I learned how to break bad news to patients and loved ones more from business school than medical school – Los Angeles Times

I practiced the words in my head one more time before I picked up the phone and dialed. When my patients son answered, I froze for a moment, imagining the roles were reversed and I was about to receive the news that I had to give him. After collecting my thoughts, I introduced myself, reminding him that we had met the previous night.

Then I said: Im calling with bad news. Your fathers illness worsened this morning. He is going to die. I encourage you and your family to come to the hospital as soon as possible to say goodbye.

My patients son will probably remember this phone call for years. I still remember everything about it six months later. It was only the third time Id had to tell someone that their loved one was dying. Looking back on the conversation now, Im glad that I prepared for it. But I am also concerned to realize that the practical steps I took get the facts, write out the objective, address my own emotions, prepare for possible reactions, practice aloud came not from my medical training but from a business-school course on hiring and firing employees.

Like most doctors, I spent four years in medical school learning to treat hundreds of illnesses and help patients manage their health. I spent very little of this time learning how to work with patients when modern medicine runs out of miracles and only a few hours, spread over four years, learning to lead end-of-life conversations and deliver bad news.

This breakdown is typical of medical education across the country. A recent study of medical curricula, published last year in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, found that the average time dedicated to end-of-life care is 13 hours spread across multiple courses over four years. In a recent survey of graduating medical students, 42% reported that they were never taught how to talk to patients about dying, and 48% reported that they never received feedback on how they deliver bad news.

No doubt this is one reason why so many people have personal stories of the I cant believe my doctor said that to me variety. Just the other day, I listened as one of my patients described the anger she felt when, days before her husband died of cancer, a doctor checked his phone while they were discussing her husbands treatment.

By contrast, many business leaders direct much of their energy toward mastering the art of difficult conversations. As one of my business school professors liked to say, leadership is all about getting the details right in critical conversations.

Why do medical schools devote so little time to cultivating these communication skills in their students? Few conversations are of greater consequence than those in which a doctor must tell someone their loved one is dying. Our conversational shortcomings in these moments prevent patients from understanding difficult diagnoses, leading some to pursue futile end-of-life treatments that do not increase the quality or duration of their lives.

There isnt one way to teach these skills, but a handful of medical schools are pointing the way forward. Weill Cornell Medical College requires all students to complete a two-week palliative care clerkship. During the course, students are relieved of clinical responsibility so that they can focus on improving end-of-life care. At Stanford University School of Medicine, 20 students a year take Managing Difficult Conversations, a class in which students role-play challenging scenarios. Courses like these should be required at all medical schools.

Recently, I found myself on the other side of an end-of-life conversation. My grandmother was in an intensive care unit, and my grandfather called me in a frantic state because he couldnt figure out what was happening.

I called the hospital and got through to a nurse, who relayed every detail: The amount my grandmothers blood pressure had dropped, the number of times she was given epinephrine, the rounds of CPR. After what felt like an eternity, I finally asked: She died, didnt she? Her answer: Yes. The nurse had spent so much time on the details, she had forgotten to tell me the only thing I needed to know.

After I got off the phone, I practiced what I needed to say to my family. Then I called them and said it: Grandma died.

One of my most respected business professors someone with more than 60 years of experience in his profession told me he still practices difficult conversations before he has them. It helps him clarify his goals and the means by which he can achieve them. Medical schools need to teach doctors to do the same.

Tom Roberts is an internal medicine resident at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He received his MD/MBA from Stanford University.

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I learned how to break bad news to patients and loved ones more from business school than medical school – Los Angeles Times

Proposed Monroe medical school offers different approach to medicine – KTBS

A proposed medical school at the University of Louisiana in Monroe could offer an alternative path to a healthcare career.

Within two years, ULM could offer a doctor of osteopathy degree in conjunction with the New York Institute of Technology.

The Louisiana Board of Regents has approved a license for the New York school to operate a medical school on the ULM campus, but the schools must work out details of the partnership.

Osteopathy schools offer the same foundation in science and health as programs like the LSU medical schools in Shreveport and Monroe that offer MD degrees, said Dr. Jane Eggerstedt, vice dean of the Shreveport medical school.

Both types of medical schools require entrance exams, and applicants have at least a bachelor’s degree. Doctors of osteopathy and medical doctors undergo three to seven years of additional training in residencies and fellowships after graduating from medical school.

The key difference is in the traditional approach each of the programs takes.

“The DO philosophy, and again, speaking from the MD side, they would say that they have a greater holistic approach, that they look at how the different systems work and intertwine with each other,” Eggerstedt said.

DO graduates also tend to go into general medicine more. Fifty to 60 percent of doctors of osteopathy end up in general fields, compared with about 30 percent of MD graduates, according to Eggerstedt.

There are 33 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. Six are publicly operated and the rest privately operated. This year, more than 27,000 students — about 20 percent of all medical students nationwide — attended a college of osteopathic medicine.

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Proposed Monroe medical school offers different approach to medicine – KTBS

Splash Financial Partners with Bank of Lake Mills to Launch Medical School Debt Refinancing Program – PR Newswire (press release)

“Splash Financial’s innovative approach to financial services is what Bank of Lake Mills looks for in its partners,” said Peter Schleicher, the Bank’s EVP / Chief Financial Officer. “We look forward to growing with Splash to help them meet the needs of medical residents, fellows, and doctors.”

“Bank of Lake Mills is exactly the type of forward-thinking bank that we want to work with in order to have a greater impact on the medical student loan market,” added Steve Muszynski, Splash Financial CEO and Founder. “This partnership demonstrates our continued momentum as we work to transform the medical lending industry.”

About Splash Financial Splash Financial is a finance company that provides an online lending option for medical residents and fellows looking to refinance their student loan debt. Through unique program benefits such as deferred payment options, Splash gives trainees a sense of financial relief and the freedom to make better life choices during their training. To learn more, visit http://www.makeasplash.com. Banks or credit unions interested in Splash Financial partnership opportunities should contact Mick Boyle at mboyle@makeasplash.com.

About Bank of Lake Mills Bank of Lake Mills is a Wisconsin State Chartered Bank that was organized in 1893 and prides itself on a commitment to the communities and customers it serves.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/splash-financial-partners-with-bank-of-lake-mills-to-launch-medical-school-debt-refinancing-program-300480427.html

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Splash Financial Partners with Bank of Lake Mills to Launch Medical School Debt Refinancing Program – PR Newswire (press release)

Media Advisory: At long white coat ceremony, UB medical school welcomes 190 new physicians to Western New York – UB News Center

BUFFALO, N.Y. One hundred and ninety newly minted MDs will mark a critical milestone in their professional lives at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27, at the Center for Tomorrow on the University at Buffalo North Campus. Thats when they become medical residents of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.

Afterward, all medical residents will gather outside for a group photo. A reception will follow.

This years class of residents of 81 women and 109 men includes 120 U.S. citizens and 70 citizens of at least 17 other countries, including 24 from Canada, 9 from Pakistan and six from India.

Forty of the new residents are UB graduates, 32 of whom graduated from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and eight of whom graduated from the School of Dental Medicine.

After graduation from medical school, medical residents are matched with a residency program where they train in a medical or surgical specialty from three to seven years.The residents who take part in Tuesdays ceremony chose to start their careers as physicians in Buffalo at UB. They will provide patient care under supervision of UB medical school faculty in Western New Yorks hospitals and clinics.

The long white coat is not only a symbol of the profession but it also symbolizes the trust patients place in their physicians and the responsibility to act professionally while serving patients and the public, said Roseanne Berger, MD, senior associate dean for graduate medical education in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and associate professor of family medicine.

To celebrate the transition, UBs newest medical residents will don the long white coats that indicate they have graduated from medical school, leaving behind the short white coats they received when they entered medical school.

At the ceremony, medical residents recite the Hippocratic Oath and the UB Resident Code of Conduct.The ceremony occurs on Education Day, during which residents receive information on topics ranging from health issues in Buffalos population and communication and cultural issues to patient privacy, quality improvement and safety. There also is a focus on resident well-being, highlighting institutional support resources and advice from current residents.

Its part of UBs five-day medical resident orientation which includes background on UB, the Western New York community, its population and its health care systems. During orientation, residents visit UB-affiliated teaching hospitals, interact with program faculty and, in some cases, work with UBs Clinical Competency Center to assess interactions with actors playing patients. Before arriving on campus, residents completed online tutorials, including modules on addiction, pain medicine and safe prescribing practices.

The event was planned in collaboration with UBs Richard Sarkin/Emeritus Faculty Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, which launched the tradition of holding white coat ceremonies in the 1990s to symbolize that humanism remains at the core of all medical care.UB is one of only 14 medical residency programs in the U.S. that is home to a residency chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

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Media Advisory: At long white coat ceremony, UB medical school welcomes 190 new physicians to Western New York – UB News Center

Seth Thomas, missing USC medical student, found dead in Peru – Fox News

A University of South Carolina Medical School student who vanished in South America’s Andes Mountains was found dead over the weekend, school officials announced.

Seth Thomas apparently died from a hiking accident, WIS reported. The second-year medical student was on a medical outreach mission trip in Peru when he disappeared during a hike Friday afternoon.

It is so tragic that someone who was dedicating his life to help those in need was taken from us before he could achieve his lifes dreams, USC President Harris Pastides said in a statement.


Thomas father, Heyward, asked for prayers on Facebook when he was informed that his son was missing. Local investigators and friends searched for Seths body.

Heyward posted on Facebook Sunday night that Seth was hiking up to a cross on a mountain in Cuzco on Friday. He added, Seth fell off a cliff near the cross. It could be that it had gotten dark or he lost his footing.

The student was working to improve womens health in a clinical program at a Peruvian non-profit. The program was through Augusta University.

The 24-year-old was scheduled to return to the United States next week.


Seth Thomas, missing USC medical student, found dead in Peru – Fox News

Why medical schools are teaching self-care alongside patient care – Peoria Journal Star

Laura Nightengale Journal Star healthcare reporter @lauranight

PEORIA As concerns of depression and burnout among physicians rise nationally, a group of leaders at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria are working to equip new doctors to avoid the issues plaguing current physicians.

Faculty, along with leaders from OSF HealthCare and UnityPoint Health-Peoria, are working to find ways to incorporate stress relief into medical school curricula. Since their inception, medical schools have taught training physicians how to care for patients, but never before has self-care been part of the conversation.

Wickham leads UICOMP’s committee investigating how best to address the issue during training. First, the focus is on residents and first-year medical students who will be studying at the Peoria campus for the first time this fall. Eventually, Wickham said, wellness will be incorporated throughout medical school training.

With mounting research about elevated risk of burnout, depression and suicide among physicians, awareness is heightened. The body that accredits medical schools has issued a mandate that schools, at minimum, must provide a tool for self monitoring, but some schools are taking greater action.

“It’s a very complex issue, but I think with the national attention that’s being paid to this now, it gives everyone a mandate to move forward,” Wickham said.

Mayo Clinic has developed a wellbeing index a software-based approach that uses yes/no questions and agree/disagree statements to assess burnout in physicians and other medical personnel that is being considered for use at UICOMP. Faculty members are also undertaking research projects to assess burnout levels in medical students and residents.

Dr. Bento Suares professor, senior associate dean for research and head of the department of cancer biology and pharmacology is one of several faculty at UICOMP and Methodist College of Nursing who have been trained in a program developed at Emory University called Cognitively Based Compassion Training, or CBCT, which will be one part of the overall approach to improve student wellness. CBCT incorporates meditation and mindfulness training to help people better recognize, understand and control their emotions.

Empathy, Suares explains, is an essential tool for practicing medicine, but sometimes manifests itself as a feeling of shared suffering. CBCT can help students learn to see patients in pain, but rather than suffer alongside them, aspire to improve their situation.

Part of that is rethinking how physicians relate to their patient. In reality not all patients can be saved in fact, all of them will die sooner or later under varying circumstances. A physician who suffers with every death quickly accumulates a great deal of suffering.

“That ability to transition from the suffering with to the aspirational mode, that’s a skill that needs to be developed. Otherwise when you are out there facing this challenge, you just might not be able to,” Suares said. “This is a skill that we have to develop. Or else we’re going to harm ourselves and we’re not going to be able to help others as it was our intention, or else why would we have chosen this profession in the first place?”

CBCT is being taught at UICOMP through eight weekly sessions, 90 minutes each. So far, most of the students in CBCT have been faculty and community leaders, with a small number of residents and medical students. This fall, the course will be offered to all students, though it will not be required.

During CBCT, students will practice mindfulness: paying close attention to their emotions, raising their level of introspective awareness and controlling wandering thoughts. That will be followed by how to create emotional space: how to see a problem, without feeling like a part of the problem. Finally, comes self-compassion: being kinder to themselves and realistic in their expectations of success.

“We have the ability with this greater awareness of the present moment to catch a spark before it becomes a fire,” Suares said.

Laura Nightengaleis the Journal Star’s health and lifestyle reporter. She can be reached at 686-3181 or lnightengale@pjstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauranight.

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Why medical schools are teaching self-care alongside patient care – Peoria Journal Star

Dalhousie medical school boosts screening of would-be doctors – CBC.ca

The medical school at Dalhousie University is now screening prospective students for character traits such as empathy and integrity, and has reviewed its admissions process for first time in 10 years, following high-profile cases at the Halifax university of would-be doctors in trouble with the law.

Starting with applications for entrance in 2018, Dalhousie is using an online video-based tool to look at the non-academic aspects of potential students,such as his or her empathy, integrity, resiliency, communication and collaboration skills.

The same system the Computerized Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics(CASPer) is alsoused at schools including McMasterUniversity in Hamiltonand the University of Ottawa.

“Med students are expected to adhere to a code of conduct, and their fitness for the study and practice of medicine is continuously evaluated,”said university spokespersonJanetBryson in an email to CBC News.

The changes follow the case of WilliamSandeson,who was convicted last week of first-degree murderin thedeath of fellow Dalhousie student Taylor Samson.Sandesonwas just days away from beginning classes at the university’s medical schoolwhen he shot and killed Samson in August2015.

William Sandeson, seen here in a 2015 police photo, was convicted last week of first-degree murder in the death of fellow Dalhousie student Taylor Samson. (Court exhibit)

In an unrelated case that same month, medical student Stephen Tynes was charged with threatening to kill an associate dean and her daughter, along with others. The university banned Tynes from all campuses after he was charged. He was later convicted of weapons charges.

Bryson did not draw a direct link between those cases and changes to the admissions procedures.

She said the academic history, extracurricular activities and references of medical school candidates were already being screened. Prospective students also underwent criminal background checks. (Neither Sandeson nor Tynes had criminal convictions prior to being admitted to Dalhousie.)

Past candidates have also been screenedby a committee of about 20 faculty and students. Since 2009would-be doctors have also been subject to a process the university calls the “multiple mini-interview.”

“These are in-depth interviews where candidates interact with and are observed by evaluatorsin 10 separate stations,”Brysonsaid.

“The interviews are designed to assess candidates’ personal qualities, like critical thinking, awareness of societal health issues, communication skillsand ethics.”

Last year, the dean of the medical school ordered an independent external review of the admissions process. The last such review was done a decade ago.

The review was led by Dr. Gus Grant, registrar of the Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons, the body which regulates and licenses doctors in the province.

Grant’s review is now being circulated among facultyat the school and will be released publicly once the school has responded.

In his role as registrar, Grant has the ultimate decision over whether someone is allowed to practice medicine in Nova Scotia.

He told CBC News there is nothing in the regulations that would preclude someone with a murder conviction from applying for a medical licence. But Grant said part of his job is to protect the reputation of the profession in the eyes of the public.

“Refusing to licence a murderer could be based entirely on the public trust in the profession,” Grant said.

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Dalhousie medical school boosts screening of would-be doctors – CBC.ca

Ex-FSU star Myron Rolle ready to begin med school residency – ABC News

Myron Rolle has accomplished many things on and off the field. His biggest ones, though, might still be coming up.

Rolle’s dream of becoming a doctor came to fruition on May 20 when he graduated from Florida State’s College of Medicine. The former All-American safety and Rhodes Scholar has not had much time to reflect on the accomplishment. He moved to Boston at the beginning of June and will start his residency at the Harvard Medical School’s neurosurgery program at Massachusetts General Hospital on July 1.

“It felt great to graduate,” said Rolle, 30. “It put the finishing touches on an incredible and blessed story.”

While growing up in Galloway, New Jersey, Rolle looked up to two people Dr. Ben Carson, who was a renowned neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital before entering politics, and Deion Sanders. When Rolle was in the fifth grade, he received a copy of Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” and has been interested in neurosurgery ever since.

While being recruited by Florida State, which is where Sanders rose to fame, Rolle told then-coach Bobby Bowden and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews about his goals to go to the NFL, become a Rhodes Scholar and become a neurosurgeon.

“He was one of the most disciplined players who was focused on doing things the right way that I have coached,” Andrews said. “How many people have an opportunity to excel in sports and academia? His motivation to excel in the classroom was every bit as strong as on the field.”

In November 2008, Rolle made headlines when he interviewed in Birmingham, Alabama, as a Rhodes Scholar finalist and then flew to Maryland, where the Seminoles were playing the University of Maryland. Rolle got the scholarship and played in the game after arriving during the second quarter. At the end of the season, he was named to the third team of the Associated Press’ All-America squad. He earned his undergraduate degree in 2? years.

“Being on the other side of the fence now working for a football team, you always want a guy that looks the part, can lead vocally and by example. Myron did the best of both,” said Ochuko Jenije, a former teammate of Rolle’s who is a student-athlete development director at North Carolina.

Bowden said Rolle is one of those players “who might come once in a lifetime in coaching” and that he was proud to see his former player reach his goals.

After spending 2009 studying at Oxford, where he got his master’s in medical anthropology, Rolle was drafted in the sixth round by Tennessee in 2010. His NFL career was short, lasting less than three seasons. Rolle spent one season on the practice squad and was released in 2011. He was signed by Pittsburgh in 2012 but was cut in the preseason. He never played in a regular-season game.

Rolle entered medical school in 2013 and hasn’t looked back. Many of the traits that made him successful in football translated to medicine. Rolle said that when he interviewed with hospitals for residencies, he heard that being an athlete would come in handy as a doctor. Now he sees why.

“You have to be able to be part of a team and stick to the fundamentals,” he said. “You have to be prepared and perform under pressure. A lot of the same joy and adrenaline rush that I felt after making a good play or winning in football I feel now after a successful surgery.”

John Fogarty, dean of the Florida State University College of Medicine, said what made Rolle stand out during medical school was his ability to accomplish each task.

“He is such an incredibly humble young man who worked very well with his classmates,” Fogarty said. “He is a wonderful teammate because medicine and surgery relies a lot on teamwork.

“He really doesn’t fit the description of a prototypical surgeon rough and gruff. He can sit with patients and family members and discuss all the options. Between head trauma and injuries, those are often difficult discussions.”

Rolle’s primary interest remains pediatric neurosurgery, but at Harvard he also will be at the epicenter of concussion research. Harvard has partnered with the National Football League on concussion and the players’ union on a long-term health study looking at players after they retire.

Besides the effect on football players, Rolle thinks the concussion research could benefit soccer players and soldiers who suffer traumatic brain injuries in the field.

While Rolle thinks his first-hand experience as an athlete can serve as a benefit into research, that wasn’t the reason why he thinks Boston is a good fit.

“I got along with everyone and felt good about them. I felt like I was joining a team,” he said.

Rolle’s goals remain centered on young people, including opening clinics in low-income countries that do not have a pediatric neurosurgeon. With the start of his residency, Rolle sees it as another step in an interesting journey.

“The process of getting here and sharing my story has been very exciting,” he said. “Everyone that I have worked and played with has been a part of it.”

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/APTop25

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Ex-FSU star Myron Rolle ready to begin med school residency – ABC News

New chart illustrates graphically the racial preferences for blacks, Hispanics being admitted to US medical schools – American Enterprise Institute

The bar chart above is based on selected data from the table below the chart and shows the acceptance rates for US medical schools based on three different combinations of MCAT scores and GPA by ethnic/race group during the 2013-2016 period. As I explained in previous CD post that featured the table above (but not the new bar chart, which was just prepared with assistance from Olivier Ballou):

For the 2015-2016 academic year, the average GPA of all students applying to medical schools was 3.55 and the average MCAT score was 28.3 according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The highlighted dark blue column in the middle of the table above displays the acceptance rates to US medical schools for applicants from four racial/ethnic groups for applicants with: a) GPAs that fall in the 3.40 to 3.59 range that includes the average GPA of 3.55 and b) MCAT scores in the range between 27 to 29 that includes the average MCAT score of 28.3. Acceptance rates for students with slightly higher and slightly lower than average GPAs and test scores are displayed in the other columns. In other words, the table above displays acceptance rates by race/ethnicity for students applying to US medical schools with average academic credentials, and just slightly above and slightly below average academic credentials.

Bottom Line: Medical school acceptance rates in recent years suggest that medical schools must have affirmative discrimination and racial profiling admission policies that favor black and Hispanic applicants over equally qualified Asian and white students. Even if factors other than GPA and MCAT scores (which are probably the two most important ones) are considered for admission to medical school, wouldnt it still be very hard to conclude that admissions policies to medical schools are completely race-neutral and completely free of any racial profiling practices that favor blacks and Hispanics over equally qualified Asians and whites?

Heres why the issue is important: In some states like California, Washington, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, and Michigan, racial preferences in college admissions to public universities are currently prohibited by state law. For example, Proposal 2 in Michigan, which was passed into Michigan Constitutional law by a 58% margin of voters in 2006 (and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2014), states:

The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and any other public college or university, community college, or school district shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.

The AAMC doesnt provide acceptance data by individual medical school, so we cant conclude that any of the four medical schools at public universities in Michigan (University of Michigan, Michigan State, Wayne State and Oakland University) are practicing illegal racial discrimination or racial preferences in admissions, but its clear that Michigan state law, and the laws in several other states, expressly prohibit that practice. Based on national data, is there any conclusion other than the obvious one that US medical schools are granting special preferences for admissions on the basis of race for certain preferred minority groups (blacks and Hispanics) over other equally qualified non-preferred minority groups (Asians) and whites? When a black applicant with average academic credentials is four times more likely to be admitted to a US medical school than an equally qualified Asian applicant, what other conclusion is there?

Note: Unfortunately, it might difficult to get these exact data on medical school admissions by race/ethnic group and GPA/MCAT score in the future for the following reasons:

1. The MCAT test was recently re-scaled from the tradition point range of 20-35 to a new scale that ranges from 475 to 525 points, and that change was in effect for the most recent AAMC report on Applicants and Matriculants Data for the 2016-2017 academic year. In the past, the AAMC would report the data on acceptance rates by GPA/MCAT scores and race/ethnic group over the most recent three-year period, so it might wait for several more years before it would have three years of data under the new MCAT test score range.

2. The AAMC this year also hasnt yet reported acceptance rates for the 2016-2017 academic year based on various combinations of GPA/MCAT score by race/ethnic group like it has in the past. Its possible theres a delay in reporting these data, and its also possible the traditional grid report on GPA and MCAT scores by race/ethnic groups may no longer be reported as it was in past years?

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New chart illustrates graphically the racial preferences for blacks, Hispanics being admitted to US medical schools – American Enterprise Institute

Wall & Main: UMass Medical School’s $1.6 billion economic contribution – Worcester Telegram

The University Of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) is an important part of the Worcester economy. A 2015 study by the Donahue Institute, a U Mass-affiliated provider of research, training and consulting on economic and public policy, estimates that UMMS contributed $1.6 billion to the county’s economy.

The Donahue Institute study found that “UMMS generated $1.6 billion in economic activity including contributions of the local operating expenditures of the university, including $49 million in one-time major construction, the spending of UMMS faculty and staff, and the spending of its students in fiscal year 2015 Spending by UMMS and its faculty, staff and students support an additional 4,943 jobs in Massachusetts.”

Medical research is a major contributor to UMMS’ economic impact. According to a June 19 email from James B. Leary, UMMS vice chancellor for community and government relations, “In terms of economic impact our medical research enterprise is a major driver. UMMS now ranks 29th among medical schools nationally in National Institutes of Health funding (out of nearly 150 schools) and is third in New England behind only Yale and Harvard. UMMS currently has approximately $260 million in sponsored research including $206 million from federal grants, of which $153 million is from the NIH. To put the impact of that in context, a 2015 national study on NIH funding indicated that in Massachusetts, every dollar of NIH funding yielded a nearly $2.30 in multiplier impact (“NIH’s Role in Sustaining the U.S. Economy, 2015 Update”, published by United for Medical Research). So, while I can’t state the impact by project with specificity, we know the multiplier impact of research is very significant and certainly helps drive the local economy.”

UMMS has also patented its research in a significant way, although I would imagine it is difficult to quantify the economic impact of those patents. According to Mr. Leary, “UMMS has been very successful in patenting research breakthroughs, thereby providing a foundation upon which new companies can be founded or new therapies can be developed by existing companies. Today, UMMS has 184 licenses with 109 companies. Among these, is Biomere/BRM, a Worcester-based contract researcher, and Cambridge-based Voyager Therapeutics, [a publicly traded developer of therapies for neurological diseases which generated $14 million in 2016 revenue while posting a $40 million net loss and had a June 19 market capitalization stock price times shares outstanding of $273 million].”

I believe there is significant promise in the steps UMMS is taking to boost its future economic impact. As Mr. Leary explained, “In terms of medical research, we are committed to continue investing in research and seeking grant funding for promising areas of inquiry from federal and other sources. In addition, in recent years we established an office of innovation and business development, the sole focus of which is to increase the types and number of industry partnerships and collaborations, as well as help launch new companies.”

UMMS is happy to be located in Worcester. “We have always operated in Worcester and see many positives from this location. Central Mass has a vibrant higher education and health care sectors, both of which are a draw for our scientists, who come here from across the country and across the globe. We have a highly skilled workforce in the city and the region, which is critical for our success. And Worcester is a great place for collaboration with other colleges and universities, with businesses and with government leaders,” Mr. Leary contends.

However, it sees a challenge in attracting talent to the heart of Massachusetts. “The only real challenge is that of perception sometimes people from outside the area don’t know or appreciate how Worcester’s economy has transformed over the past three decades. But once they visit and see it for themselves, they appreciate that this is a real center of innovation and collaboration,” he said.

UMMS believes that Worcester’s labor statistics, researcher credentials, licensing revenue, and National Institutes of Health funding help make the case for Worcester. As Mr. Leary argued, “47 percent of employment in the city of Worcester is in the education and health services sector a figure that does not even include jobs in the private life sciences.”

He also highlighted the talents of UMMS’ researchers. “The outstanding credentials of many of the researchers who have chosen to work here. These individuals are from all over the world, and they could work virtually anywhere. The fact they have chosen UMass and Worcester sends a strong message to others who may not be familiar with us. (Members of our faculty include awardees of the 2015 Breakthrough Prize, 2008 Lasker Award, 2006 Nobel Prize for Medicine, seven Howard Hughes Medical Investigators, six National Academy members, three Keck Award winners and three Presidential Early Career awardees.)” he pointed out.

Finally, Mr. Leary provided evidence of UMMS’ licensing revenue and NIH funding. “Most years, the University of Massachusetts system ranks very highly nationally in annual licensing revenues (top 15), indicating success in turning laboratory discoveries into commercial therapies or technologies. UMMS accounts for the vast majority of this licensing in the university system typically over 95 percent. And UMMS ranks highly in NIH research, all of which is competitively awarded based upon peer review merit scores.”

Peter Cohan of Marlboro heads a management consulting and venture capital firm and teaches business strategy and entrepreneurship at Babson College. His email address is peter@petercohan.com.

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Wall & Main: UMass Medical School’s $1.6 billion economic contribution – Worcester Telegram

How to survive your first year of medical school – Metro US

If you thought cramming for your organic-chemistry exam during college was rough, then medical school might just break you. Not only is there way more material to absorb, theres also the never-ending lectures, labs, homework and exams.

But that doesnt mean you have to live out the stereotype of the half-asleep, stressed-out medical student.

We spoke with Dr. Linda Tewksbury, the associate dean for student affairs at NYU School of Medicine, to find out how students can ease into the transition and conquer their first year.

Group up

Forming a study group with like-minded classmates is crucial when it comes to getting through medical school, says Tewksbury. Thats really the key not isolating and locking yourself in your room to study all the time, she says. After all, one of the best ways to understand new material is by working with others. You might find a friend whose strengths you can complement, she explains. They might have a study strategy that you never thought of, or they may be able to explain something to you that all of a sudden makes it crystal clear.

Plus, theres the added benefit of having somebody to talk through the material with. And at the end of the day, thats how you know if you really understand something if you can explain it to somebody else.

Pace yourself

You might have procrastinated your way through college, but those same tactics certainly wont cut it when you get to medical school, says Tewksbury. For one, theres so much more material being presented on a daily basis. If youre not doing some work everyday, once you fall behind it gets really difficult to catch up. In other words, students need to make it a point to stay up to date with the lecture material. Even if youre not attending class lectures are often taped make sure to go back and review the recordings on a regular basis, says the expert. Exam day might seem far away, but the reality is, cramming just doesnt work in medical school.

Dont get discouraged

If you dont do so well on the first exam dont fret. It really does take a couple of months for students to figure out a good study strategy that works for them, says Tewksbury.

And even when theyve mastered their crunch-time habits, theres always a bigger challenge at hand: kicking the college mind-set. These students are used to getting high 90s on all of their exams, so its a big shocker for them to not be at the top of the class, she explains. They have to just keep reminding themselves that thats OK. After all, the goal shouldnt be to earn the title of brightest in the class, says Tewksbury. It should really be to learn as much as they can to take care of the patients.

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How to survive your first year of medical school – Metro US

Medical school professor studies chronic illness in people over 100 years old – GW Hatchet (subscription)

A medical school professor is researching the presence of chronic illness in patients age 100 and older.

Raya Kheirbek, an associate professor of medicine, said that this generation of centenarians, people in their 100s, are one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S., but they have not been adequately studied by medical researchers. Her research, which was released in April, was reviewed by the Journal of American Geriatrics last week.

I think its important that we look into a generation that no one looks into, she said. We dont really have enough evidence based in literature and most of those patients dont make it to the end of clinical trials.

Kheirbek said that her interest in the topic began when she treated a 108-year-old women who was part a case study prior to her current project. She said the patient was suffering from vascular disease, heart failure, hypertension and general frailty, but her mind was sound.

I said to myself, she is so resilient, and Id like to study the group to see what factors contribute to their well being, she said.

Kheirbek said that her past research focused on developing models to predict how long someone with a chronic illness has left to live. She said that this prediction method was often no better than making an educated guess because unmeasurable factors like psycho-social conditions play an important role in modeling someones life-expectancy.

Kheirbeks most recent research focused on patients in areas of Virginia utilizing medical records from 3,351 centenarians, she said. The study exaamined the patients lifespan and healthspan, the amount of time someone lives in good health.

This data was compared to records from 31,121 octogenarians, people age 80 and older, and 52,420 nonagenarians, those 90-years-old and above, according to the study.

Kheirbek said her study looked at veterans in the Virginia area in particular. She said she was interested in how this generation coped with the stress of events like World War II and the Great Depression.

The current generation age 100 and older often didnt smoke or consume alcohol, and obesity was nearly nonexistent, she said. Kheirbek added that those approaching 100 were less likely to have chronic illnesses than people from age 80 to 90.

These are people that survived the evils of poverty and the evils of war, and made it to that age, Kheirbek said. Its important for me now to dig deeper into that group and try to figure out if I can capture their resilience.

Kheirbek said that the next steps of the study will be to investigate methods of resilience training for younger generations as a way to help them cope with anxiety and depression.

Additionally, Kheirbek said she is looking at the presence of mental illness, the rate of dementia, and cardiovascular risks.

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Medical school professor studies chronic illness in people over 100 years old – GW Hatchet (subscription)

Medical School approved for ULM by Board of Regents – Bastrop Daily Enterprise

Scott Henderson

The Louisiana Board of Regents today voted to approve a medical school to be located at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Discussions have been underway between ULM and the New York Institute of Technology about the creation of the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine School on ULM’s campus. On Wednesday, a large group of supporters, including school officials, Dr. Nick Bruno, President of ULM, and others gathered at the Board of Regents meeting in Baton Rouge for the vote. The board voted unanimously to approve the school.

Dr. Charles McDonald, a member of the Board of Regents, said that the school is anticipated to have a large economic impact on the area. He also said that this endeavor would help bring primary care doctors to the Delta. With one-third of primary care doctors in the area in their sixties, the influx of new physicians is welcome in the area.

ULM signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in April to establish the private, non-profit school at ULM. NYIT has already opened an osteopathic medical school at Arkansas State University at Jonesboro that began accepting students in Fall of 2016. NYIT also operates a medical school in Old Westbury, New York.

The medical school would still need the approval of accrediting agencies.

Graduates of the school would be Doctor’s of Osteopathic Medicine or DO. Both DO’s and MD’s are licensed to practice medicine. According to the American Osteopathic Association, “Osteopathic medicine is a complete system of medical carewith a philosophy that combines the needs of the patient with the current practice of medicine, surgery and obstetrics; that emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and function; and that has an appreciation of the body’s ability to heal itself. DOs are fully licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas including surgery. They are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose and treat their patients.”

The medical school is targeting a fall of 2019 opening and anticipates an initial enrollment of 115 students.

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Medical School approved for ULM by Board of Regents – Bastrop Daily Enterprise

The unwritten curriculum of med school – Scope (blog)

They say to avoid going to the hospital during July, which is when the newly branded doctors start working after receiving their medical degrees a mere handful of weeks earlier. Whether that urban legend is true or not, its still a frightening notion to think that that my classmates and I will be branded with an MDat the end of our last names in another year. And from that point on, patients and nurses will begin to respect our medical opinions whether correct or not and our signatures would suffice for medical orders.

Sure, weve run traumas, intubated patients, delivered babies, treated heart attacks, and cured infections of each and every type. Weve admitted sick patients and then successfully discharged them in better conditions. And yet, despite twelve months of working in the hospital and taking countless call days, it still feels as if weve learned so little and are still as unprepared as ever.

Perhaps its an inherent limit of our early training: Theres only so much medical training and knowledge you can absorb while in the comfort and safety of the medical school cocoon. And theres only so much growth to be gained through memorization and testing.

But to gauge our growth as healers based on how much we learn in the traditional sense would be a red herring. The purpose of medical school was never to only impart textbook knowledge that can be gained anywhere these days with an internet connection, and those bits of facts and figures would never last long in our saturated brains.

The real purpose of medical school, I now realize, is to teach us how to learn medicine. And by that measurement, we have grown immensely in ways that cant be measured on paper.

We learned to attach ourselves to the residents and the attendings who were willing to teach, and we followed the tails of their white coats as closely as possible. And we learned that nurses, especially the ones who have been working there for decades, are sometimes the most knowledgeable and kindest teachers.

We realized the need to grow a thicker skin each time the surgeon berated us in the operating room while still maintaining a slice of humanity to offer to the homeless patient who has been admitted for alcohol abuse.

We picked up a habit of eating breakfast in the car to gain that extra fifteen minutes of precious sleep and to shovel down lunch and gulp coffee as quickly as we can, even risking burning our tongue, so wedont miss the next surgery.

We somehow acquired the ability to keep standing even when we briefly fall asleep after the third hour of holding traction for a broken femur.

We learned our way around the hospital so well that we know which stairwells are always empty so we can always find refuge for a precious moment of solitude to escape the chaos of a busy call day.

Third year wasnt easy. There were the good days when wed walk out of the hospital beaming with pride, proud of our budding diagnosing abilities. But they were inevitably followed by bad days when wed scold ourselves for making an inexcusable mistake, leaving us in doubt whether we could ever be trusted as physicians.

But ultimately, for all of medical schools valleys and peaks, we eventually learned to embrace these experiences because thats how we grew as healers. And these are the lessons that wont be found in any textbook or classroom.

Stanford MedicineUnplugged is a forum for students to chronicle their experiences in medical school. The student-penned entries appear on Scope once a week during the academic year; the entire blog series can be found in the Stanford Medicine Unpluggedcategory.

Steven Zhang just finished his third year of medical school at Stanford. When hes not cramming for his next exam, you can find him on a run around campus or exploring a new hiking trail.

Photo by Pixabay

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The unwritten curriculum of med school – Scope (blog)

Medical school adds radiology component to year-1 anatomy instruction – Health Imaging

First-year medical students at a historically black university in the nations capital are getting a deep introduction to the basics of radiology.

The school is the Howard University College of Medicine. The program incorporates multiple learning modules in medical imaging while overcoming the limitations of resources including funding, faculty and curricular time, according to an article published online June 19 in Anatomical Sciences Education, the journal of the American Association of Anatomists.

Describing the fruits of their successful interdepartmental collaboration, anatomist James Wilson, PhD, radiologist Andre Duerinckx, MD, and co-authors emphasize their programs reliance on self-study and peer-to-peer interactions.

The teams aims in launching the program included building students proficiency using free DICOM image-viewer software and teaching them to identify normal anatomy in medical images.

An effective collaborative relationship between a radiologist and anatomist was necessary to develop and implement the program of anatomicradiographic instruction, the authors point out.

The curriculum steps students upward along five tiers, according to the journal article. Students are first exposed to anatomy through standard dissections, then study annotated radiographs from atlases. Next they take a radiology quiz open to group discussions, conduct small-group studies of clinical cases with diagnostic images and, finally, get tested on their image-interpretation skills.

In the programs pilot period, students worked from medical images preloaded on their personal computers to take all their quizzes and tests, mimicking the approach by which radiologists analyze medical images, the authors report.

Graduating physicians in all subspecialties have an increased need for competency in radiology, particularly since the use of diagnostic imaging continues to grow, Wilson et al. note.

In addition to stimulating student support of a new teaching initiative, they write, the strengths of Howards program are that it can be introduced into an existing preclinical curriculum in almost any medical school with minimal disruption, it requires few additional resources to implement and run, and its design is consistent with the principles of modern education theory.

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Medical school adds radiology component to year-1 anatomy instruction – Health Imaging

Library at USF’s new downtown Tampa medical school named for Florida health company – Tampa Bay Business Journal

Tampa Bay Business Journal
Library at USF's new downtown Tampa medical school named for Florida health company
Tampa Bay Business Journal
The University of South Florida will name the library at the Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute being built in downtown Tampa after one of its major sponsors, Florida Blue, after the insurance company donated $1 million to the school. The

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Library at USF’s new downtown Tampa medical school named for Florida health company – Tampa Bay Business Journal

Mayo medical school part of $52.5 million initiative – Post-Bulletin

The Mayo Clinic School of Medicine has been selected to take part in a new national collaborative aimed at transforming medical education.

The $52.5 million initiative called the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education (Kern Institute) was announced Thursday with seven of the nation’s top medical schools collaborating to “transform medical education across the continuum from premedical school to physician practice,” Mayo said in a release.

The other schools taking part include: Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; University of California; San Francisco School of Medicine; University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical Center; University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Wisconsin hosts the Kern Institute and will lead the collaboration.

“We must redefine medical education and advance innovative medical education models if we are to meet the needs of patients and society in the 21st century,” said Dr. Fredric Meyer, Juanita Kious Waugh executive dean for dducation at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. “The Kern Institute and the National Transformation Network demonstrate the transformative impact that strategic philanthropy, dedicated leadership and aligned infrastructure can make in advancing innovation in medical education.”

That ambitious goal has been debated across the country since it was first pushed forward by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in 2008 under the guise of Triple Aim. The program sought to advance three main priorities: enhancing patient experience, improving population health and reducing cost.

Some feel Triple Aim helped shape the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The new Kern Institute initiative seeks to apply similar principles character, competence and caring to medical education.

Mayo says that the collaborating schools “believe these elements of physician development are critical to partnering with patients, families, and communities for compassionate, evidence-based care that is delivered with integrity.”

“We are delighted to be working with our colleagues at the Kern Institute and the Network schools,” said Dr. Stephanie Starr, who is leading the collaboration for Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. “Together, and with the support of the Kern Family Foundation, we have a unique opportunity to ensure all graduates from our seven schools possess the character, competence and caring approach that every patient can and should expect. This initiative expands on our core Mayo Clinic value: The needs of the patient come first.”

The Mayo Clinic School of Medicine was established in Rochester in 1972. It now boasts campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and is ranked among the Top 20 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. It’s considered one of the toughest medical schools to gain admittance.

Funding for the new collaborative is being supplied by a combination of gifts from the Kern Family and Kern Family Foundation, along with monetary support from the seven collaborating schools and other philanthropic support.

The Kern family has previously donated $100 million to Mayo Clinic, including $87 million to fund the creation of the Center for Science of Health Care Delivery, which was named in honor of Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern.

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Mayo medical school part of $52.5 million initiative – Post-Bulletin

New Camp Gives Kids a Glimpse of Medical School – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth


A summer camp in Fort Worth wrapped up its inaugural week, and what the Fort Worth Independent School District students accomplished is something good.

The 27 seventh and eighth graders from the Young Womens Leadership Academy, Young Mens Leadership Academy and J.P. Elder Middle School were the first to attend the first-ever Junior Medical School summer camp.

They graduated Friday after spending five days getting a glimpse of the medical field. They learned lessons about how to scrub their fingers and hands clean for the operating room, to dissecting an eye, and interacting with doctors.

The students week at Junior Medical School is meant to simulate a traditional college experience, complete with acceptance letters, scrubs for each student to keep and a white coat ceremony,” said Alli Haltom, a spokeswoman for the TCU and UNT Health Science Center School of Medicine, which hosted the camp.

“Our goal is to create an exciting environment that continues to inspire these students to pursue higher education and learn more about the fields of science and medicine,” Haltom said.

The new School of Medicine will open in the fall of 2019.

Tell Me Something Good airs every weekday morning on NBC 5 Today. Share your story and pictures at iSee@nbcdfw.com.

Published at 8:31 AM CDT on Jun 19, 2017

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New Camp Gives Kids a Glimpse of Medical School – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

McGill medical school to reach out to Indigenous, low-income students after missing diversity goals – The Globe and Mail

McGill University will intensify its efforts to keep Indigenous and lower-income high-school and university students in science and math classes after a national accreditation body said the universitys medical school is falling short of its diversity goals.

We have a new structure in place, we are doing consultations to better understand the needs of our community, said David Eidelman, the dean of medicine at McGill University. When we talk to Indigenous communities in our area they tell us that their big struggle is to keep students engaged all the way through high school so they can go on to have the prerequisites to get into med school, or any other of the health professions.

Last week, the school was taken off probation by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS). It had been on probation since June, 2015, after CACMS and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education the equivalent American accreditation body found issues in 24 areas, including overwork and inadequate supervision of medical residents.

McGill has since implemented changes, including anonymous reporting of overwork or harassment, a workload policy that specifies a maximum number of student placement hours and a new curriculum that links medical practice to health policy and community needs.

We have counsellors that are specifically for medical students, a place to go for their mental health. That has been a significant change, said Xin Mei Liu, the executive president of the Medical Students Society of McGill University.

The current review found only two areas the supervision of medical students doing clinical placements and diversity were still unsatisfactory. In fact, fewer students in the Surgery stream were satisfied with their supervision and responsibility levels in 2017 than in 2015.

McGill must submit progress reports in these areas within three years.

The school has hired a co-ordinator for its diversity efforts and is reaching out to Indigenous students in high school or even earlier to help them maintain their interest in science, Dr. Eidelman said.

This past spring, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada urged all medical schools to help advance Indigenous health, including through specific admission policies that recruit aboriginal students.

But each school decides what its specific diversity targets will be and how it will achieve them, said Danielle Blouin, the secretary of CACMS and a professor of medicine at Queens University. It can be difficult to see fast change on diversity measures, she added, but its not enough to voice goals.

A review of the University of Calgarys medicine school in 2016 also found unsatisfactory progress toward a more diverse community.

The schools have to state how they define diversity, the outcome measures they will be monitoring, Dr. Blouin said.

Among the student body at McGill, diversity is still lacking, the report also found. Low-income, rural and black and Filipino students are underrepresented compared with Montreal census data.

Medical students are trying to change that, speaking to high-school students in underprivileged areas of Montreal and Quebec, for example.

We raise awareness that they have the potential to go to McGill Medicine, or McGill Nursing, Ms. Liu said.

McGills medical school is the last to have its accreditation fully vetted by both the Canadian and American accreditation groups. Two years ago, the process was partly separated, with a new element of social accountability introduced in Canada, which includes measuring a schools student and faculty diversity. The University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia were accredited through the process.

All medical schools in North America are reaccredited every eight years. Dalhousie University will see its medical school receive an accreditation decision this fall.

Follow Simona Chiose on Twitter: @srchiose

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McGill medical school to reach out to Indigenous, low-income students after missing diversity goals – The Globe and Mail