Perspectives

A Word From the President

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Building a Framework for Clinician Well-Being and Resilience

by Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO
In July, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience convened for its first public meeting since it began in early 2017. The NAM Action Collaborative was established out of a growing national awareness that the epidemic of burnout, as well as depression and suicide, has worsened significantly across the health professions in recent years. Its goal is to advance evidence-based solutions to promote clinician well-being and combat burnout, depression, and suicide among U.S. health care workers. I have the privilege of cochairing the NAM Action Collaborative alongside Chair Victor Dzau, MD, NAM president, and Cochair Tom Nasca, MD, MACP, CEO of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

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Viewpoints

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Humanism Increasingly Important in a Changing Health Care Landscape

by Richard I. Levin, MD, President and CEO of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation

As the academic medicine community faces new demands, maintaining a human connection with our patients is more crucial than ever.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Humility, Empathy Required to Create Inclusive Research Culture

by Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI, and Victoria Villalta-Gil, PhD

Why are racial and ethnic minorities less likely than the general population to participate in clinical trials? Researchers have tried several strategies to get these populations involved, and while some have been successful, minority participation in clinical research remains low. However, by making an effort to understand the cultural and historical factors at play and involving minority groups in solutions, investigators can go a long way toward encouraging underrepresented groups to participate in clinical trials.

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Back in 2003, researchers surveyed thousands of medical residents on cross-cultural care, attempting to tease out a clearer picture of the residents’ ability to practice medicine in ways that could eventually narrow health disparities.

The results, published in 2005 in JAMA, found that while nearly all respondents believed it was important to address cultural issues in care delivery, fewer than half felt well prepared to treat patients from diverse cultures, underserved populations or different socioeconomic classes, and racial and ethnic minority groups. The findings “set the stage” for developing a disparities-focused curriculum for graduate medical education (GME) that was practical, actionable, and discipline specific, said Joseph Betancourt, MD, MPH, one of the study’s authors.

“It’s important that medical students get a good foundation in this topic,” said Betancourt, director of the Disparities Solution Center and multicultural education at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston. “But as a med student, it’s still fairly theoretical. It’s in the GME space that you develop habits and behaviors, and that’s why it’s essential that we really embed this in resident education.”

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Academic Medicine in the News

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Caring for Pediatric Cancer Patients During a Storm

During Hurricane Harvey, Tim Porea, associate professor of pediatrics – hematology and oncology and clinical director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, led a team of 15 faculty and fellows who coordinated care for patients who were unable to come to appointments and for about 80 children who were hospitalized during the storm.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

PupilScreen Aims to Allow Concussion Detection With a Smartphone

University of Washington researchers are developing the first smartphone app that is capable of objectively detecting concussion and other traumatic brain injuries in the field—on the sidelines of a sports game, on a battlefield, or in the home of an elderly person prone to falls.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

From Burnout to Balance

Eastern Virginia Medical School is implementing a set of new resources to relieve the pressures and stresses that accompany medical education and training in an effort to help students and residents avoid burnout.

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