A Word From the President

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Looking Back and Moving Forward—75 Years of the LCME

by Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC President and CEO
This month, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accreditation body for medical schools. When I became the dean at the Medical College of Georgia, I was only vaguely aware of the LCME, having spent the early part of my career at the National Institutes of Health. But I quickly learned about the role and process of the committee when I was told that I would be greeting the LCME site visit team on my first day as dean! I was impressed with the site visit for two reasons: the focus on quality and the collegiality of the process. These two characteristics have been a constant thread in all my experiences with the LCME.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Where Should We Stand on DACA? Flexner Would Answer the Call

by  Sunny Nakae, MSW, PhD

I first became aware of undocumented students in medicine around 2001. At the time, I was a program coordinator, running a pipeline program for prehealth students. My director advised me to process a stipend differently for one of our scholars and explained that she was undocumented. 

Ten years later, a young woman at the AAMC Career Fair approached me after my presentation. She explained that she was an undocumented immigrant and dreamed of becoming a physician.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Training Future Physicians to Address Opioid Crisis

by Robert J. Sokol, MD, President, and Kevin Kunz, MD, Executive Vice President of the Addiction Medicine Foundation

The country is struggling to reverse the devastating opioid epidemic, which has its roots in many places and requires a collective response across multiple sectors.

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The use of electronic health records (EHRs) has skyrocketed—in less than a decade, the number of hospitals adopting the technology surged from fewer than 10% in 2008 to nearly 84%, in 2015 according to federal data. But adoption is only the first step health care providers must take to harness the full power of EHRs to improve people’s health.

“We’re in the infancy of using EHRs to improve patient care,” said Keith Horvath, MD, senior director for clinical transformation at the AAMC. “Obviously, adoption was the first step that needed to happen, and it basically took analog paper charts into digital form. Another main goal was to improve billing and collection—it’s been a good tool from that perspective, too. But it hasn’t yet been optimized for improving quality of care.”

Although more hospitals are using EHRs, a 2016 study reported mixed results in efforts to leverage EHRs to improve patient outcomes. To help spur such innovation, the AAMC teamed up with the Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Medical Research Foundation to identify researchers on the cutting edge of such work. In 2013, the foundation awarded grants to two promising EHR projects: one directed at boosting provider capacity and another targeting improved clinical care.

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Academic Medicine in the News

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Deafness Doesn’t Stop Medical School Graduate From Pursuing Career in Surgery

When asked to list three things that uniquely define her, Grace Lassiter, a recent graduate of the Texas A&M College of Medicine, doesn’t hesitate in her response:  “I love to paint, I want to be a surgeon, and I am deaf.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

From the Operating Theater to the Stage

The Bard Hall Players, a student-run theater group at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, provides future health professionals the opportunity to reduce stress and build emotional intelligence. The school also has other artistic offerings, including an a cappella group called the Ultrasounds.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Faster Stroke Treatment in New York

New York-Presbyterian’s Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit, an ambulance outfitted specifically to treat stroke patients, is part of a broader telehealth initiative at NewYork-Presbyterian that is designed to make the hospital’s world-class care faster and more accessible.