Northwestern Events Calendar


WED@NICO SEMINAR: Jacqueline Kruser, Northwestern Feinberg Medicine "High-Stakes Medical Decision Making: Investigating Human Behavior in a Complex Social System"

Jacqueline Kruser

When: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Chambers Hall, Lower Level, 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Meghan Stagl   847.491.2527

Group: Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

Category: Academic



Jacqueline Kruser, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care) and Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University


High-Stakes Medical Decision Making: Investigating Human Behavior in a Complex Social System


The majority of older adults with life-limiting illnesses report end-of-life treatment goals that prioritize quality of life and comfort over invasive, high-burden treatments that prolong life. Yet, the incidence of intensive care unit admission and the use of prolonged life support in older adults near death continues to rise. A vast amount of observational research suggests that the current approach to making medical decisions for patients near the end of life in the United States fails to meet the needs and goals of patients, their families, and medical professionals at the bedside. The traditional paradigm of investigating and improving high-stakes medical decision-making has represented patients and physicians as independent, autonomous, and rational decision makers. Our work investigating high-stakes medical decisions has uncovered several latent, key influences on treatment decisions related to the complex social and technical system of the intensive care unit. We theorize that building a better model of high-stakes medical decision making that attends to this complex system will lead to effective strategies that will ultimately improve end-of-life care for older adults in the United States

Speaker Bio:

Jacky Kruser, MD MS is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Kruser is a health services researcher funded by the NIH to investigate how the complex social and technical system of the intensive care unit impacts treatment decisions about prolonged life support and end-of-life care. Her work also focuses on developing, testing, and implementing novel interventions to support physicians, patients, and their family members during high-stakes medical decisions. She is a practicing pulmonologist and critical care physician in the adult Medical Intensive Care Unit at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame, followed by medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She was a resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin then pursued a clinical fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and a master’s degree in Health Services and Outcomes Research at Northwestern University

About the Speaker Series:

Wednesdays@NICO is a vibrant weekly seminar series focusing broadly on the topics of complex systems and data science. It brings together attendees ranging from graduate students to senior faculty who span all of the schools across Northwestern, from applied math to sociology to biology and every discipline in-between. 

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