University of Nebraska Medical Center

Shining a Spotlight on Dr. Cory Rohlfsen

Academy Member Since 2020
Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, College of Medicine

What do you do at UNMC?
I am a hybrid internal medicine clinician, splitting my time between hospitalist duties and primary care clinic. Most of my time is spent teaching residents and overseeing their care. I am involved in mentoring residents in the Primary Care Program and am passionate about fostering a community of teaching excellence for future academicians. I am involved in the Curriculum Competency Committee and review resident milestones as part of their progress towards graduation. I am also spearheading an extracurricular track for trainees that will prepare them to be clinician educators and scholars. This two year curriculum is called the Health Educators and Academic Leaders (HEAL) track and the pilot cohort will launch in July of 2020.

Tell us about your educational research interests and teaching role.
As a generalist, I really don't have a lot of expertise. That said I am a self-proclaimed expert (so-to-speak) in aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. I gave a Grand Rounds talk on this topic during my chief year of residency and now speak regionally about it since it's such a nuanced topic. I have minimal experience in educational research but would like to strengthen this in the future. My largest passion is teaching and helping make learners the best that they can be. It's extremely rewarding to have a learner tell you that you made a difference in their journey to learn medicine.

What is one of your favorite/memorable teaching moments?
Towards the end of one of my shifts in the hospital, I asked a resident if I could give him feedback about his admission encounter. After he reflected on the observed encounter, he was invigorated about how he might change his approach towards alcohol withdrawal in the future. While these admissions can feel mundane, repetitive, and protocolized, I was able to frame it in a way where he saw "breaking through" and connecting with the patient on their level (wherever they're at) as the exciting part of these encounters. He told me he was excited to apply this fresh perspective to other patients. I went home that night feeling renewed as if I helped one person feel a little less jaded. These are the teaching moments that are most memorable for me.

What do you see as the biggest benefit to being a member of the IAE?
Connections to mentors, experts, and passionate / talented researchers and health educators. I love thinking "big" and the IAE is a visionary place where big ideas are welcome. I am so inspired by all of the innovative ideas and projects that arise from the IAE.

What's something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I had three kids under two years old during residency and chief residency. I took my boards five days after the twins were born (after rescheduling it from the day after their birth). There are only two weeks to take IM boards each year and these were the only options available. Thankfully, it all worked out and we are getting a little bit more sleep these days ;)

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