Compiled by Jennifer Salopek and Sarah Sonies
Welcome to the fourth edition of Chart Review! It’s March; spring training is well under way (Go Nats!) and Match Day is fast approaching. Read on as we highlight our favorite February blog posts from and about academic medicine. Like what you read? Please feel free to cross-post Chart Review on your blog!
Confessions of a Medical Educator
The future of continuing medical education relies on the ability to cultivate communities and share resources. Derek Warnick, curator of this blog, writes in his post about screencasting a lecture using a Google + Hangout at the recent Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions’ (CEHP) 38th Annual Conference. Prior to the conference, Warnick was reading through the meeting’s hashtags and noticed a few requests for a recording of a specific presentation. Warnick delivered a streaming video for those who could not attend. The presentation was about how the future of continuing education depends on meeting the needs of learners, which is precisely what Warnick did—a great example of sharing information in an innovative way meeting the needs of all, without straining budgets.
With all of the current simulation work in medical education, there is a lot of focus on how to use technology in a strategic manner that cuts costs and makes a treatment experience more user-friendly. Could we be on a path to eliminating physician examinations and consultations altogether through medical apps? “The Computer Physician” illustrates their convenience, potentially allowing users to test themselves for strep throat, receive a diagnosis, and have a prescription sent to their pharmacy of choice. The author, Rishi, a 4th year medical student in Texas, maintains that technology should be used to facilitate rather than replace providers; human interaction is an essential element of quality care.
Training Family Doctors
Wing of Zock recently cross-posted an item from the Neurosurgery Blog entitled, “The Primary Care Shibboleth: Debunking the Myth.” The article engendered much lively debate, including this response on Training Family Doctors. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term shibboleth, we offer this clip from The West Wing.) The blog’s author, Allen Perkins, MD, is chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of South Alabama. In sum, Dr. Perkins finds Dr. Harbaugh’s conclusions to be unsupported by the available evidence.
In this post titled “High School to Medical School,” recent UCLA graduate and future medical student Edward Chang discusses combination undergraduate/MD programs. His conclusion? These programs can be a cost-effective option, but applicants should be aware that they are not for everyone. The site was founded by UCLA graduates and med students as an interactive forum featuring articles, commentary, and salary information about medical specialties.
A post from this interactive mentoring site highlights a report published in January’s edition of Medicine, which reported on research that showed that it is crucial for students to have and connect with a mentor and that the relationships positively affect the career success of both mentors and mentees. The post gives a nice summary of the report and highlights sections of the study.
In “Survey: Better Hours For Residents? Not So Fast,” the Kaiser Health News blog examines the mixed reviews given by both physicians and doctors-in-training to the regulation of duty hours to ease residents’ schedules. The changes, implemented in July 2011, limit first-year residents to 16-hour shifts in order to reduce exhaustion and medical errors. However, according to a new survey of residency program directors published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 73 percent of 549 respondents reported that, under the new rules, residents were less prepared to take on more senior roles.
Educate the Young
Creating, then successfully implementing, new knowledge is the challenge David Mayer, MD, of MedStar Health addresses in his recent blog post. Mayer explores the revised AGME first-year residency requirements, saying that while they are a clear step in the right direction, greater awareness is needed; implementation levels are low at academic health centers across the board. He advocates for more institutional support and collaborative work efforts.
The Doctor’s Tablet
Many high school and college students with an interest in medical careers are given opportunities to shadow physicians during rounds and observe the practice firsthand. Shadowing is a tool to help students narrow down their interests in a specialty and bolster their med school applications. Elizabeth Kitsis, MD, director of bioethics education and assistant professor of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, advocates the development of cohesive guidelines and codes of conduct to eliminate any possible ethical concerns in shadowing physicians while they see patients.
Dean Katz’s Blog
Paul Katz, MD, dean of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, proposed in his February 6 post that academic medicine take a lesson from the New York Jets—not in throwing the perfect pass, but in graduate medical education (GME) funding. While he does not propose a comparison between the two, he uses the case of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who had two consecutive bad seasons, to frame the quandary of GME funding. Should the Jets cut their losses or keep Sanchez on, hoping that he will do better next season but potentially losing a cool couple of million dollars in the process? With a possible sequestration looming, what can GME providers do to respond to cuts? According to Katz, GME is caught in a quandary made of few sustainable solutions proposed by the federal government, and more medical graduates than open GME residency slots. Katz proposes the need for new education models and the examination of organizational distribution of GME positions to reduce costs and enhance value.
Wing of Zock welcomes Baylor College of Medicine’s new blog to the digital world of academic medicine. The blog’s mission is to be “a venue for conversation on the areas that connect us: medical education, research, healthcare, and community outreach.” Momentum will be covering a range of topics including health care policy news, population health, and healthy living. We look forward to reading future posts.
Chart Review is a monthly feature in which 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.