Hello... I am Philip Schroeder, a fourth-year Human Biology major at the University of Virginia, an EMT at Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad, and an aspiring hacktivist with a heart and mind set on using data to empower systemic change and help us take better care of one another.
In short, I like building algorithms that bring ideas to life and inspire human connection. Ultimately, I hope to pursue a career at the intersection of biology, machine learning, and healthcare. I believe in people, I believe in data, and I have a lot of fun bringing the two together through biomedicine.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or interests in what I'm up to.
Research This coming May, I will graduate from the Human Biology Distinguished Majors Program and complete my thesis in biomedical analytics with the Dept of Systems and Information Engineering.
My current projects span a variety of interests, from developmental biology to systems design. My thesis is focused in statistical modeling of sepsis and trauma. For sepsis, I work with the UVa Division of Infectious Disease and International Health to build predictive models of sepsis in ICU patients to improve the precision and timeliness with which infections can be identified and treated (abstract of project presented at the 2017 BMES Conference in October). For trauma, I work with the UVa Trauma Center in developing novel acuity stratification approaches that overcome the limitations of common statistical methodology used in literature for pre-hospital and trauma care (manuscript submitted for publication to Annals of Emergency Medicine).
The best part of my research is getting to break down barriers that too often divide researchers of different backgrounds. I get to work with researchers ranging from computer science, mathematics, and engineering to biology and medicine. In addition, I get to meet weekly with physicians actively treating patients to share insights and collaborate on new ideas. Over the years, I have learned that this highly integrated and interdisciplinary model of research and healthcare is something I want to be a part of for the rest of my life.
Rescue As a pre-hospital provider, I get to meet some of the people and hear some of the stories behind the data I work with and, more importantly, gain an appreciation for why the research matters. I get a raw, often sobering, depiction of how the systems within and around UVa Hospital can affect us, and those we care for. Rescue provides glimpses of the good and bad, the highs and lows, the heart and soul of Charlottesville and, in doing so, has revealed to me that healthcare is what I want to do in life - a revelation for which I am sincerely grateful.
Like research, Rescue has opened doors I did not anticipate. Efforts to combat and raise awareness for systemic shortcomings, of which I became aware through EMS, have led to strong ties with local public housing programs, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and elementary schools. Although the big trucks are cool, really the best part of Rescue is getting to connect with the city of Charlottesville and the people of all walks of life.
Reform Whether it be through research, Rescue, or my various other roles on and off Grounds, I do my best to be actively critical of the systems that govern our community, from the local politics to the social culture. This is another reason for my affection for data, as I believe data provides the objectivity and transparency needed to excite change in broken systems and maintain accountability among those within them. In pursuit of reforming the systems in which I take part, from pre-hospital and long-term care to subsidized housing and elementary school education, the sharing of data - and by extension, information - has proved to be the most vital fuel in spawning targeted and robust networks of change. However, my faith in data is accompanied by a great fear of its misuse. Thus, when it comes to the data held by institutions with powerful influence over us and the things we care about, I believe sharing is not just caring, but a matter of fundamental human rights. Data, and how it is used, is of great concern to me - a concern that has led me to develop a new course at UVa that I get to teach this spring semester. In the course, I hope to encourage a greater awareness of the phenomena and dangers that can arise in an increasingly data-driven world - a world in which we have the right and the responsibility to make those we give power uncomfortable when honest transparency is not made a priority.