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Patient confidentiality in the personal statement?

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Sarak510

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I'm getting ready to redo my personal statement....argggggg...anyways I wanted to talk about a couple patients I met at the Clinical Center where I did research, but is it breaching HIPAA if I mention their family religious background, but not use their names at all? And if I change their names do I have to mention it?
Thanks.
 

spicedmanna

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I'm getting ready to redo my personal statement....argggggg...anyways I wanted to talk about a couple patients I met at the Clinical Center where I did research, but is it breaching HIPAA if I mention their family religious background, but not use their names at all? And if I change their names do I have to mention it?
Thanks.

I talked about my patients in my personal statements. I think it's okay as long as you don't use personally identifying information that can be traced back to the patient. I never mentioned changing names, but I did change them. It is pretty much assumed if you are just using a first name.
 

BellyDancingDoc

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I'm getting ready to redo my personal statement....argggggg...anyways I wanted to talk about a couple patients I met at the Clinical Center where I did research, but is it breaching HIPAA if I mention their family religious background, but not use their names at all? And if I change their names do I have to mention it?
Thanks.

1) No, it is not a HIPAA violation to mention their religious background unless their religious group is so small that someone could "figure out" who they were.

2) In clinical presentations, patients are usually referred to as Mr. G or Mrs. R. I suggest that you do the same and call them Mr. & Mrs. Q (or whatever).
 

Lests55

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good points. I would refrain from putting Mr. Smith just in case somebody doesn't get it. Is it possible to write it without mentioning the religion by name? Could you say pt. x for religious reasons felt this way, etc....?
 

Captain Fantastic

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I talked about my experiences with patient "Mr. T" in my personal statement. I hope that doesn't get me into trouble.

mr-t.jpg
 

aspiring med

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first names are fine ie "Mary" or "John". I recommend changing names, and you dont need to say names have been changed. specify religion if it's important to your story, and i doubt naming the religion will ID your pts. if you think it would, have some people, MDs or teachers, read your PS and evaluate whether it is too revealing.
 
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^^ I agree. Just change their names (but don't even mention that you did) to something benign.
 
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