Category Archives: Uncategorized

Human–Cyborg Relations: Coming Soon to a Medical School Near You

By Kirsten Ostherr, PhD, MPH

Much ink has been spilled in recent months over the ostensible threat posed by artificial intelligence. Inspired by Nick Bostrom’s best-selling book, Superintelligence, New York Times columnist Nick Bilton imagines a doomsday scenario in which “a medical robot, originally programmed to rid cancer, could conclude that the best way to obliterate cancer is to exterminate humans who are genetically prone to the disease.” This nightmare vision taps into long-standing debates about the role of technology in medicine. Critics pit the healing power of human touch and the intuitive capabilities of human sense perception against the cold rationality and rigid binarism of computer logic. But computers are here to stay, and it’s not a zero-sum game.   Continue reading Human–Cyborg Relations: Coming Soon to a Medical School Near You

The Missing Narrative on Making Healthcare Affordable

CostsofCare logoOriginally posted on April 6, 2015

By Neel Shah, MD, MPP and Jordan Harmon, MHA

We founded Costs of Care in May of 2009 with (we admit it) a highly literal, and seemingly uncreative name.

As it turned out, our name, buoyed by exceptional timing, may be responsible for catapulting Costs of Care onto the national scene. In May 2009, healthcare reform was at the top of the new President’s agenda and the phrase “costs of care” was being searched on the Internet thousands of times per day. Before long, our registered domain name——floated to the top of the Google search rankings. Within months, our fledgling website was brimming over with visitors who were trying to understand why healthcare costs in the United States are so irrational and opaque. We also started to hear from patients, nurses, physicians, and other health professionals who were seeing the consequences of this opacity everyday on the frontlines of clinical care. Continue reading The Missing Narrative on Making Healthcare Affordable

Henry Ford Health System Leads the Pack on Teaching Interpersonal Communication Skills

By Alexander Bolt

As interpersonal communication skills become more important to resident training, institutions are looking to incorporate more of these skills into their curricula. Leading this pack is Henry Ford Health System. The Henry Ford Health Institutional Curriculum has five Objectively Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) that focus on giving first-year medical trainees structured interpersonal communication training. Continue reading Henry Ford Health System Leads the Pack on Teaching Interpersonal Communication Skills

Kindness Beyond Curriculum

By Robert Folberg, MD

It was the last event of my intensive two-day interview for the position of founding dean of the new Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine (OUWB) in Southeast Michigan. The questions at dinner about curriculum, finances, facilities, faculty, and the future of health care delivery were interrupted by a health system leader who asked quietly, “Bob, I know you can train a medical student to be academically brilliant and technically masterful. We want to know how you train a physician to be kind.”

Six years later, in July 2014 as we prepared to enroll our fourth class, the Detroit News wrote about us and our “kindness curriculum.” What had happened since that dinner?

Continue reading Kindness Beyond Curriculum

Responding to the Need for Innovation in GME

By Jennifer Kesselheim, MD, MEd & Ayres Heller, MEd

One of the most exciting developments in medical education happened last summer when the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a new report, “Graduate Medical Education That Meets the Nation’s Health Needs.” The report was requested in 2012 by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and supported by 11 other private foundations as well as 11 United States Senators. The Report Brief outlines the IOM’s intriguing conclusions about the governance and financing of Graduate Medical Education (GME).  The recommendations highlight the immense need for innovation in the way Graduate Medical Education is structured, distributed, designed, and implemented. The report suggests that a portion of the Medicare GME fund be designated as a “Transformation Fund,” intended to finance innovation and experimentation in GME.

Continue reading Responding to the Need for Innovation in GME

Be Bold, Be Brief, Be Brilliant, Be Gone

By Ulfat Shaikh, MD

Originally posted December 11, 2014

“I didn’t have the time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one,” said Mark Twain.

Marketing and communication experts know that well-crafted and memorable health communication messages are brief, high-impact, and visual. Research shows that the average attention span is as little as eight seconds. Most information transmitted to the brain is visual, and images are processed several thousand times faster by the brain than text.

Continue reading Be Bold, Be Brief, Be Brilliant, Be Gone

Health Wonk Review: The Election Week Edition

imagesBy Jennifer J. Salopek

The frost is on the pumpkin; the Republicans have maintained control of the House and gained control of the Senate; and it’s time for another edition of Health Wonk Review. Surprisingly, few submissions this week actually dealt with the midterm elections, so we’ll lead off with the one that does. Joe Paduda deeply into his crystal ball to author his post on Managed Care Matters, “The GOP Wins the Senate: Implications for the ACA.” Paduda acknowledges the likelihood of efforts to revise or repeal the Affordable Care Act, and tees up some likely—and not-so-likely—targets. He writes:

While some will argue that a GOP Congress will push for repeal, I’m not so sure. With about 10 million more Americans covered under PPACA, that’s a lot of voters that might be upset if their coverage was yanked out from under them.  There are any number of provisions that are quite popular – covering children to 26, eliminating lifetime dollar caps on expenses, no-cost preventive care, no medical underwriting come to mind. Any move to go back to the bad old days would result in a lot of angry insureds.

Continue reading Health Wonk Review: The Election Week Edition