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, March 13, 2018

Medical Faculty Need to Foster Resilience in Students (and in Themselves)

by Mona M. Abaza, MD, residency program director for the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

“Do as I say, not as I do,” won't solve the problem. Faculty members in academic medicine must model and support self-care for students.

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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 physiciannow a physician himselfreveals how stricter immigration controls and rescinding DACA will harm all patients, medical education, and biomedical research in the United States.

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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 22, 2018

Antibody Treatment May Aid in Treating "Bubble Boy Disease"

A new clinical trial at Stanford University School of Medicine has shown encouraging results for patients with severe combined immunodeficiency, also known as “bubble boy disease.” In the trial, participants receive an antibody-based treatment rather than chemotherapy or radiation to prepare them for a blood stem cell transplant.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Three-Year MD Program Launched at Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University School of Medicine created a three-year MD curriculum to help address the national physician shortage and reduce student debt from tuition costs. Acceptance to the program also includes conditional acceptance into a Stony Brook residency program.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

New Medical Food Pantry Addresses Patient Dietary Needs

A new medical food pantry at Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University aims to provide healthy food to discharged patients identified as having food insecurity. The team behind pantry hopes to help patients with their recovery by providing nutritious food recommended by their health care teams based on their medical conditions.