the subspecialties.

Please visit the ACP website for more information on the Global Physician Scholar Program or to submit your application for the 2024-25 cycle.

Global Physician Scholar: Lucas Gortz, MD – Brazil

Project Focus: Hospital Medicine
Host Institution: Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
Mentor: Christopher Whinney, MD, FACP, SFHM, Chairman of the Department of Hospital Medicine

I applied to the Global Physician Scholar (GPS) Program driven by my passion for providing outstanding clinical care to hospitalized patients at the largest university hospital in my state. The heterogeneous nature and challenges of Hospital Medicine across Brazil further motivated me to expand my horizons, and the GPS program presented the perfect opportunity to engage in a world-class collaboration.

Completing the program at the Cleveland Clinic under the mentorship of Christopher Whinney, MD, FACP, SFHM, Chairman of the Department of Hospital Medicine, was an extraordinary path to enlightenment in my career. With the goal of teaching me how to build, grow, operate, and thrive in a successful multi-site Hospital Medicine program, Dr. Whinney and his team poured their hearts into meticulously tailoring an exceptional experience that I will forever cherish. Through well-organized sessions, including bedside teaching rounds, dedicated meetings, and one-on-one discussions, I learned about the full suite of Hospital Medicine from a service of excellence. During my time there I had the privilege to present the Brazilian panorama at their Department Monthly Leadership Meeting and gain insights from Dr. Whinney and all site directors from Northeast Ohio.

On a more granular tone, I witnessed nearly all domains of transitions of care and the different disposition alternatives, learned about the integration of Hospital Medicine with Critical Care and Emergency Teams, and discussed many practical examples of quality improvement & patient safety, and high-value care. This comprehensive and immersive learning environment allowed me to acquire advanced skills in operational rounding, patient flow management, documentation, and discharge processes. I also absorbed as much as I could of evidence-based medicine patient care, medical education in an academic setting, and innovative research.

Upon returning to Brazil, improvements across several key areas have been developed, and are continually being assessed due to the nature of initiatives in Hospital Medicine. They have led to significant advances, such as reduced length of stay, optimization of posthospitalization follow-up, enhanced operational efficiency through implementation of geographic cohorting, among others. Of note, we had the honor of Dr. Whinney visiting us in Brazil five months after my GPS experience! This further strengthened our connection and allowed peers to benefit from his expertise in person.

I wholeheartedly recommend the GPS program. The close mentorship of such experienced leaders from a prestigious institution has enriched my professional growth and elevated my perspective on healthcare standards. The GPS program is an unparalleled platform for early-career physicians to excel and make a meaningful impact in their home countries.

Dr. Gortz at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Teaching team with attending physician Roop Kaw MD, medical student Joseph Bogart, resident Mustapha Amin MD, Lucas Gortz MD, and intern Joy Yates DO (from top, counterclockwise).
Dr. Gortz at the Department of Hospital Medicine's Monthly Leadership Meeting. From left to right: Dr. Ola Thuestad, Dr. Christopher Whinney, Dr. Lucas Gortz, Dr. Regina Pestak, Brittani Burroughs MHA, Dr. Vara Janamanchi, Dr. Jennifer Solivas-Maluyao, Dr. Amy O'Linn.
Dr. Gortz at the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting 2023
Dr. Gortz and GPS host Dr. Christopher Whinney, during Dr. Whinney's visit to Complexo Hospital de Clínicas - Universidade Federal do Paraná, in Curitiba, Brazil.
Dr. Gortz and colleagues with his GPS host Dr. Christopher Whinney, during Dr. Whinney's visit to Universidade Federal do Paraná, in Curitiba, Brazil.

Back to the May 2024 issue of ACP Global