healthcare

Highly Recommended: Take the Quiz: Where Do You Stand on Healthcare Issues?

Highly Recommended: Take the Quiz: Where Do You Stand on Healthcare Issues?

By: Ryan Kelly

It’s no secret that doctors are viewed as experts.

They are said to provide ‘consultation.’ They hand out notes that free people from work and other responsibilities. If 4 out of 5 of them recommend something, few will disagree. Due to their esteemed position, doctors will always be seen as authority figures whom the public can trust.

Do yourself a favor and take the quiz: http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz

Pre-Med News Roundup March 8, 2016

Pre-Med News Roundup March 8, 2016

By: Ryan Kelly

New FDA chief will champion clinical trials. Now that Robert Califf has been voted FDA commissioner, critics worry that he’ll hand the car keys over to drug companies and let them drive their agenda. But his supporters think he'll improve the approval process and remove unnecessary industry hoops. Everyone agrees that his long-time commitment to clinical trials will guide his policy and decision making. Click the MedPage Today link to find out more.   

Hospice patients not always seen on last days. In the last 2 years, approximately 12% of hospice patients have not received a visit from professional staff during the last 2 days of life. Many would argue that this number is alarmingly high, especially given the expected sensitivity surrounding end-of-life care. This article explores correlating factors within the data in order to assess the problem and propose solutions. Click the MedPage Today link to find out more.

When cancer treatment offers more hope than cure. This heartfelt feature narrates a doctor’s story as he faces the unfortunate task of suggesting hospice to his seemingly terminal cancer patient. Even though he felt ethically justified, he compares this breach in conversation to a betrayal. After his anecdote, he uses chemotherapy as an example to theorize on the costs and power of providing hope during treatment. Click the New York Times link to find out more.

The price is wrong: the physical costs of behavioral health issues. With increasing patient complexity and rising costs (US healthcare at $3 trillion), the demands placed on physicians have increased in parallel. One possible fix is to mend the gap between physical and behavioral health within clinics. The separation makes little economic sense and decreases patient satisfaction. Enhanced integration between them is one logical target for improving the broader healthcare landscape. Click the Huffington Post link to find out more.  

Pre-Med News Roundup January 4, 2016

Pre-Med News Roundup January 4, 2016

By: Alison Herr

Medical and Health News That Stuck With Us in 2015. The New York Times has rounded up the top health and medical stories of 2015. Their top picks included Ebola, Medicare paid end of life conversations, the true costs of drugs, and many others. This is a great review of 2015.

CardioBrief: Precision Medicine Stuck in Second Grade. There is much hype around precision medicine these days, but a new study shows that genetic testing is a long way off from helping patients in a clinical setting. Researchers hope to change this with help from the NIH's Precision Medicine Initiative.

Kaiser Permanente plans to open its own medical school in 2019. The benefits of a new medical school founded by a healthcare system are the practical experiences students can have in both practitioner and administrative roles and the completely redesigned curriculum. The school will be located in Richmond, California.

Pre-Med News Roundup December 7, 2015

Pre-Med News Roundup December 7, 2015

I Am Paying for Your Expensive Medicine The New York Times editorial looks at how we value new medications versus how we pay for them.  A new effective cholesterol lowering drug would cost $14,000 per patient every year, but everyone’s insurance rates would go up to pay for the patients who require it.  Value in healthcare proponents argue that high prices should be linked to high health benefits.  

New questions require doctors to learn about military medicine The USMLE will now include questions regarding military medicine in each of its steps.  Physicians are seeing more patients with issues that disproportionately affect veterans, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and the affects of Agent Orange, as more and more veterans are served in civilian facilities.  This also means that medical schools’ curricula will have to follow.

The Start-Up That Will Keep Health-Insurance Companies Honest Two Harvard millennials have used technology to help distill the huge amount of information that exists on health insurance to recommend the best plans for people based on their personal needs, rather than just showing them lists of options.  The website plots all the plans on a two-dimensional graph to allow customers to see what the real costs and deductibles will be at the end of the day.   

Pre-Med News Roundup August 31, 2015

Pre-Med News Roundup August 31, 2015

Women, minorities still underrepresented in certain medical fields Even with medical schools focusing on increasing diversity in admissions, many specialties still lack underrepresented minorities and women.  Radiology, orthopedics, and otolaryngology stand out as specialties where there's still "disproportionate underrepresentation of women and minorities.” This report looks to see what the causes of this are.

Four Strategies To Make The Practice Of Medicine Work Better -- For Both Physicians And Patients  This is a great read for anyone considering making an impact in the medical field, and it’s a great read before an interview when you’re asked how you would fix the problems in medicine today.  Here are the proposed strategies: 1) invest in public health, 2) shift from fee-for-service to pay-for-value, 3) reform medical malpractice, and 4) improve access to patient information. (This is the third in a series of three articles.)

Scientists Get One Step Closer to a Universal Flu Vaccine The flu vaccine is never 100% effective, but last year was especially off the mark.  So, when two new studies hint at a universal vaccine, people are talking.  Scientists tinkered with a piece of viral protein so it can teach immune systems to fight whole groups of viruses rather than just a single strain. Now we just need a cure for the common cold.  

What Jon Stewart Can Teach Us About Leading a Health Care Team

What Jon Stewart Can Teach Us About Leading a Health Care Team

Last night I watched Jon Stewart’s farewell episode, and I reflected on why I have been such a fan for the past 13 years (I have watched every episode since January 2003).  I was of course struck by the string of political opponents willing to go on camera to say goodbye to an adversary, and I was blown away by the plethora of former correspondents who returned to the studio to gather for a group hug.  And while I will forever be thankful for Jon’s ability to help make sense of the tragicomedy of current events (or, as he put it, to help us spot bulls**t in the world), I think his most lasting impact on me has been how to lead a large organization.


Jon’s lessons on leadership are directly applicable to running a health care team, something that you, dear reader, will face in the coming years.  But they can also be applied to leading just about anything else, from how to run your student group to how to handle your roommates.  

Pre-Med News Roundup June 15, 2015

Pre-Med News Roundup June 15, 2015

Predictive Medicine Uses Genome Sequencing To Forecast Illness Before It Happens This NIH study is helping doctors find illnesses before they even happen by studying genetic mutations in DNA.  

A Top Medical School Revamps Requirements To Lure English Majors  Mt. Sinai’s School of Medicine is emphasizing the humanistic side of medicine as they accept non-traditional pre-meds.  The  HuMed program took humanities majors from specific liberal arts institutions and allowed them to skip the MCAT.  Their new program, FlexMed is going to be open to even more students.  The school hopes that humanities majors will bring different perspectives to medicine.

Viral History in a Drop of Blood Researchers at Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed the technology to see every virus you have every had in a single drop of blood. This new test will take the guesswork out of patient history and diagnosis.

Pre-Med News Roundup May 25, 2015

Pre-Med News Roundup May 25, 2015

Can Music Be Used as Medicine  Using biometric research, scientists in the Sync Project are looking at how music affects the body and brain.  We like this article, because it shows that research and medicine don’t have to be boring.

Oakland University  William Beaumont School of Medicine to Graduate First Class This Week  Oakland University is one of the newest medical schools in the United States.  Newer schools always have the element of the unknown, but the first graduating class does have a 100% residency match rate.
NIH Leads Effort to Enable Precision Medicine to Revolutionize Health Care Precision medicine may be the medical buzzword for the year, but it is more than just a phrase.  Medical schools, like Ohio State and the UC’s mentioned in the article, are going to be at the forefront of research on DNA sequencing and decoding the roots of cancer using extreme-scale computing and 4D imaging.