Perspectives

A Word From the President

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Academic medicine leads efforts to address the opioid epidemic

by Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO

AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch, MD, lauds the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals for their multifaceted efforts to tackle pain management and opioid use disorder.

High quality, affordable health care is the right of every American

by Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO

As the number of uninsured Americans rises, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, urges policymakers to push forward.

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Viewpoints

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

What it's like to be a student on the admissions committee

by Rachel Beeson

From detecting hidden talents to unearthing exaggerated claims, a med school student helps pick her future peers.

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Race in admissions in the wake of the Texas Tech resolution

by Art Coleman, JD, and Jamie Lewis Keith, JD

Medical schools may continue to pursue the all-important goals of diversity and inclusion while following the principles of law.

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When a primary care physician (PCP) needs a quick answer from a specialist, the informal curbside consult is usually the go-to option. But what if a specialist isn’t readily available, or a patient lacks the time or money to meet with a specialist should a follow-up be needed? And what should the PCP tell the patient in the meantime?

These are all common challenges in the patient-PCP-specialist communication loop that the AAMC’s Project CORE (Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences) successfully tackles. 

Now in its fifth year, Project CORE is designed to improve care coordination between PCPs and specialists. The model uses two key elements — enhanced referrals and eConsults embedded in the electronic medical record (EMR) — to facilitate more efficient, effective communication between them. 

Using an eConsult, PCPs can quickly determine the best course of action with the guidance of a specialist. And should a patient need to see a specialist in person, that provider is equipped with an enhanced referral based on a specialized template full of information that helps ensure the visit is most effective in meeting the patient’s needs. 

In its first three years, Project CORE’s participating institutions experienced an 84% increase in timely access to specialty care and avoided an estimated 7,360 unneeded specialty referrals. As of 2018, the program has been implemented at 27 institutions where more than 2 million primary care patients can benefit from the model. Initially funded by a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation award, the program continues to grow, with a new collaborative of academic medical centers launching this year.

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Academic Medicine in the News

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Faculty encouraged to “be here now”

To help reduce stress and burnout and enhance the quality of time spent outside of work, the Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine challenged faculty and staff to a voluntary weeklong exercise in moderating the number of emails they sent after work hours. Participants reported feeling re-energized and refreshed after disconnecting during the exercise.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Weaving social work into the medical school curriculum

Dell Medical School and Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin are advancing the role of social work as an agent of health care transformation and increasing interprofessional education through the creation of the new Department of Health Social Work within the medical school.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Study aims to increase diversity among clinical trial participants

The University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has launched a new study to determine how financial assistance for costs associated with clinical trial participation might increase enrollment, particularly among low-income patients and racial and ethnic minorities. The study, known as Improving Patient Access to Cancer Clinical Trials, assesses social and cultural barriers to clinical trial participation.

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