Compiled by Jennifer Salopek and Sarah Sonies
After a chilly but sparsely snowy DC winter, the Wing of Zock staff is ready for the infamous groundhog to miss his shadow entirely and scamper right into spring. In the meantime, here is our third monthly round-up of some of our favorite academic medicine blog posts surfing the Web lately. Like what you read? Please feel free to cross-post Chart Review on your blog!
96,000 Square Miles
Named for the area of the state of Oregon, this blog from Oregon Health & Science University features a post called “Flipped!” The post, authored by Jeff Kraakevik, MD, assistant professor of neurology, includes an explanation of how the “flipped classroom” teaching model that demonstrates how well technology and team-based learning can be integrated in the classroom. Kraakevik’s perspective is informed by his experiences as a former high school teacher.
Cornerstone is the new blog from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute. On December 9, the site featured a post describing a very exciting breakthrough in pediatric cancer research. The 7-year-old leukemia patient is now cancer-free after receiving a novel treatment with engineered immune cells. Welcome to the blogosphere, Cornerstone!
Westby G. Fisher, MD, FACC is a board certified internist, cardiologist, and cardiac electrophysiologist practicing at North Shore University Health System in Evanston, IL, and is a clinical associate professor of medicine at University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. His January 30 post, “Your Blog, Your CV, and Academic Promotion” contains his musings on how the “publish or perish” paradigm has changed since the advent of the Internet. He discussed the benefits and challenges of blogging, noting:
I am certain that several topics I have covered in these pages have had MUCH more influence on my chosen field than they they would have had I published just in a closed access, peer-reviewed journal. Hyperlinks can substantiate claims. As such, blogs can be change agents and influence action. In return, I find the process of researching and publishing in this forum increasingly worthwhile professionally.
Nash on Health Policy
In this post from the blog of David Nash, MD, founding dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health in Philadelphia, guest blogger Patrick Monaghan, JSPH director of communications, writes about aviation safety expert John Nance’s lecture at JSPH in honor of the 10th Annual Interclerkship Day for Improving Patient Safety.
What is Nance’s mission? To convince people that patient safety can be improved only when the hospital is run to “directly support, and be extremely responsive to, the needs and limitations of the people who take direct care of the patient.” Read the post to find out more about Nance’s message, and how implementation measures from aviation safety practices factor into medical education.
Dean Katz’s Blog
The inauguration of President Obama for his second term fell on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, providing the opportunity for reflection on service and leadership. Dean Katz’s blog from Cooper Medical School at Rowan University features a post on the importance of service to community and the med school’s inaugural class participation in the National Day of Service in and around Camden, NJ. Written by Jocelyn Mitchell Williams, MD, Ph.D, Associate Dean for Multicultural and Community Affairs at Cooper Medical School, the post also features an interesting brief history of the Day of Service, ending with a bit of inspiration, “How will you make a difference? The time is now.”
“Out of the Classroom and into the Clinical Frying Pan” is the title of the post from Josh, a third-year medical student at the “University of Medicine and Health Sciences” chronicling the vast difference between the third-year clinical sciences rotation and the first two years of medical school. Josh writes:
Now it’s about initiative, passion, and in many cases, who can brown-nose the best. And did we ever brown-nose.
As horrific as it sounds, in many ways it’s a good lesson about practicing medicine. Gone are the days when a doctor whips through an exam room like a whirlwind assessing the problem with the patient and then telling them what to do to remedy it.
Vineet Arora, MD, professor and associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, was inspired to blog about the importance of cultivating creativity in medical training by implementing “FedEx Days” after reading Daniel Pink’s Drive. FedEx Days, established by an Australian software company, are ways for an organization’s employees—medical students in this case—to think outside the box on something unrelated to their jobs, and use their creative energy from that process to inspire innovation in their work. Arora writes:
For a 24-hour period, employees are instructed to work on anything they want, provided it is not part of their regular job. The name “FedEx” stuck because of the ‘overnight delivery’ of the exceptionally creative idea to the team, although there are efforts being undertaken to provide this idea with a new name. Some of the best ideas have come from FedEx Days or similar approaches, like 3M’s Post-Its or Google’s Gmail.
Points from Pronovost
The Masimo Foundation’s Patient Safety Science & Technology Summit took place in January in Laguna Niguel, California, where hospital administrators, medical technology companies, patient advocates, and clinicians gathered to brainstorm solutions to some of today’s most pressing issues, such as medical device interoperability among devices and clinicians. According to Peter Pronovost, MD, dean of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, lack of interoperability plays a role in 200,000 deaths per year. Pronovost writes that the increased use of technology is not a barrier, but greater cooperation between health care providers and private sector manufacturers is needed to increase patient safety in medical procedures.
In the beginning, there was “Web 1.0” – a type of Internet that led a user to digital information found elsewhere, but more easily accessible. Now, with Web 2.0 still in its prime, Timothy Peck, MD, a resident at BIDMC, writes about exploring the Web 3.0 frontier, a series of open communities for dialogue and resource-sharing. Pseudonymous House of God author Samuel Shem recently spoke at BIDMC, exploring the theme of loneliness due to the demands of residency, which still exists even with today’s digital communities. Peck hypothesizes that Web 3.0 will not solve “digital loneliness,” but will help facilitate a greater sense of community. Wing of Zock is thrilled to be mentioned in this post!
We’ve just discovered this blog by Angie Nadia, MD, “a newly minted doctor in the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Yale-New Haven.” In her thought-provoking post, “How to Train Your Doctors,” Nadia proposes a new training model that is built from the ground up and fosters creativity, empathy, and equality. Among other ideas, she suggests reducing the amount of clinical rotations throughout the specialties and emphasizing service learning over the classroom.
The Doctor’s Tablet
This post from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine blog, titled “What the Doctor Wishes She Hadn’t Seen”, is a reflection on delivering bad news to patients after a routine first-trimester pregnancy screening. The post’s author, Chavi Eve Karkowsky, MD, writes about the challenge of successfully breaking down clinical language to communicate with patients in a manner that will both inform them and alleviate their fears. Karkowsky says,
I stop again and ask if they understand, or if they have questions. They do have questions; the patient is very clear that she wants the procedure done, but she doesn’t entirely understand the anatomy I’m talking about. I draw a picture of a belly, a uterus and a needle, and I diagram the CVS procedure on a Post-it note. I’m a terrible artist and I make a little joke of it; the patient gives a tiny smile.
“Chart Review” is our new monthly feature where the editors at Wing of Zock highlight our favorite blog posts from the previous month. We focus on blogs about academic medicine, whether from the perspective of student, resident, faculty member, dean, or administrator. Medical schools and teaching hospitals provide fertile ground for innovative responses to health care challenges. We are pleased to highlight some of the best here, and hope you will send us your favorites as well. Send your nominations to Managing Editor Jennifer Salopek at firstname.lastname@example.org.