Case Studies by Paul Griner


Dr. Paul Griner

During a 50-year career in medicine, Dr. Paul Griner accumulated hundreds of patient stories. He learned as a medical student and resident, treated as a hematologist during a tour of duty in the air force, taught as a professor of medicine in the fields of hematology and internal medicine, led as the president of a large university teaching hospital, and finally, mentored young physicians.

Most of his storiesand the case studies the IHI Open School will present in the coming monthsare from the 1950s and 1960s, prior to what we now refer to as “modern medicine.”

With the remarkable technology now available to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of patients, Griner says, medical educators have devoted less time to the fine points of “bedside medicine,” the taking of a thorough history and performance of a good physical exam.

In his view, there are many reasons why physicians need to develop and refine these skills:

  1. The confidence of the patient in his or her physician is enhanced.
  2. The ready availability of sophisticated tests and procedures leads to their overuse, often resulting in inappropriate or unnecessary treatments with cost and quality moving in the wrong directions.
  3. The practice of medicine has become global. Many physicians (and students) elect to spend time in underdeveloped countries, providing valuable services to patients in settings where sophisticated tests and procedures are not available.

Griner, now Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, believes that professionalism and sound clinical skills mark the good physician. It is with this in mind that he presents these case studies and the lessons learned from them.

​Case Studies:

Released 2/15/2012: The Protective Parent
Released 5/08/2012: Locked In
Released 6/26/2012: On Being Transparent
Released 10/24/2012: Mutiny

The full collection of Dr. Griner’s case studies, The Power of Patient Stories: Learning Moments in Medicine​, can now be purchased through Amazon’s electronic book publishing program.​​​​