The current issue of AAMC News and Leadership Announcements is now available:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Friday afternoon released the Final Rule implementing the Sunshine Act (“Transparency Reports and Reporting of Physician Ownership or Investment Interests”). The final rule requires manufacturers of drugs, devices, and other medical supplies to begin collecting data on August 1, 2013 and report certain payments provided to physicians or teaching hospitals. The final rule also requires manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to disclose to CMS physician ownership or investment interests. The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Feb. 8, but is available now on-line. According to Pharmalot, a popular blog site, the final regulation does not require drugmakers “to report payments to speakers at accredited CME events as long as they do not select the speakers or directly pay them.”
President Obama on Friday presented twelve researchers with the National Medal of Science and eleven inventors with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honors bestowed by the United States Government upon scientists, engineers, and inventors. The National Medal of Science recipients are: Dr. Allen Bard, UT, Austin; Dr. Sallie Chisholm, MIT; Dr. Sidney Drell, Stanford; Dr. Sandra Faber, UC, Santa Cruz; Dr. Sylvester James Gates, University of Maryland; Dr. Solomon Golomb, University of Southern California; Dr. John Goodenough, UT, Austin; Dr. M. Frederick Hawthorne, University of Missouri; Dr. Leroy Hood, Institute for Systems Biology; Dr. Barry Mazur, Harvard; Dr. Lucy Shapiro, Stanford; and Dr. Anne Treisman, Princeton. Among the National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipients is Dr. Jan Vilcek, NYU Langone Medical Center.
A new installment of the AAMC’s Second Opinion podcast series offers brief summaries of how federal budget cuts to health care providers and medical researchers will hurt patients and slow progress on cures and treatments, as well as background on the new Medicare readmissions policy. Featuring Chief Public Policy Officer Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D., the series provides updates on current policy issues of importance to medical schools and teaching hospitals.
An article in Inside Higher Ed on Friday discussed how the effects of sequestration are already being felt at colleges and universities. According to the article, “Wary of the cuts on the horizon, agencies appear to already be slowing funding. On campus, researchers are seeing a slowdown in federal grant-making and disbursement, said Tim Leshan, vice president for government relations at Northeastern University and president of the Science Coalition…”
The AAMC recently published “Diversity in Medical Education: Facts & Figures 2012,” the 17th data book in the Facts & Figures Data Series. According to the report, Caucasian applicants declined approximately 26 percent over the past three decades and, in 2011, half of all applicants were nonwhite. The publication provides students, medical educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders with a collection of detailed statistical information on race and ethnicity and gender in medical education in the United States for the 2011 academic year, as well as nearly a decade’s worth of trending information for select topics.
An article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal discussed state legislative and regulatory turf battles, “As physician assistants and other midlevel health professionals fill growing gaps in primary health care…”
Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, has posted data on her blog site concerning NIH-funded PIs and whether their use of animals and human subjects in their research varies by their educational degree.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Dr. Phyllis Wise announced last week that The Grainger Foundation has pledged $100 million to support the school’s College of Engineering through the establishment of the Grainger Engineering Breakthroughs Initiative. The gift will support endowed chairs, scholarships for students, and research funding primarily in the area of bioengineering and big data.
An interesting article in The Atlantic asks, “Is the Lecture Dead?” Dr. Richard Gunderman, vice-chair of the Radiology Department at Indiana University School of Medicine, contends that “Education isn’t just about conveying information as efficiently as possible. A lecture, done right, gets to the heart of why a lesson is worth learning.” He concludes, “…widespread reports of the lecture’s demise are somewhat exaggerated.”
The Sacramento Bee reported on Saturday, “…at the same time that science is identifying a growing number of potential new cures, the public is providing a smaller number of people willing to volunteer to help test the drugs needed to treat disease. Today, 85 percent of drug trials face delays because attracting and retaining participants has become so challenging. According to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, enrollment rates have dropped 20 percent since 2000, with 2 million volunteers now participating.”
Dr. David F. Leffell, a practicing physician, the former CEO of the Yale Medical Group and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine, authored a commentary in Wednesday’s issue of the Wall Street Journal titled, “The Doctor’s Office as Union Shop.” Dr. Leffell wrote, “As the country moves toward the effective start date of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, the operational and economic elements of this vast legislation are becoming clearer. Yet one likely outcome of the act that will directly affect the quality of patient care, and could affect its cost, has gone virtually unnoticed and unreported: the increasing trend for physicians to become employees, rather than self-employed. This development represents a potentially radical factor in the transformation of health care — the doctor as union worker.”
The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) and the AAMC are partnering to sponsor a Cross Cultural Medicine Workshop in Washington, DC, March 1-3. The workshop provides physicians, faculty, medical students, health care professionals, and others with greater understanding of Western and Traditional Medicine to enhance their cultural competence.
An article posted by the Huffington Post details the battle in several states – but especially in Texas – over the future of public higher education. The article reported, “Many observers share [the] view that the debates over tuition and research are really about something broader.” The article quoted a former UT President as saying, “There seems to be a political move, and it’s not just in Texas, away from the classical mission of the university – cultivation of the mind and pursuit of knowledge – to a concept of a public university as sort of a job corps or a trade school…It takes a long time to build a first-class university…You wonder, how long would it take to destroy one?”
Robert P. Kocher, MD, of the Schaeffer Center for Healthcare Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California, and Eli Y. Adashi, MD, MS, of The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, authored a viewpoint essay posted this weekend by JAMA, exploring the health care-related provisions of January’s “fiscal cliff” legislation. The authors contend “that the practice of legislation by extension is inimical to the maintenance of market stability and antithetical to the formulation of an enlightened long-term national health policy.”
Crain’s New York Business on Sunday posted an article on how medical education is changing due to health care reform and changes in how health care is delivered. The article reported, “Schools like Weill Cornell are teaching would-be doctors how to work more effectively with other health professionals so that they may lead the changes rather than get swept up in them. They are putting a heavy premium on teamwork among doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, health aides and physician assistants. Doctors prescribe the medicine, but it may be the nurse, the social worker or the home health aide who makes sure it gets taken. Weill Cornell drills the new ethos into students at every turn.”
Ray Keller, M.D., FACEP, has been appointed medical director of the Emergency Department at Fletcher Allen Health Care. He has been serving in an interim capacity in that position since October, 2011.
Dr. Kelly Brownell, the James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale University will become the next dean of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Dr. Brownell is an authority on public policies to enhance nutrition and combat obesity. At Yale, he is also professor of epidemiology and public health and director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.
Michigan State University has appointed Dr. Charles “Lee” Cox as professor and chair of the Department of Physiology, a department affiliated with the colleges of Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Natural Science. Dr. Cox will begin at MSU, the nation’s premier land grant institution, in late spring. Dr. Cox joins MSU from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.