By David Acosta, MD, FAAFP, and Paul G. Cunningham, MD, FACS
Hospital behaviors that may have been tolerated in the past are clearly viewed differently now, and can no longer be accepted in the future. Any form of mistreatment negatively affects the culture and climate of medical schools and teaching hospitals.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Council of Deans and the leadership of our academic medical institutions have placed a high priority on eliminating all forms of mistreatment toward students during medical education, emphasizing that students need to learn in a supportive environment.
One year ago, when I wrote my first Wing of Zock post, “Matching the Unmatched: The Role of the Medical School Career Advisor,” I never expected that it would be the second most popular of 2013. Obviously, the fate of the unmatched student is on the minds of many of us in academic medicine. In that post, I outlined some proactive strategies used by medical student career advisors, including identification of “at risk” students, data-driven advising to reverse the mismatch of the less competitive applicant and highly competitive specialties, and the use of alternative plans and back-up plans. Plans for students who did not match included delaying graduation, entering graduate programs such as MBA and MPH programs, and identifying research fellowship opportunities.
By Orlando Sola, Amelia MacIntyre, Bryce Spitze, and Ankeeta Mehta
Minority populations historically have faced significant obstacles in accessing health care. Over the past six years, health care reform has dominated the attention of American politicians, yet Latino communities continue to struggle to receive the resources necessary to address their medical needs. Data from the CDC shows that the U.S. Latino population is disproportionately affected by obesity, HIV/AIDS, preventable hospitalization, and teen pregnancy. To ensure that the interest of Latino and other marginalized populations are met within current health care reform, underserved populations require leaders whose expertise extends beyond clinical acumen.
Last week, the AAMC, in partnership with Manatt Health Solutions, released a seminal new report: “Advancing the Academic Health System of the Future.” In it, we reported on the activities of the Advisory Panel on Health Care for the past year: 13 academic medical centers (AMCs), selected for their reputation as thought leaders, were interviewed and studied in depth. These interviews revealed several shared characteristics—perhaps secrets to their success?—and the concrete steps they are taking to ensure continued financial sustainability and support of their education and research missions.
Social media in health care is all the rage. Set up a Twitter account, get a Facebook page—heck, even start a Pinterest account for your office or group. Mix it together with a little video content, SEO, and a flashy URL, and you may be able to find some ROI from your social media efforts. It’s modern. It sounds complicated and advanced. And many social media experts who are dabbling in health care are pushing the merit and success of this marketing strategy.
But should this be the role social media plays in a physician practice? Should hospitals use Twitter as a digital billboard with viral potential? Marketing is important, but is it appropriate for physicians who are entering the social media space?
A new initiative being launched today will usher in a new era for population health, whose progress historically has been stymied by multiple stakeholders who don’t communicate, using a variety of unvalidated models. This initiative, A Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care Together, centers on an interactive tool that navigates users through the stages of integrated population health improvement. The initiative was developed by the de Beaumont Foundation, Duke Community and Family Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Three weeks ago, at a restaurant in Houston, the solution to a major health care problem may have germinated. Around a table were gathered Michael Fisch, MD, chair of the Department of General Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and four undergraduates who are enrolled in ENGL 386 at Rice University. The goal? To figure out how to use digital innovation and technology to encourage adult cancer patients to enroll in clinical trials.
Much about this equation may seem unlikely: Department chair + Undergrads + English course = Improved cancer research? But indeed, that is the hope.
Welcome to the newest edition of Chart Review. The online academic medicine community was very active in February, generating posts on mobile technology, patient connections, physician well-being, and more. Happy reading from Wing of Zock!
Smartphones can serve as treatment and information aides for patients and physicians, but their presence in hospitals can be noisy and distracting. To combat this, Albert Einstein Medical School has instituted a smartphone policy in the departments of medicine and pediatrics during inpatient attending rounds. A blog post from The Doctor’s Tablet highlights how to institute policies and guidelines to promote professionalism in smartphone use while maximizing the benefits for patient care.
Historically, we’ve often thought of the doctor-patient encounter as something of a silo. Patients come in with symptoms, and the doctor addresses them, perhaps ordering tests or referring the patients down the line of colleagues.
That model inexorably changed with the Internet. Today, patients come to their appointments educated on symptoms, treatments, and even us. They are frequently prepared with research and granular questions. They are engaged with the process, and often hopeful and prepared to work with their healthcare team as a result.
Listen to author Casey Quinlan’s interview with Dr. Aniruddha Malpani on patient engagement.
Patient engagement and patient advocacy are hot topics in the American health care system, due to health care reform and enabled by ready access to digital health information now available to anyone with a smartphone. The role of patient advocate can fall to anyone from a friend or family member to a primary care practitioner, with shifting “qualifications” for that role depending on inclination, education, or dedication to the task.
But how do you find an effective patient advocate? How would you know if your doctor might be your best advocate, or if you should ask someone else to take up that mantle? Who teaches patient advocacy, anyway?
Two Pennsylvania physicians share their experiences decoupling from Medicare. They've lost 12% of their patient population, but say they're providing more personalized care and the effects on their revenue and financial viability have been positive.
The American Hospital Association wants CMS to adjust measures in pay-for-performance programs to reflect factors such as race and income, even though doing so "would be a complex undertaking" for everyone involved.
A federally backed drive to create a value-based healthcare delivery system in partnership with providers and payers is under way nationwide. Three years ago, an unprecedented financial crisis prompted Arkansas "to bet the farm" on a similar value-based healthcare model.
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Views expressed in Wing of Zock reflect the views of the authors, not the AAMC.