Department of Family Medicine

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center

Aurora University of Wisconsin Medical Group

Center for Urban Population Health

Presentation Notes

Poster presented at: Aurora Scientific Day; May 20, 2020; virtual webinar hosted in Milwaukee, WI.


Background: Primary care providers in Milwaukee are surrounded by a diverse community, often hearing stories of overcoming adversity. Celebrating patients’ and staffs’ successes are part of what makes medicine so rewarding. The concept of Humans of Family Medicine stems from the Instagram account Humans of New York, which highlights the stories of everyday people in New York City.

Purpose: To highlight and share unique patient and staff stories in hopes of bringing a humanitarian side to the practice of family medicine.

Methods: We conducted a quality improvement project at 2 family medicine clinics within Milwaukee County during 2019. The project was approved by the local institutional review board. Consent was obtained from patients and staff who agreed to have their story told. The stories were written and then vetted by our social media team, before being published on institutional social media accounts. Family medicine providers and staff were surveyed before and after the project to gauge use of social media and thoughts on the project. Pre/postsurvey responses were compared with Fisher’s exact tests. P-value less than 0.05 was considered significant.

Results:A total of 25 individuals were asked if they would like to participate and share their story; 1 declined. In all, 24 stories were written; 18 have been published (3 on Facebook [FB] alone, 0 on Instagram [IG] alone, and 15 on both platforms). Of the 24 stories, 12 were current patients, 10 were staff members, and 2 were resident physicians. Mean FB likes were 485 (range: 75–1155), and mean IG likes were 96 (range: 45–490). Mean FB comments were 33 (range: 3–173), and mean IG comments were 5 (range: 0–56). Family medicine providers and staff (n=23 presurvey; n=28 postsurvey) were significantly more likely to follow our institution on Facebook following project implementation (P=0.005). Additionally, family medicine providers and staff were significantly more likely to think it was a good idea to showcase patient and staff stories on social media following the project (P

Conclusion: Humans of Family Medicine creates a platform to share stories about the people we serve and is something our staff and providers think is a good idea. It is possible that showcasing these stories may bring a more humanitarian side to the practice of family medicine.

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