NOVEMBER 2022 Partner Spotlight

Domenick Acquista, MD, MBA, MSEd, is Practicing Excellence’s Partner of the Month for November! Dr. Acquista, an internal medicine physician at Northwell Health. He has spent over ten years serving as a primary care physician and teaches as an associate professor at Hofstra Zucker School of Medicine as well as at SUNY Downstate School of Medicine, where he is the Site Director for clerkships. 

Dr. Acquista is an avid user of Practicing Excellence’s Clinician Experience Project(CEP). He uses CEP to improve his already great interactions with his patients and staff, growing a deeper connection with those he works with and serves. Read below how CEP helps Dr. Acquista excel in his work!

How long have you been in medicine, and what are your favorite parts about it?

I have been practicing primary care medicine for a little over ten years. I really enjoy spending time with patients and getting to know them, listening to their stories, and finding out who they are as people in addition to whatever medical problems they may have.


Can you tell us one of your favorite patient stories from working in medicine?

It’s difficult to pick just one story. Through the years, there have been wonderful encounters. I have become part of patients’ lives – I’ve been invited to weddings, birthdays, and memorials. My favorite memories involve creating treatment plans that help or cure people with issues that they have been dealing with for some time.


How has the Clinician Experience Program helped you as a clinician? 

CEP has reinforced in me the importance of reflection, both in action during patient encounters and also in action after patient encounters. I can hear the videos play in my mind as I feel stressed or when I introduce myself to a new patient.


Could you tell us about a time that a tip you learned came in handy, with a patient or colleague, for example?

One of my favorite modules was “The Importance of Why.” The techniques and theories discussed in the tip can be used with both staff and patients. A very common example would be when starting a diabetic or asymptomatic hypertensive patient on medications. It’s difficult for some patients to understand the need for these medications since “they feel fine.” Once I have explained the long-term complications of untreated conditions (sometimes down to the mechanism of action detail), patients are more likely to take their medications. You can see that Ah-ha moment when they realize, “oh, that’s why I should take this.” It makes you feel accomplished as a physician and as an educator.


What new skills are you looking forward to developing?

I look forward to developing my team-building and leadership qualities. In medicine, we work closely with multiple disciplines and professions. It’s important to ensure everyone has a voice and is used effectively to maximize patient care and outcomes.


What do you look forward to most after each week’s new tip?

I would say I look forward to finding ways of implementing what I learned. At the same time, it’s also exciting to share what I’ve learned with colleagues. It’s a great way to start a conversation and discuss experiences.

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