In our annual HealthLeaders 20, we profile individuals who are changing healthcare for the better. Some are longtime industry fixtures; others would clearly be considered outsiders. Some are revered; others would not win many popularity contests. All of them are playing a crucial role in making the healthcare industry better. This is the story of Vineet Arora, MD.
This profile was published in the December, 2011 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
"When I was a resident, you never had to hand off anything … That meant you stayed until your work was done."
Vineet Arora, MD, MPP, FACP, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, says she was always interested in finding out why things work—or don't—in healthcare, and that inquisitive nature led her to sleep.
Not necessarily her own sleep, mind you, although Arora will tell you when she was a resident she had her share of sleepless nights like many of her colleagues.
Arora, also assistant dean of scholarship and discovery at the Pritzker School of Medicine, is leading research that is reshaping sleep schedules for residents to improve quality and safety of patients. “You don't want doctors fatigued to the point they are hurting anybody,” she says.
“It's a fascinating area to work in. It's complex. If you change one thing in the system, you can change a lot of things. Everybody needs sleep. It doesn't matter who you are. You can't function without it. You'll die.”