President's Column

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In the Search of Community

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

Ten years ago, I delivered my first annual meeting address in Seattle as president and CEO of the AAMC. My topic that year was “In Search of the Public Good,” a speech about the need for a major national recommitment to the public goods of academic medicine—educating the health care workforce, leading scientific discovery, and caring for our patients. Unfortunately, in the years that followed, our nation plunged into the Great Recession and our medical schools and teaching hospitals were forced to contend with reductions in support that have affected all of our mission areas. While our economy has recovered, a national reinvestment in the public goods of academic medicine has not come to pass.

As we gathered once again in Seattle this year, I found myself reflecting not only on the changes to our country over the last decade that have decreased our national commitment to supporting the public goods of education, research, and health care, but also on what our community can do to help heal our nation after an election that seemed to divide us more than ever. A piece written by New York Times columnist David Brooks in the heat of this election, “One Neighborhood at a Time,” offers an approach to healing the deep divisions in our country. He wrote, “The nation may be too large. The individual is too small. The community is the right level.”  

Read More


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Why Health Equity Matters in an Era of Health Care Transformation

by Daniel E. Dawes, JD, Exec. Director of Government Relations, Policy, and External Affairs, Morehouse School of Medicine and author of 150 Years of ObamaCare

For more than 150 years, advocates have been waging campaigns for health equity in this country. Relying primarily on moral arguments, these campaigns have tackled inequities in racial and ethnic minority health, women’s health, mental health, children’s health, veterans’ health, rural health, and most recently LGBT health.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

FDA and Academic Medicine Community Advancing Public Health Through Collaboration

By Robert M. Califf, MD, Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The practice of medicine is changing rapidly because of the acceleration in biomedical knowledge, information technology, and delivery system reform. Small academic “ivory towers” are becoming international research centers with associated integrated health systems that operate on regional, national, and international scales.

For years, Stuart Slavin, MD, MEd, had worked hard to create a supportive environment for medical students at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. And early feedback seemed to suggest students were happy. 

Then, in 2008, Slavin and colleagues surveyed students using specific mental health indicators. They found that depression and anxiety among Saint Louis students mirrored the troubling nationwide trends that suggest medical students are experiencing depression at significantly higher rates than similarly aged people in the general population. In response, Slavin, associate dean for curriculum at Saint Louis, looked into how the curriculum and its demands were having a negative effect on students’ mental health. The inquiry led to major curriculum changes and a dramatic improvement in student mental health. Among first-year students, depression rates dropped from 27 percent in 2009 to 4 percent in 2015 and anxiety declined from 56 percent to 14 percent during that same time period. 

“The stresses in medical school are significant, but they don’t end there,” said Slavin, also a professor of pediatrics. “Stress is inherent in residency programs, and in medical practice, so I think trying to equip students with skills to better manage stress makes great sense. I view these resiliency skills as not just specific to medical school; these are life skills.”

Read More



Academic Medicine in the News

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Educating Patients About Radiology Services—With YouTube?

According to a recent study published by the Journal of the American College of Radiology, educational videos about medical imaging uploaded to YouTube are a potentially valuable patient resource.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Advanced Primary Care Training Program Introduces New Concepts

The University of Buffalo's new advanced primary care program aims to transform clinical training environments in primary care settings by creating a curriculum that incorporates interprofessional education across the training continuum and primary care disciplines.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Girls Getting Interested in Science

A program at the Texas A&M Health Science Center is engaging middle and high school girls in science.