Wachter: AMCs Must Prepare “Digital Doctors”

By Jennifer J. Salopek

Wachter_3DIn his new book, due out on April 7, Bob Wachter, MD, tackles the “hope, hype, and harm” of the complicated relationship between health care and technology. In The Digital Doctor (McGraw-Hill), he offers an overview of the development of health care information technology over the past three decades, its successes, failures, and challenges, and concludes that “technology will upend the lives of doctors and patients.”

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Personalized Medicine, Disney Style

By Ulfat Shaikh, MD

As a pediatrician, I make it part of my personal continuing education goals to keep up with the latest in children’s entertainment. Big Hero 6, Disney’s latest animated feature film, did not disappoint. It introduced me to Baymax, a potential future health care colleague I can look up to. Continue reading

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Hacking Silos at Medstro

socialized_medicineBy Jennifer J. Salopek

New website Medstro is bringing a social sensibility to the triple mission of academic medicine. Combining the status update and news feed features of Facebook with the conversational capabilities of an old-school online message board, Medstro aims to improve medical education, research, and patient care by giving doctors and medical students a space to connect and learn from one another in real time.

Jennifer Joe, MD, a nephrologist, bootstrapped and launched the social network with two colleagues, Jim Ryan and John Bachir, about a year ago. Its genesis lay in the challenges she encountered as a newly minted practicing physician. Continue reading

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Wash U SOM Grads Issue Second Edition of Health Care Handbook

By Jennifer J. Salopek

healthcarehandbookWhile they were medical students at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Elisabeth Askin and Nathan Moore noticed that the curriculum didn’t include much information about the health care system overall—perhaps an hour-long lecture at best. Deciding that they should rectify that information shortage for themselves and their classmates, the friends planned an 8- to 10-page pamphlet. The first edition of The Health Care Handbook, published in 2012, numbered 256 pages.

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Instituting “Affective Time Outs” at Oregon Health & Science University

By Larissa Guran

This year, Oregon Health & Science University rolled out a new medical school curriculum for incoming first year students. “Your MD” is an innovative program, with a completely new schedule and focus; it is replacing the current curriculum, which is retiring after it serves my classmates and me. This is an exciting time to be a student at OHSU, but one of the drawbacks of this transition year is the disconnect between first- and second-year students. Our school has a strong tradition of previous classes supporting and guiding new medical students through the overwhelming experience of the first year. From our Big/Little Sib program to the Sage Books of wisdom and advice passed down to the next class, we’ve worked hard as a class to stay connected to and supportive of the new students. One way we have done it is through an elective called “Leadership, Education, and Structural Competency.”

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Tulane Medical Students Learn About Health As Well As Health Care

By Jennifer J. Salopek

Do doctors who eat better provide better care? Tim Harlan believes they do. Educating medical students and residents about healthy foods and their preparation is central to the mission of the Goldring Center for Culinary Education at Tulane University, which Harlan directs. Both a trained chef and a doctor, Harlan is committed to showing future doctors—and the patients and communities they serve—that good-for-you foods can taste good too. In a high-fat, high-salt, high-alcohol environment like New Orleans, where the obesity rate is five points higher than the national average, that’s a crucial message to get across.

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Starting with Cells: Rethinking Science as a Place for Women

By Ann C. Bonham, PhD and Diana Lautenberger, MA

The recent Science article on stereotypes about innate genius and the impact it has for women in science fields is the latest in a series of discouraging reports. It brings to mind the 2012 Yale study published in PNAS, which concluded that both male and female scientists regard female undergraduates as less competent than male students with the same accomplishments and skills. Why are we still grappling with the differential assignment of competence by gender? What will it take to upend the stereotypes about the capacities of women that remain in our cultural subconscious? It’s not that women don’t have an innate talent for science: Women working on important discoveries challenge this notion every day. One answer may be that our cultural blinders inhibit us from seeing women as authorities, and this lack of visibility for women in science fields perpetuates a cycle of cultural stereotypes.

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Teaching to the Test: Patient-Centered Care

By Kimberly Hoffman, PhD, and Josh Geltman

Successful educational organizations explicitly state their values, develop policies and educational experiences in support of those values, and design measurement tools to evaluate whether those values are routinely and systematically incorporated into daily work. At University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) School of Medicine, our values are expressed in the key characteristics we expect of our graduates. The first of these is the ability to deliver effective patient-centered care (PCC), a value and commitment shared by our major teaching hospital. We felt that to achieve routine delivery of PCC, we needed to understand it through the eyes of our patients. We wanted to legitimize and incorporate patients’ voices, and engage them in creating and assessing a more complete understanding of competence.

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