Summer Scholars: Meet Ashley Keane

Name:  Ashley Keane
Hometown:  Massapeuqa, NY
Undergraduate Degree:  Binghamton University Class of 2019, BS Integrative Neuroscience with a minor in Forensic Health
Summer Scholars Project:  Discharge Readability: Comparing Reading Levels of Patients and Caregivers of UNCH-Southeastern with the Printed EHR Discharge Instructions
What is your role in the project?
I along with another MS-2, Amritha Jacob, are responsible for conducting surveys with patients in the Emergency Department or even on inpatient floors of UNC Southeastern in Lumberton, NC. We go around to patients who are 18+ years old or their caregivers and have them read a list of medical terms that commonly appear in discharge papers aloud. As they read, we make note of how many words they are able to read which ultimately will give them a score that will correspond to a specific reading level. We wrap it up with a few demographic questions and move on to the next patient! Our goal this summer is to obtain 560 surveys.
Why did you choose to participate in the Summer Scholars Program?
I chose to participate, and more specifically chose this project, because I wanted to have more experience in Emergency Medicine because I hope to go into Emergency Medicine upon graduation. The project is also an amazing opportunity to possibly publish a poster or publication out of which will help me as I forward in my career in medicine.
What do you hope is the outcome of your project?
I hope to impact the community of Lumberton, NC, and other communities whose members may not all be literate. So far, while administering surveys at UNC Southeastern I have had numerous patients tell me they cannot read, and even more patients I’ve surveyed have not completed high school. I’m hoping the data we gather from this research will push an initiative for alternative forms of delivery of discharge papers for patients who are unable to read them.
What are your future goals?
I hope to enter an Emergency Medicine residency upon graduation where I’ll have a wide variety of patients and diagnoses daily. I hope to continue research throughout my career in Emergency Medicine as it is a constantly evolving specialty.
What do you do in your free time?  Some of my passions and hobbies outside of medicine include reading, cooking meals with family, and spending time at the beach. The latest book I read was “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides, it was a great psychological thriller!
What advice do you have for current and future medical students?
Something I would go back and tell myself before starting medical school is, don’t forget to make time for yourself! It’s easy to get wrapped up into the stress of studying, but I always felt better when I hung out with friends, called a family member, or just took a much-needed nap.