Marzena Sasnal, PhD, MA, is a qualitative & mixed methods-oriented social scientist, experienced in health services, medical education, and migration research with publication record, grant support, and extensive administrative experience. Dr. Sasnal currently works as Social Science Researcher at the S-SPIRE Center and is thrilled to contribute to research aiming to improve public health. Before joining Stanford, she studied the adaptation processes of highly skilled migrants in Silicon Valley. Dr. Sasnal collaborates with multidisciplinary teams and assists principal investigators with designing, conducting, and overseeing qualitative and mixed methods research projects. Additionally, she provides instruction and consultation on research methods and techniques. Dr. Sasnal has contributed to academic and grant research projects on various topics: medical education, implementation & evaluation science, innovations in care, patient-provider communication, patient-centered care, palliative care, among others.

Education & Certifications

  • PhD, University of Wroclaw, Poland, Social Sciences (Sociology), concentration: Sociology of Migration (2019)
  • MA, University of Wroclaw, Poland, Sociology, concentration: Communication and Market Research (2010)
  • BA, University of Wroclaw, Poland, International Relations and Affairs, concentration: International Economic Relations (2009)

All Publications

  • COVID-19 Impact on Surgical Resident Education and Coping. The Journal of surgical research Wise, C. E., Bereknyei Merrell, S. n., Sasnal, M. n., Forrester, J. D., Hawn, M. T., Lau, J. N., Lin, D. T., Schmiederer, I. S., Spain, D. A., Nassar, A. K., Knowlton, L. M. 2021; 264: 534–43


    Healthcare systems and surgical residency training programs have been significantly affected by the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A shelter-in-place and social distancing mandate went into effect in our county on March 16, 2020, considerably altering clinical and educational operations. Along with the suspension of elective procedures, resident academic curricula transitioned to an entirely virtual platform. We aimed to evaluate the impact of these modifications on surgical training and resident concerns about COVID-19.We surveyed residents and fellows from all eight surgical specialties at our institution regarding their COVID-19 experiences from March to May 2020. Residents completed the survey via a secure Qualtrics link. A total of 38 questions addressed demographic information and perspectives regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical training, education, and general coping during the pandemic.Of 256 eligible participants across surgical specialties, 146 completed the survey (57.0%). Junior residents comprised 43.6% (n = 61), compared to seniors 37.1% (n = 52) and fellows 19.3% (n = 27). Most participants, 97.9% (n = 138), anticipated being able to complete their academic year on time, and 75.2% (n = 100) perceived virtual learning to be the same as or better than in-person didactic sessions. Participants were most concerned about their ability to have sufficient knowledge and skills to care for patients with COVID-19, and the possibility of exposure to COVID-19.Although COVID-19 impacted residents' overall teaching and clinical volume, residency programs may identify novel virtual opportunities to meet their educational and research milestones during these challenging times.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jss.2021.01.017

    View details for PubMedID 33862581

  • Transnarodowość współczesnych migrantów na przykładzie polskich specjalistów wysokich technologii w Dolinie Krzemowej Granice, pogranicza i dalej – niekończąca się przygoda. Księga Jubileuszowa dedykowana Profesorowi Zbigniewowi Kurczowi Sasnal, M., et al edited by Dębicki, M., Dolińska, K., Kajta, J., et al Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar. 2021; 1: 329-339
  • Feasibility and acceptability of virtually coaching residents on communication skills: a pilot study. BMC medical education Sasnal, M., Miller-Kuhlmann, R., Merrell, S. B., Beres, S., Kipp, L., Lee, S., Threlkeld, Z., Nassar, A. K., Gold, C. A. 2021; 21 (1): 513


    Developing communication skills is a key competency for residents. Coaching, broadly accepted as a training modality in medical education, has been proven a successful tool for teaching communication skills. Little research is available thus far to investigate virtual coaching on communication skills for telemedicine encounters. The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that virtually coaching residents on communication skills is feasible and acceptable. We surveyed 21 resident-faculty pairs participating in a "fully virtual" coaching session (patient, coach, and resident were virtual).We asked 50 neurology resident-faculty coach pairs to complete one "fully virtual" coaching session between May 20 and August 31, 2020. After each session, the resident and coach completed a 15-item survey, including Likert-style scale and open-ended questions, assessing feasibility and acceptability. Descriptive statistics and qualitative content and thematic analyses were performed.Forty-two percent (21/50) of all eligible residents completed "fully virtual" coaching sessions. The overall survey response rate was 91 % (38/42). The majority of respondents agreed that the direct observation and debriefing conversation were easy to schedule and occurred without technical difficulties and that debriefing elements (self-reflection, feedback, takeaways) were useful for residents. Ninety-five percent of respondents rated the coach's virtual presence to be not at all disruptive to the resident-patient interaction. Virtual coaching alleviated resident stress associated with observation and was perceived as an opportunity for immediate feedback and a unique approach for resident education that will persist into the future.In this pilot study, residents and faculty coaches found virtual coaching on communication skills feasible and acceptable for telemedicine encounters. Many elements of our intervention may be adoptable by other residency programs. For example, residents may share their communication goals with clinic faculty supervisors and then invite them to directly observe virtual encounters what could facilitate targeted feedback related to the resident's goals. Moreover, virtual coaching on communication skills in both the in-person and telemedicine settings may particularly benefit residents in challenging encounters such as those with cognitively impaired patients or with surrogate decision-makers.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12909-021-02936-w

    View details for PubMedID 34583691

  • Polsko-niemieckie sąsiedztwo. Opinie mieszkańców Zgorzelca Polsko-niemieckie transgranicza – rozmyte konfiguracje tożsamości Sasnal, M. edited by Kurcz, Z., Opiłowska, E. GAJT, Wroclaw. 2011: 55-72
  • Ein uneinheitliches Bild deutsch-polnischer Nachbarschaft. Forschungen zu den Ansichten von Einwohnern der Grenzstadt Zgorzelec Inter Finitimos: Jahrbuch zur Deutsch-Polnischen Beziehungsgeschichte Sasnal, M. 2011: 148-167
  • Bezpieczeństwo w Görlitz i Zgorzelcu w opiniach mieszkańców Zgorzelec jako miasto pograniczne w opiniach jego mieszkańców Sasnal, M. edited by Dolińska, K., Niedźwiecka-Iwańczak, N. GAJT, Wroclaw. 2011: 147-165
  • Tożsamość narodowa czy tożsamość europejska? Polska emigracja w Wielkiej Brytanii Kwestie narodowościowe w świetle procesów integracyjnych w Europie Zając, M. edited by Mikucka-Wójtowicz, D., Kopeć, R. Wydawnictwo Naukowe Akademii Pedagogicznej im. Komisji Edukacji Narodowej, Kraków. 2009: 147-154
  • Bezpieczeństwo danych. Czynnik ludzki najsłabszym ogniwem zabezpieczeń Rola informatyki w naukach ekonomicznych i społecznych: zeszyty naukowe Zając, M., Sasnal, P. M. 2008; 1: 227-236