A Word From the President

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

When Physicians Become Patients

by Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO
After I completed my residency training in psychiatry, I served as a research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Washington, D.C.  As an NIMH fellow, I maintained a limited private practice, and because of my research work, I was often referred more complex and difficult cases.  Among the patients who stand out most clearly, as I look back, were the physicians I treated for stress, anxiety, and depression.  Throughout my medical training and fellowship, I witnessed the problem of burnout among my colleagues, and I experienced my personal share of anxiety along with the difficulty of balancing a demanding professional career with personal and family time.  But at that time, we simply viewed these as challenges inherent to the intense and stressful profession we had chosen.  It was not until I became a psychiatrist treating physicians as patients that my eyes were opened to the significant and widespread problems of burnout, depression, and suicidal ideation among physicians. 

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Tuesday, February 06, 2018

A Threat to Immigration, A Threat to Care

by Augustine M.K. Choi, MD, Dean, Weill Cornell Medicine, and provost for medical affairs, Cornell University

The immigrant son of an immigrant physician—now also a physician himself—reveals how stricter immigration controls and rescinding DACA will harm all patients, medical education, and biomedical research in the United States.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Academic Medicine Needs More Women Leaders

by Elizabeth L. Travis, PhD, FASTRO

The number of women in C-suite positions is much too low. Learn how sponsorship—a successful corporate practice—can help break glass ceilings. 

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The old-time practice of doctors making house calls to see patients with acute illnesses is making a comeback for a different purpose: to provide on-going primary care to certain patients. Home-based primary care programs, many of which are run by academic medical centers, are gaining increasing interest nationwide as a way to bring comprehensive care to patients who are homebound with severe chronic conditions.

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2015 showed that about 2 million Medicare patients age 65 or older were homebound in 2011. Many homebound patients live with severe chronic conditions and functional impairments—from dementia to heart disease to movement disorders—that make it difficult or impossible to visit a doctor.

“[The number of homebound patients] is larger than our nursing home population,” says study lead author Katherine Ornstein, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine, and an epidemiologist, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. An additional 1 million patients are home-limited, going out sometimes but only with assistance, Ornstein adds.

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Academic Medicine in the News

Thursday, March 15, 2018

'What Ifs' Show Importance of Inclusion in Medicine

The Inclusion to Innovation Summit, held recently at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), highlighted ways in which inclusion and diversity can benefit medical schools and lead to innovation.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

New Technology Significantly Reduces Time for ID of Pathogens, Treatment

A new technology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences can reduce the time it takes researchers—from days to hours—to identify pathogens associated with life-threatening blood-borne infections. Accelerate Pheno, which has been approved by the FDA, can also identify which antibiotic would be most effective on a case-by-case basis.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Small Dose of Compassion Goes a Long Way

The Tell Me More (TMM) program, held during Solidarity Week at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine, teaches residents how to ask questions to get to know their patients better—beyond their medical condition. Compassionate care has been shown to result in higher patient satisfaction, a higher pain threshold, reduced anxiety, and better outcomes, according to the Gold Foundation.