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NOSM medical student co-authors paper in Canadian Journal of Cardiology

Posted on February 28, 2019
Photo of Patrick Donio

A study titled Comparison of Readmission and Death Among Patients With Cardiac Disease in Northern vs Southern Ontario was published today in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. The research recommends providing access to timely transitional care by clinicians who have the knowledge and expertise to treat patients recently discharged from hospital as one of several strategies necessary to reduce hospital readmission rates.

The study shows that patients hospitalized with heart attacks, heart failure, atrial fibrillation or stroke in Northern Ontario were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital and repeatedly hospitalized after discharge than those living in Southern Ontario. Yet, no geographical differences were found in 30-day survival.

One of the papers authors, Patrick Donio, is a third-year NOSM medical student. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Donio has spent time across the north, from Dryden to Iroquois Falls, and as far north as Ogoki Reservoir—which he says is still fairly south for some. It was Donio’s overactive sense of curiosity that led him to do research as a medical student.

“Research felt like a natural outlet for someone who pathologically asks questions. The opportunity to find real answers to real questions was highly intriguing to me,” says Donio. “I was fortunate to have been co-supervised by Dr. Sheldon Tobe (NOSM/University of Toronto) and Dr. Douglas Lee (ICES/University of Toronto) on this project—both incredible Clinician-Researchers with appointments going well beyond the aforementioned.”

The observation of a significant difference in readmission without a significant difference in mortality was most interesting to Donio. That these results pertain to home lends even greater weight, and Donio believes that the findings reinforce the need to advocate for improved access to health services in the North.

Watching a research question take form and grow was fascinating for Donio. He says that being able to work with the team at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the highly impactful co-authorship was an honour. “I would like to extend my appreciation to all involved and look forward to future collaboration,” says Donio.