Category Archives: Medical Education

Medical School as a Reflective Community

By Mark Kuczewski, Katherine Wasson, Kayhan Parsi, and Emily Anderson

Judging from coverage in the literature lately, reflection as an educational tool is becoming increasingly popular in medical school. But instructors use reflection for lots of different reasons. In a recent article, we described how we use reflection in the formal curriculum and in two co-curricular programs at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Reflection permeates, even saturates, the curriculum here. It aligns neatly with the school’s culture and reinforces it. As we create a community of learners engaged in reflection, it raises a number of opportunities and challenges for our future work. Continue reading Medical School as a Reflective Community

Improving Patient Care as a Trainee

Originally posted July 14, 2015

By Monica Shah

Patient safety has always been a priority for me, but it is only recently that I became aware of the many issues that threaten quality of care for patients. As a medical student, I vividly remember shadowing at the hospital and being shocked at what I saw. I walked through patient rooms and heard loud beeps going off, the constant chatter of hospital staff, and the automatic entrance into patients’ rooms without even a knock. I wondered whether all of the disruptions and commotion impacted patient recovery in the hospital and after discharge. After pondering this, I decided that I wanted to take action and see what I, as a medical student, could do to improve daily inpatient conditions. Continue reading Improving Patient Care as a Trainee

“Healing Beyond Science”

By Robert Folberg, MD

The title of this post is framed within quotation marks because the words are not mine. They were delivered by Mary Fisher, an author, artist, and AIDS advocate on the occasion of receiving an honorary degree as part of the commencement of the Charter Class of 2015 from the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB). Wing of Zock invited me to provide a follow-up to my post published earlier this year, “Kindness Beyond Curriculum,” where I described the underlying innovations that OUWB brings to medical education as a new medical school. I invite you now to pause and listen to Fisher’s address. [Fast forward to the 4:40 mark to skip the conferral of the degree if you wish.] Continue reading “Healing Beyond Science”

Quick Hits: Innovation in Academic Medicine

Boston Children’s Hospital Uses Social Media Data for Health Research

Social media pervades the U.S. today. Take Twitter, for example. By the end of 2014, approximately one in five U.S. adults were active Twitter users. While the network remains most popular with adults under 50 years old, the last year saw a jump in tweeters 65 and older.

Despite growing privacy concerns, users of Twitter and other networks routinely talk about their health on social media. This has created a large and growing body of data and presented an opportunity to capture ‘digital phenotypes’ that provide tremendous insight into both individual and population health. These phenotypes let us:

  1. Identify individual patients suffering from acute or chronic disease and analyze their behavior over-time
  2. Monitor the health of a population by tracking the prevalence of infectious diseases (e.g., influenza)… MORE

Duke Practical Playbook to Provide Technical Assistance to BUILD Health Challenge Awardees

The BUILD Health Challenge announced today that it awarded grants to 18 groundbreaking projects that aim to improve health in low-income communities.

The projects were recognized on the strengths of their bold, upstream, integrated, local and data-driven approaches to address the social and environmental factors that have the greatest impact on health.

The BUILD Health Challenge was founded by The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to encourage community partnerships among local non-profit organizations, hospitals and health systems, and health departments to improve the health and well-being of their residents… MORE

Stanford Medicine to Lead, Define Field of Precision Health

Precision health was the theme of the day at Stanford [two weeks ago], with Dean Lloyd Minor, MD, describing to a standing-room-only crowd at a Town Hall event how Stanford Medicine will continue to lead and excel in this area.

Minor, along with colleagues Amir Dan Rubin, president and CEO of Stanford Health Care, and Christopher Dawes, president and CEO of Stanford Children’s Health, offered faculty, staff and students a glimpse of the future of precision health here… MORE

Developing Apps to Improve the Health of Patients at Mount Sinai

The Sinai AppLab, a pioneering digital initiative between the departments of Medicine and Information Technology, is creating technology platforms to address the needs of patients, health care providers, and researchers within the Mount Sinai Health System. Under the direction of Ashish Atreja, MD, MPH, Chief Technology Innovation and Engagement Officer in the Department of Medicine, the lab has developed five apps and an app platform that connect to Mount Sinai’s Electronic Health Records (EHR)… MORE


Virtual Patients Deliver Real Learning

By Norm Berman, MD

Just as the US health care system is at a critical juncture, so is the system of medical education. Medical education needs to change, not only to keep pace with a rapidly changing health system, but to drive change by better educating the next generation of providers to create a transformed health care system. Virtual patients (VPs) can play an important role in the transformation of medical education, and can produce the real learning required to facilitate change.

What are virtual patients? Simply put, VPs are interactive clinical case scenarios delivered using computer technology, these days almost exclusively over the Internet. Continue reading Virtual Patients Deliver Real Learning

A Conversation with Clay Johnston, Inaugural Dean of Dell Medical School

By Jennifer J. Salopek

Johnston, Clay 2014 (Photo by Marsha Miller)

S. Claiborne “Clay” Johnston, MD, was named inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin in January 2014. A practicing neurologist, he was formerly associate vice chancellor of research at the University of California, San Francisco. He spoke with Wing of Zock Editor Jennifer Salopek by telephone on May 13, 2015.

Salopek: What opportunities for innovation does being the dean of a new medical school bring?

Johnston: It’s a huge opportunity. If you’re ready to take on the challenge, you can take a look at all aspects of academic medicine—the way we train medical students, the way we train residents, the way we provide clinical care, the way we interact with the community. We really have an opportunity to rethink the whole academic enterprise.

Salopek: You’ve published an article called “10 Backward Things About Our Health Care System.” Which of those problems can a new kind of medical school address? For example, many that you cite are payment issues. Continue reading A Conversation with Clay Johnston, Inaugural Dean of Dell Medical School

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