A Word From the President

Friday, February 22, 2019

Addressing racism and mistreatment in academic medicine

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

Leaders in academic medicine must confront racism and inequity and work together to create a culture that exemplifies our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity.

10 wishes for the new year

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

From more affordable health care to greater humanism in medical education, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, outlines his aspirations for 2019.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Rooting out implicit bias in admissions

by Quinn Capers IV, MD

At one medical school, admissions committee members didn't even know they harbored hidden biases. But some simple training opened their eyes — and the school's doors — to a more diverse body of students.

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Recognizing and stopping human trafficking

by Larissa Truschel, MD, MPH, with Hanni Stoklosa, MD, MPH

The media often portrays victims of human trafficking as young women in developing countries who are kidnapped, sold into slavery, and physically held against their will. But trafficking occurs every day in the United States, too, and physicians must learn to recognize the signs.

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The parents were understandably worried. Their 5-year-old needed a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, but they didn’t have health insurance. Whatever the cost, they were going to have to pay out of pocket. But when they began calling children’s hospitals to request an estimate, they couldn’t always get it.

“They were put on hold,” says Charlene Wong, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Duke University School of Medicine and member of the The Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy at Duke University. “They were transferred from one place to another because many hospital staff didn’t know how to get them an estimate.” Sometimes, it took a couple of days to get a number.

But in reality, the “parents” were researchers conducting a study on price transparency among pediatric hospitals that Wong and her colleagues published in 2017. In the “secret shopper” segment, only 30 out of 45 hospitals the team contacted provided price estimates. Only 12 of those hospitals offered online price calculators — and because of their different approaches to calculation, those tools yielded prices ranging from $1,200 to $15,360, making it difficult for consumers to compare estimates. “Frankly, the landscape for price transparency was pretty bleak,” says Wong. 

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Academic Medicine in the News

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Wisconsin psychiatry residency program brings hope for rural patients

A new psychiatry residency program, supervised by the Medical College of Wisconsin, placed four psychiatry residents in rural parts of Wisconsin. The residents will provide psychiatric services to patients,  helping to alleviate the shortage of mental health professionals in the region and combat rising suicide rates.  

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Hospital treats homelessness as a medical condition, improves health

The University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, in partnership with the Center for Housing and Health in Chicago, has begun providing permanent housing for homeless patients that repeatedly show up in emergency rooms. The program, called Better Health Through Housing, improves the overall health of these patients and reduces health care costs in the long run.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Medical school to launch unique academic department

Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University is launching an academic department of integrative medicine, which combines elements of conventional and alternative medicine to address the whole person. A number of electives for medical students and other allied health professions will be offered, as will master’s degree and certificate programs.