Category Archives: Commentary

To the #MedSchool Class of 2015: Your Future in Medicine and the Triple Aim

By Susan Dentzer

I recently had the honor of offering the address at the hooding ceremony at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. In attempting to craft a memorable message, I reflected on the journeys that these students had completed as well as those that they were undertaking, and how their futures were directly linked to our continuing pursuit of the Triple Aim. Here’s an abridged version of what I told them:

Continue reading To the #MedSchool Class of 2015: Your Future in Medicine and the Triple Aim

Thoughts from a #MedSchool Professor on the End of the Academic Year


We have made it through another academic year. We will welcome the Class of 2015 into the fold of graduates (from undergraduate programs, medical school and other graduate programs). I always try to reflect on what has been surprising for me during this past academic year and what goals I will set for myself (as a professor and as a physician) for the upcoming year. I am reminded of my own graduation from medical school with my hopes and fears of the unknown aspects of starting the next chapter in my career/life. Now, many years out, I am very happy that I see that I have challenges ahead, goals ahead and things to reflect upon. Continue reading Thoughts from a #MedSchool Professor on the End of the Academic Year

Changing Health Care from the Front Lines

By Joanne Conroy, MD

There are hundreds of books published every year that make contributions to our collective knowledge, but very few of them create real impact. Many stop at the first step on the continuum that ranges from acquiring knowledge, understanding what to do with that knowledge to solve problems, and successfully implementing solutions. A new book can move engaged providers, patients, and policy makers through that important evolution.

Continue reading Changing Health Care from the Front Lines

Data Is the New Oil

By James McDeavitt, MD

I recently was given the opportunity to represent Baylor College of Medicine at the Association of American Medical Colleges as part of a year-long conversation on becoming a “Learning Health System”.

At the inaugural event, I heard from others around the country examples of substantive efforts to harness the power of academic medical centers to improve the care delivery system and the health of populations. Continue reading Data Is the New Oil

Students Teaching Students: Passion, Collaboration, Innovation

By Anushka Shenoy

Larissa Guran wrote last month about our “Leadership, Education, and Structural Competency” course at OHSU, and I would like to add to her thoughts. As a reminder, we developed the course to learn facilitative leadership skills, strengthen our understanding of social determinants of health, and develop and facilitate five small-group sessions about structural competency for the new MS1 curriculum. After a session on implicit bias, we introduced the concept of taking an “Affective Time Out” to reflect on the emotional, mental, and intellectual preconceptions we bring to each patient encounter. As we approach our final MS1 session, I wanted to take my own “time out” of sorts and reflect on this experience. Continue reading Students Teaching Students: Passion, Collaboration, Innovation

Health Wonk Review, Spring Break Edition

By Jennifer J. Salopek

Purple and yellow crocuses are blooming, the trees are beginning to bud out, excitement is beginning to build in Washington for the Cherry Blossom Festival, and there is no snow in the forecast. It must be Spring Break! Although typically associated with half-naked college kids drinking too much on the beach, the Health Wonk Review Spring Break is a different kind of break. Ours is the one you take from your daily responsibilities to travel virtually, visiting these wide-ranging blog sites to uncover fresh perspectives and deep insights into the health policy issues of the day. Continue reading Health Wonk Review, Spring Break Edition

The Role of Residency Training in Ensuring Health Equity

By Utibe Essien, MD

I was the only one: I confirmed it with the organizers. Out of the 120 internal medicine residents in my program, out of more than 250 internal medicine residents at the combined Harvard-affiliated hospitals in the area, and out of thousands of resident trainees in the Boston area, I was the only resident attending the 3rd Annual Health Equity and Leadership (HEAL) conference, “Challenging Racial Injustice through Community Health,” hosted by the Harvard School of Public Health in February. Continue reading The Role of Residency Training in Ensuring Health Equity

Seeking Mental Health Services as a Medical Student

By Chelsea McGuire

Originally posted March 5, 2015

I am wearing my favorite scrubs, the teal ones a friend gave to me while I was volunteering in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. My first-year classmates and I are in front of the anatomy lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, waiting to see our cadaver for the first time. Our group enters and we stand around the blue-plastic-cloaked body for a few minutes, preparing ourselves and discussing the task at hand. My anatomy partner pulls back the sheet, and I gasp. I am back in the stifling morgue staring at Susannah again.* Bloated, cold, lifeless. Part of me knows she isn’t Susannah—but the skin is the same color; the evidence of poverty written across her cracked nails, the scarred hands, the hard lines on her face—all the same. All that is missing is the little boy by her side. Where is Johnny? Continue reading Seeking Mental Health Services as a Medical Student