Perspectives

A Word From the President

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Leading in Challenging Times

by Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO
To drive real innovation, we need leaders who can set the cultural tone and promote inclusive, team-based learning and clinical environments.

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Supporting the Next Generation as the Physician Shortage Becomes Reality

by Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO
As the physician shortage looms, we must do everything we can to prepare medical students and residents for the future of practice.

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Viewpoints

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cancer and Our Kids: We Can Do Better

by Lois Ramondetta, MD

Less than half of U.S. teenagers have been protected against HPV. Here’s why physicians must do more to promote timely vaccination—and how.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Right Before Match Day, I Changed Specialties

by Aaron Parzuchowski

For many medical students, finding the right specialty isn’t always straightforward. One student talks about what led him to change course at the last minute, and how his career has benefited in the long run.

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Every day, 20 people die waiting for an organ transplant. Every 10 minutes, someone new is added to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) national transplant waiting list.

If you need a kidney—the organ most in demand—you might wait three to five years on the UNOS list before being matched. A liver or lung transplant could take six months to a year.  

What’s more, the number of people on the waiting list continues to far outstrip supply. In 2016, more than 115,000 Americans were waiting for an organ, but just 16,000 people donated. Yet 5,000 organs were discarded from deceased donors in 2016 alone, according to a 2017 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.  

In light of these startling statistics, academic medical centers have been exploring new ways to boost the supply of viable organs. The use of organs from so-called marginal donors—defined as those who are older or who have diabetes, hypertension, or even infectious diseases such as Hepatitis C or HIV—has opened new avenues for research, says Janis Orlowski, MD, a transplant nephrologist and AAMC chief health care officer. So has improving the transport of organs to limit tissue damage.

“Reducing the number of discarded organs could help fill a critical need for organs,” Orlowski says.  

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Academic Medicine in the News

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Resident Wellness Course Expanded

The University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine has expanded a course designed to minimize stress and burnout, and improve overall resident well-being to include more than 1600 residents nationwide. The 4.5-hour course lays a foundation for well-being concepts and introduces them to resiliency activities that they can utilize throughout their residency and careers.   

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A New Approach to a Challenge in Emergency Medicine

Emergency medicine physicians must rely on the patient to tell them which medications they are taking, and this represents a challenge as the patient could be unconscious or unsure, and the presence of certain drugs could dramatically affect the way a patient reacts to treatment. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have determined a new approach using mass spectrometry and hope it could eventually reduce trauma-related complications.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Students Organize Health Fair for Shelter Residents

Students from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons led a health and wellness fair at the Fort Washington Men’s Shelter in New York City. They set up health and wellness stations within the shelter, and provided basic medical exams and information on topics like diabetes, nutrition, sexual health, yoga, and naloxone for opioid overdose reversal.

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