“Many of These Patients Disappear”

Kevin Yiu Spent His Summer Documenting Patients’ Histories

August 08, 2017

Working under Dr. Getaw Hassen in the emergency department of NY Metropolitan Hospital Center, Yiu did two chart review projects. The first project examined hundreds of patients who were diagnosed with pancreatitis from 2010-2017 and their subsequent complications.

“Many of the patients are homeless or are drug addicts,” said Yiu, a native of Bayside, Queens. “A lot of these people leave the hospital without being treated or they just end up disappearing and we never know what happens to them.”

The second chart review examined patients who arrived in the emergency room with dental problems and looks at what insurance they carried. Yiu said the finding is especially important considering the changes that might affect the healthcare system. He is finalizing an abstract about the pancreatitis project to submit to a conference. The goal of both studies is to provide doctors with a greater understanding of the patients that frequent the emergency rooms.

While Yiu says there are some similarities between the research he completed on marine life as an undergraduate, he said that working with a human population was strikingly different.

“You’ve been entrusted to learn about these people,” said Yiu. “They have their own lives and you can’t just characterize them by their diseases. It’s a huge responsibility. I want to make sure their story is told.”