Michael E. Wilson, M.D.
- Senior Associate Consultant, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
- Assistant Professor of Medicine
End-of-life decision-making in the intensive care unit (ICU)
What moment or experience in your life influenced your decision to be a clinician?
I have wanted to be a physician ever since I was in elementary school. My mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and I witnessed firsthand the impact of a great health care team and novel scientific therapeutics.
What motivated you to become a Kern Health Care Delivery Scholar?
I am on a lifelong journey to develop novel ideas to help people. I want to become an expert health care delivery scientist. This program offers an unparalleled combination of mentorship, training, skill acquisition and collaboration to help e me achieve this goal. I think one of the greatest benefits is the routine interaction with many established investigators from a variety of fields — thus allowing me to view my field of research from multiple perspectives and infuse new ideas into my current thinking.
What is your focus as a scholar within the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery?
My focus is to improve patient, family and clinician decision-making to initiate and stop life support interventions in the ICU. I hope to identify and quantify patient-centered outcomes, improve assessment of goals of care, and develop a decision aid to improve decision-making for mechanical ventilation and other life support interventions.
Tell us about your mentoring team.
I am so fortunate to have the guidance and expertise of Dr. Tilburt, an ethicist at heart and an internist and health care delivery scientist by trade; Dr. Gajic, an expert ICU physician specializing in outcomes research and medical informatics; and Dr. Montori, one of the world's experts in shared decision-making. This is in addition to so many more people who I have been fortunate to meet along the way and have offered me so much guidance.
How will your research improve patient care or impact public health?
Currently, patient goals of care are not systematically assessed in the hospital and many patients receive treatments that are not in agreement with their goals of care. Many people receive invasive treatments at the end of life that they do not wish to receive. My hope is to develop interventions that will improve the delivery of medical care in the ICU to honor patient values, preferences and goals of care.
Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to pursue your career?
Mayo Clinic is a health care system that offers high-quality patient care in an extremely collegial atmosphere. There is a constant focus on innovation and an environment to support research.