AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2013 Dec. 13

The current issue of AAMC News and Leadership Announcements is now available:

This week’s AAMC Washington Highlights, posted Friday afternoon, features a detailed article about the budget bill that passed the House on Thursday.  Another article reports on the approval on Thursday of the SGR Repeal and Medicare Beneficiary Access Improvement Act of 2013 by both the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) took an important step on Thursday in furthering the commitment of both the U.S. and Canada to ensuring quality standards in medical school programs through a memorandum of understanding that formalizes their long-standing partnership. The agreement was signed by leaders of the sponsoring organizations of the accrediting bodies, including the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), and the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC).

The Baton Rouge Advocate reported on Friday, “LSU will establish a Baton Rouge branch campus of its School of Medicine in New Orleans, the dean of the medical school said Thursday. It would be the first permanent medical school campus in Baton Rouge.”  The paper also reported the Liaison Committee on Medical Education “cleared the way for opening a branch of the LSU school…” There was a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday at Baton Rouge’s Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center of the LSU Health Medical Education and Innovation Center.  It will be the new home of medical education in Louisiana’s capital city now that LSU’s Earl K. Long Medical Center has been closed as part of the Governor’s hospital restructuring initiative.

Becker’s Hospital Review reported on Thursday, “Joining the opinions of Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, Fitch Ratings believes nonprofit hospitals and health systems face a negative operating environment in 2014.”  According to Becker’s, “Fitch’s 2014 outlook for hospitals and health systems echoes that of Moody’s and S&P. In November, Moody’s issued a negative outlook for the nonprofit hospital sector for the sixth straight year. This week, S&P said the outlook is ‘decidedly negative’ and left little room for optimism.”

William F. Iobst, M.D., has been named the new vice president for academic and clinical affairs and vice dean of the Commonwealth Medical College.  Dr. Iobst, board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology, most recently was vice president for academic affairs at the American Board of Internal Medicine.

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues on Thursday released an “ethical analysis and recommendations for clinicians, researchers, and direct-to-consumer testing companies on how to manage the increasingly common issue of incidental and secondary findings.” The Commission’s chair, Dr. Amy Gutmann, authored a related commentary in Friday’s issue of Science.

A new analysis published in the FASEB Journal describes the declining participation of physician scientists in biomedical research.  The article, “NIH research funding and early career physician scientists: continuing challenges in the 21st century,” cites several indicators of the decline. According to the authors, Drs. Howard Garrison and Anne Deschamps, physician scientist awardees of National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral training and career development awards are at an all-time low, and those who continue to pursue a research track receive their first major research grant at a later age than in the 1980s.

A paper published this week in JAMA Psychiatry found that  “Acceptance rates for all types of insurance were significantly lower for psychiatrists than for physicians in other specialties. These low rates of acceptance may pose a barrier to access to mental health services.”

Cleveland State has broken ground “on a state-of-the-art facility where future physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals will learn to work together at the forefront of collaborative health-care education and research.” In addition to housing CSU programs offered by the School of Nursing and the School of Health Sciences, the building will also house the Cleveland cohort of NEOMED’s programs within their College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Graduate Studies and will serve as the home of the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health. The 100,000 square foot, $45 million building is scheduled to be completed in June 2015.

Last week President Obama signed into law the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013.  PEPFAR – the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – operates through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This week, Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost of Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and Dean of the School of Medicine, along with Alfred Z. Abuhamad, Chair and Professor of EVMS Obstetrics and Gynecology, announced that CONRAD, a reproductive health-research organization at the school, will receive up to $80 million over the course of five years from PEPFAR to fund three areas of HIV prevention research

Dr. Peter S. Kim, who for the past decade has served as president of Merck Research Laboratories, will join the Stanford University School of Medicine faculty as a professor of biochemistry.

CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) have announced a Health Disparities Service Fellowship in NCHS’ Office of the Center Director.  The Fellow, reporting to the Director of Extramural Research, will develop a research program to examine health disparities using data from across the Center.  Applications are due January 15, 2014.

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has announced its 2013 Fellows.  This year’s Fellows includes 69 members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, or the Institute of Medicine, five inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation, two recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science, five Lemelson-MIT prize recipients, and nine Nobel Laureates, among other awards and distinctions.

Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) is holding two dynamic IRB courses: IRB 250 and IRB Administrator 101, in Portland, Oregon this February 3-5. Faculty will help attendees master the essentials, dive deeper into the regulations, and develop the strategies and practices necessary to strengthen human research protection programs.

The Michigan Daily reported on Thursday that “Thom Madden, the University’s director of sponsored programs, will replace Rowan Miranda, associate vice president for finance, as the leader of the shared services initiative.”  The proposed initiative, which has drawn opposition from some chairs, faculty, and staff, would centralize 275 department-level staff in a service center.

The group United for Medical Research (UMR) on Tuesday released a series of stories detailing the harmful effects of the budget sequester on projects and laboratories funded with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The report, “Sequester Profiles:  How Vast Budget Cuts to NIH are Plaguing U.S. Research Labs,” features biomedical researchers around the country describing how sequester-driven cuts in NIH funding have forced them to lay off bright young colleagues, slow their research, and even close laboratories.

Dr. Charles Vest, the former president of the MIT and former president of the National Academy of Engineering, died on Thursday at the age of 72.  Dr. Vest was active in the science policy arena and served in leadership roles with several national educational associations.

And finally…In Wednesday’s listserve message I mentioned a December article that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine on “Fertility Treatments and Multiple Births in the United States.”  A colleague noted that a co-author of the paper is Howard W. Jones, Jr., M.D., Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Honorary Chairman of the Board of the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine. He is also Professor Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he served as Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Dr. Jones will turn 103 on December 30th.

Tony Mazzaschi

P.S. CFAS-Mail is a service of the AAMC Council of Faculty and Academic Societies. The Council is composed of two representatives from each US and Canadian medical school and two representatives from member academic societies and is the voice of faculty in AAMC’s leadership structure.

P.S.S. To be added to the distribution list for these listserve messages, e-mail a request to CFAS@AAMC.ORG


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