AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2012 Aug. 31

Here are the highlights from the current issue:

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday published a lengthy editorial attacking “Cheesecake Factory Medicine.” The breathtaking editorial is in response to a recent article in The New Yorker by Dr. Atul Gawande about efforts to combine quality control, cost control, and innovation.
http://tinyurl.com/chotw8v (subscription may be required)
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/13/120813fa_fact_gawande

An article in the August 27 issue of Newsweek discussed the high cost of new cancer therapies that offer limited benefits. According to the article, “Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, says that in most cases, ‘new cancer treatments cost an awful lot of money, and there is usually a very small incremental benefit…Instead of talking about rationing care,’ Brawley says, ‘we need to talk about rational use of care.’”
http://tinyurl.com/8sbljms

A new web posting by Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH deputy director for extramural research, explores whether the number of applications submitted is correlated to more awards being received. Dr. Rockey writes, “It is evident from the data that, even within our top 100 funded organizations, institutions with similar averages of submitted applications per PI can have very different levels of success.”
http://tinyurl.com/ca9a439

The full list of announcements is below.

—–

Thomas R. Insel, M.D., Acting Director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, on Thursday announced the rosters of the Center’s Advisory Council and the Cures Acceleration Network (CAN) Review Board. The members of the two panels are nearly identical. Both of these NCATS Advisory Groups will meet formally for the first time on Friday, September 14, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the NIH Campus in Bethesda. A permanent director of NCATS has not yet been announced.
http://tinyurl.com/8qe6r44
http://tinyurl.com/9q7m6jw

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) will host three workshops in Washington, D.C., this fall “as part of its effort to engage patients and other health care stakeholders as meaningful and active partners in its efforts to build a patient-centered research community and refine its research agenda.” The workshops are designed to obtain input from patients, caregivers and other stakeholders on PCORI’s draft process for generating and selecting specific research topics. The three workshops are: Transforming Patient-Centered Research: Building Partnerships and Promising Models (October 27-28); What Should PCORI Study? A Call for Topics from Patients and Stakeholders (December 4); and PCORI Research Prioritization Methods Workshop (December 5).
http://www.pcori.org/workshops/

The Institute of Medicine on Thursday, September 6, will release a new report, “Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America.” The report is the work of a panel chaired by Dr. Mark Smith of the California HealthCare Foundation.
http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Quality/LearningHealthcare.aspx

The AAMC has launched a Conflict of Interest Metrics Project. This is a unique opportunity for institutions to participate in assessing the effect and effectiveness of the final rule, “Responsibility of Applicants for Promoting Objectivity in Research for which PHS Funding is Sought,” which went into effect last Friday. AAMC member institutions can register for the project. More information about the AAMC COI Metrics Project, including registration information, Frequently Asked Questions and a detailed description of the data that will be collected, is available on line. Questions may be sent to COIMetrics@aamc.org.
http://www.aamc.org/metricsproject

The NIH on Tuesday issued a Request for Information concerning expanding the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program (NIH-UDP) to extramural clinical sites capable of providing diagnoses to patients presenting with difficult to diagnose diseases. According to NIH, “Since its inception in 2008, the NIH UDP has received approximately 6,300 inquiries, reviewed 2,300 medical records, and admitted 450 patients to the NIH Clinical Center for thorough, one-week evaluations. Even without a systematic approach to advertising the program, there is a substantial unmet demand for these services– a major reason to create a national network of diagnostic sites. Another reason is that a network may ease the travel burden for some patients seeking help from the UDP. In addition to the benefit to patients with rare diseases, the UDP creates important opportunities for research: Uncovering the biochemistry, physiology, and underlying genetic etiology leads to a better understanding of disease processes and those of related disorders.” Responses to this RFI will be accepted through September 18, 2012.
http://tinyurl.com/9zuwyhu

The Colorado Springs Gazette on Wednesday reported, “Colorado Springs voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a plan to lease city-owned Memorial Health System to University of Colorado Health. The proposal passed, 83 percent to 17 percent. About 41 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the mail election. The lease agreement will pay the city $74 million up front and $5.6 million annually, which the city plans to put into a new foundation dedicated to local health needs. UC Health will also pay $3 million a year toward establishing a medical school at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.”
http://www.gazette.com/articles/health-143849-colorado-city.html#ixzz24tse8xWI

Yale University President Richard C. Levin on Thursday announced that he will step down at the end of the current academic year, after 20 years of service. Dr. Levin is an economist.
http://tinyurl.com/8g7lhos

Developed by members of the AAMC Group on Information Resources (GIR), GIR Technology Now Briefs are one-page documents that summarize the latest technologies, trends and issues facing our community. They are designed to make it easier for information resources professionals to communicate with other stakeholders (deans, students, colleagues) and help in the decision-making process. A new Tech Brief on cloud computing is now available.
https://www.aamc.org/members/gir/communications/171152/gir_tech_briefs_teaser.html

The AAMC is now accepting applications for the 2012 Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar to be held December 1-4 in Austin, Texas. The program is designed for women primarily at the associate professor level and early stages of a professorial appointment. Physicians and scientists holding medical school appointments and holding leadership positions within their discipline, department or institution are encouraged to apply. An online application must be completed and received by the program committee by Tuesday, September 25, 2012.
http://tinyurl.com/bl7hmxb

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is reporting that offers of admission from U.S. graduate schools to prospective international students increased 9% from 2011 to 2012, following an increase of 9% last year. The new data marks the 3rd consecutive year of growth in international graduate admissions.
http://tinyurl.com/9xhp8ty
http://tinyurl.com/9jetdjz

An article posted by the Texas Tribune on Friday discussed the changing organizational and reporting structures of some Texas medical schools.
http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/higher-education/medical-research/

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va., which is affiliated with Virginia Tech, will open a branch campus in the Auburn Research Park in Auburn, Ala., officials announced on Thursday. In 2010, the school opened a campus near Wofford University in Spartanburg, S.C.
http://www.vcom.vt.edu/news/083012-Auburn-announcement.html

An article in the GW Hatchet reports on the status of the search for a permanent dean for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Jeffrey Akman has been serving as interim dean since Nover 2010. According to the article, the University has yet to begin a search.
http://www.gwhatchet.com/2012/08/30/search-stalls-for-medical-school-dean/

Dr. Todd Rosengart, a cardiothoracic surgeon, has been named Chair of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. His appointment is effective Nov. 1. Dr. Rosengart is joining BCM from Stony Brook University, where he serves as professor and chair of the Department of Surgery, chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and co-director of the Stony Brook University Heart Center. David E. Wesson, M.D., has been serving as interim chair at BCM, having succeeded Dr. F. Charles Brunicardi, who is now back at UCLA.
http://tinyurl.com/9npzfql

Dr. Andrew L. Kung has joined the Department of Pediatrics at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center as director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation. Dr. Kung has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School since 1999, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute since 2011.
http://tinyurl.com/97k8346

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday published a lengthy editorial attacking “Cheesecake Factory Medicine.” The breathtaking editorial is in response to a recent article in The New Yorker by Dr. Atul Gawande about efforts to combine quality control, cost control, and innovation.
http://tinyurl.com/chotw8v (subscription may be required)
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/08/13/120813fa_fact_gawande

The New York Times on Tuesday reported, “Banned from tightening Medicaid eligibility in recent years, many states have instead slashed optional benefits for millions of poor adults in the program. Teeth have suffered disproportionately. Republican- and Democratic-controlled states alike have reduced or largely eliminated dental coverage for adults on Medicaid, the shared state and federal health insurance program for poor people. The situation is not likely to improve under President Obama’s health care overhaul: it requires dental coverage for children only.” The article further reports, “Even in states where Medicaid enrollees can still get regular dental care, finding dentists who accept Medicaid can be next to impossible. That is partly because reimbursements, which were low to begin with, have also been cut.”
http://tinyurl.com/d9jasy9

Dr. Judith H. Greenberg, acting director of the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences, has authored an editorial about the Institute’s new “Strategic Plan for Biomedical and Behavioral Research Training.” The essay, which appears in the current issue of The Physiologist, highlights key elements of the plan and discusses strategies for implementation. It also provides statistics on NIGMS’ support of trainees and describes current realities that need to be considered.
http://www.the-aps.org/mm/Publications/Journals/Physiologist/2010-present/2012/August.pdf

An article in the August 27 issue of Newsweek discussed the high cost of new cancer therapies that offer limited benefits. According to the article, “Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, says that in most cases, ‘new cancer treatments cost an awful lot of money, and there is usually a very small incremental benefit…Instead of talking about rationing care,’ Brawley says, ‘we need to talk about rational use of care.’”
http://tinyurl.com/8sbljms

NIH last week announced a new policy mandating enhanced council review of applications from investigators who receive more than $1 million in direct research support from active NIH grants. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences announced this week that it will continue its current practice that sets the threshold for special scrutiny of well-funded investigators at $750,000 or more in direct costs for all research support, regardless of the source. A table has been posted noting the differences between the NIH and the NIGMS policies.
http://tinyurl.com/ct7bbpq

A new web posting by Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH deputy director for extramural research, explores whether the number of applications submitted is correlated to more awards being received. Dr. Rockey writes, “It is evident from the data that, even within our top 100 funded organizations, institutions with similar averages of submitted applications per PI can have very different levels of success.”
http://tinyurl.com/ca9a439

AAHRPP is sponsoring an educational webinar on “IRB Review of Research Involving Adults with Diminished Capacity to Consent.” The webinar will be held on October 23 from 8:00-9:30 a.m. ET and repeated on October 25 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. ET. This webinar will describe the AAHRPP requirements for research involving participants with diminished capacity to consent, what researchers should know and plan for, and how IRBs should review and approve such research.
http://www.aahrpp.org/www.aspx?PageID=349

Edward R.B. McCabe, MD, PhD, has been named Senior Vice President and Medical Director by the March of Dimes Foundation. Most recently, Dr. McCabe served as Executive Director of the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Anna and John J. Sie Endowed Chair in Down Syndrome Research and Clinical Care, and a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Prior to his appointment at Colorado, he was at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), as executive chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief of the Mattel Children’s Hospital. He also is the past chair of the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing.
http://www.marchofdimes.com/news/10785.html

Western Michigan University School of Medicine has named Dale D. Vandré, PhD as the founding chair of the department of biomedical sciences. Currently at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Dr. Vandré serves as the vice chair of the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, the assistant dean for foundational science, and director of the integrated pathway program. Dr. Vandré received the College of Medicine Distinguished Educator Award in 2008 and the Excellence in Teaching Award for his department in 2012.
http://www.mibiz.com/news/in-the-news/19840-wmu-starts-adding-med-school-faculty.html
http://med.wmich.edu/node/1431

Rodney Davis, M.D., has joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine as professor and chairman of the Department of Urology. Dr. Davis most recently served as a professor in the Department of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and as chief of Urology at both the Tennessee Valley Veterans Healthcare System and Meharry Medical College in Nashville.
http://tinyurl.com/9u2lo6t

Harry P. Erba, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the UAB Division of Hematology and Oncology as the new director of hematologic malignancies and a senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center experimental therapeutics program. He is currently at the University of Michigan.
http://tinyurl.com/9rd2x7v

The National Health Service Corps’ third “Virtual Job Fair” will be held on Tuesday, September 18, from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PDT. This program gives providers the opportunity to virtually network and speak with administrators at rurally-located NHSC sites looking to fill current medical positions with primary care providers interested in serving rural communities with limited access to health care. Space is limited and registration for providers closes on September 17. E-mail NHSCVirtualJobFair@hrsa.gov for more information.
http://www.nhsc.hrsa.gov/corpsexperience/virtualjobfair

Tony Mazzaschi
AAMC

PS: Feel free to email <cas@aamc.org> if you have a problem accessing any article or resource mentioned in this summary. Also, have colleagues email <cas@aamc.org> if they would like to receive these news postings. We also welcome news tips and corrections.

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