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

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New Illinois #MedSchool Will Have Innovation in Its DNA

By Jennifer J. Salopek

On March 12, the board of trustees of the University of Illinois approved a new medical school for the Urbana-Champaign campus, a plan that has been under development for over a year. The proposed new school, to be known as Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, will feature unique partnerships with U of I’s College of Engineering and with Carle Health System to deliver a small niche program for physician–scientists and engineers. Students who complete the five-year curriculum will graduate with a master’s in engineering and an MD. In a series of interviews with Wing of Zock last summer, officials and experts explained their vision for the new medical school. Continue reading

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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

Posted in Commentary, Diversity, Medical Education | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Commentary, Medical Education, Primary Care | 1 Comment

Wing of Zock “Chart Review” Blog Carnival, March 2015 Edition

By Jennifer J. Salopek

chart_review (2)As we await a thaw here in the mid-Atlantic, we’re enjoying exploring the academic medicine blogosphere. Much of interest was published in February; each post raises and attempts to answer a thought-provoking question. We have summarized them here for your reading pleasure.

“Is Leadership a Physician Competency?” wonders Associate Dean Anthony Sanfilippo on the Queen’s University Undergraduate School of Medicine Blog. Does the term leader denote an assumption of authority or superiority? Leadership shares many attributes with resiliency, a characteristic we want to see in our students. A handy chart shows how those attributes can be applied to patient care.

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Reflections on the National Dialogue for Health Care Innovation and the Ongoing Struggle to Define Value in Health Care

By Neel Shah, MD

Last week I had the opportunity to sit at the table with some of the nation’s top thought leaders. We convened at the Newseum in Washington, DC, for the Healthcare Leadership Council’s National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation; it was like a health policy nerd red carpet. Center for Medicare Director Sean Cavanaugh was there. Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder was there. America’s favorite bioethicist–oncologist–provocateur Zeke Emanuel was there. The chief executives of providers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies—all there. And what were they there to do? Define “value” in health care.


In 2015.

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Posted in Commentary, Health Care Innovation | 2 Comments

Wachter: AMCs Must Prepare “Digital Doctors”

By Jennifer J. Salopek

Wachter_3DIn his new book, due out on April 7, Bob Wachter, MD, tackles the “hope, hype, and harm” of the complicated relationship between health care and technology. In The Digital Doctor (McGraw-Hill), he offers an overview of the development of health care information technology over the past three decades, its successes, failures, and challenges, and concludes that “technology will upend the lives of doctors and patients.”

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Personalized Medicine, Disney Style

By Ulfat Shaikh, MD

As a pediatrician, I make it part of my personal continuing education goals to keep up with the latest in children’s entertainment. Big Hero 6, Disney’s latest animated feature film, did not disappoint. It introduced me to Baymax, a potential future health care colleague I can look up to. Continue reading

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