Dr. Sarah Parker received her Doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Aberdeen in 2011. Following her doctoral work she then completed a Post Doctoral Fellowship at the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. After several years in Washington, DC, Dr. Parker’s roots and the excitement of the new medical school and opportunity for health system collaboration brought her back to Roanoke. Now Dr. Parker seamlessly divides her time between three unique roles. Her primary appointment at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) allows her the opportunity to pursue grants, publish, and present scholarly accomplishments.
At Carilion, Dr. Parker wear’s the hat of Director of Human Factors Research. Human factors research takes what we know about how people think and do things and applies it to their work. Their goal is to help build an understanding of our cognitive and physical capabilities and limitations and determine how to design the work to fit. Her team focuses on the safety events that occur at the hospital and the contribution that human factors may have played, while helping faculty engage in QI efforts throughout the hospital. Dr. Parker shared that they strive to “design the work to the human.”
At Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM), Dr. Parker supports the integration of quality and safety into the medical student curriculum. As Dr. Parker shares, VTCSOM is blazing the trail for others by proactively and innovatively thinking about ways to integrate quality as related accreditation requirements are on the horizon. Dr. Parker has worked to ensure quality and safety are prominent threads that run throughout the curriculum. For students in years 1 and 2, quality and safety goals are deliberately included into their PBL learning objectives. This provides students with a systems perspective on contributions to human performance and helps them to understand how the world around them impacts what they do.
When asked about her favorite group of learners, Dr. Parker shared her love for teaching and working with medical students. Their curiosity and enjoyment of the work allows them the opportunity to build on something together. In a less formal teaching role, Dr. Parker serves as a mentor for her PhD students at VTCRI. She helps those learners to manage their research, meet their goals, and by providing guidance along the way to ensure they are using appropriate methods and completing their research with the appropriate rigor.
Dr. Parker truly values the power of collaboration. She believes one of the most valuable tool for faculty is identifying partners outside your normal area. She finds the immense value in her weekly lab meeting due to the interdisciplinary interaction that occurs. Bringing together people from across the institution provides her and her team a whole different set of perspectives. Another opportunity for collaboration Dr. Parker values is her involvement in TEACH. As Chair of the Education Research Subcommittee Dr. Parker is able to learn about new and different types of scholarship opportunities across the health system. It also provides her and others the opportunity to learn from each other, build new innovations and find new evidence.
Dr. Parker is a dynamic educator with a strong commitment to her learners and research. She continually inspires her learners and colleagues to challenge themselves and contribute to science through something new and exciting. Her passion for her work and her students is an inspiration and asset to our learning community.
State, Regional and National Presentations:
- Polk, E. L. Adding a Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum to the Family Medicine Clerkship – Challenges and Rewards. [Oral Presentation] presented at: STFM Annual Conference on Medical Student Education, Society of Teacher of Family Medicine; February 11 – February 11, 2017; Anaheim, CA.
- Polk, E. L. The Effects of Implementing a Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum on Medical Student Attitudes towards Obesity, Confidence in Providing Lifestyle Behavior-Related Counseling to Patients, and Own Health Behaviors. [Oral Presentation] presented at: STFM Annual Conference on Medical Student Education, Society for Teachers of Family Medicine; February 11 – February 11, 2017; Anaheim, CA.
- Musick, D. W. Annual ACGME Resident Surveys: Why They Matter and How I Can Have an Impact as a Resident Physician. [Oral Presentation] presented at: Department of Psychiatry Resident Didactic Session, Carilion Clinic February 6, 2017; Roanoke, VA.
- Fortuna, T. J., Musick, D. W. Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks: Maintaining the Clinical Competency of Faculty. [Oral Presentation] presented at: 17th Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH 2017), Society for Simulation in Healthcare January 30, 2017; Orlando, FL.
- Page-Ramsey, S., Graziano, S., Robinson, R., Murchison, A. B. A Magical Innovation: Development, Implementation and Results from the CREOG and APGO Joint “Step Up to Residency” Program. [Oral Presentation] presented at: CREOG/ APGO Annual Meeting, Council Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology March 10, 2017; Orlando,
- Johnson, I. M., Murchison, A. B. Works Like Magic: Improving Resident Evaluations Through an Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA) Based Evaluation System. [Oral Presentation] presented at: CREOG/ APGO Annual Meeting, Council Residency Education Obstetrics and Gynecology March 9, 2017; Orlando, FL.
- Fong, A., Clark, L., Cheng, T., Franklin, E., Fernandez, N., Ratwani, R., Parker, S. (2017). Identifying influential individuals on intensive care units: Using cluster analysis to explore culture. Journal of Nursing Management.
- Welfare, L., Borders, D. The Counselor Cognitions Questionnaire: Development and validation. The Clinical Supervisor, 29.
- Whicker, S. A. (2017). Academy Spotlight. National Academies Collaborative Newsletter. Academies Collaborative Newsletter.
- Dumenco, L., Engle, D. L., Goodell, K., Nagler, A., Ovitsh, R. K., Whicker, S. A. (2017). A Group Review Process for Medical Education Scholarship. Academic Medicine February.
Abstracts and Posters:
- Musick, D. W. (Author & Presenter), Dallas, A. P. (Author), Gazo, J. (Author), Whicker, S. A. (Author), Wells, L. (Author), Vanblaricom, K. (Author), Arulruja, E. (Author), 9th Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, “Initial Results of a Multi-Faceted Continuing Medical Education Intervention Designed to Reduce Unnecessary Blood Transfusions,” [Poster]. Virginia Tech Center for Instructional Design and Educational Research (CIDER) February 17, 2017; Blacksburg, VA.
- Trinkle, D. B. (Author & Presenter), Musick, D. W. (Author), Cusumano, J. A. (Author), Allison-Jones, L. (Author), Porter, A. G. (Author), Vari, R. C. (Author), Kennedy, W. C. (Author & Presenter), Fifth Annual Emswiller Interprofessional Symposium, “Dividing an Online Interprofessional Ethics Course into Parallel Live and Online Courses While Still Keeping It Interprofessional,” [Poster]. Virginia Commonwealth University February 4, 2017; Richmond, VA
- Garber, J. S., Webster, C., Allison-Jones, L., Clark, R. C., 2007 Nurse Faculty/ Nurse Executive Summit, “Collaborating to Transform Nursing Care through Practice,” [Poster]. Scottsdale, AZ.