Eight seconds. It’s the length of time that a rodeo cowboy must stay atop a bucking bull to earn a score. Eight ticks on the clock is also how long it takes, on average, before your doctor cuts you off in the middle of your story about where it hurts and when it started. The story you’ve been practicing under your breath in the car on your way to an appointment that’s been circled on your calendar for six weeks. ... Read More
Precision medicine has a commitment problem. There’s no question that understanding the biology behind disease can lead to tailored treatments. Take the cancer drug crizotinib, for example. It can extend the life of some of the 7 percent of lung cancer patients who have an abnormality in a particular gene. But right now, there aren’t nearly enough targeteted drugs like it. ... Read More
Whether you’re a family doctor weary of one-size-fits-all approaches to treating your patients, a science junkie, or the parent of a child with a mysterious, undiagnosed disease, it’s easy to get excited about the budding promise of precision medicine.... Read More
Cancer is expensive. And precisely targeted cancer is even more costly. With specialized oncology drugs now the driving force behind spiking pharmaceutical prices across U.S. health care, cancer treatment highlights the Catch-22 of precision medicine: its life-changing genetic discoveries paired with (at-times) astronomical costs.... Read More
Most people are willing to be poked and prodded if it means determining which mixture of chemicals kills colon cancer cells more efficiently, or identifying a rare genetic mutation that could prevent debilitating neurological conditions.... Read More
According to the noble mission statements of academic medical centers, we are committed to “healing humankind,” “advancing human health,” “alleviating suffering,” and “improving the quality of life” of the community, the country and the world.
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On a rainy Seattle afternoon, Louise Aronson, M.D., MFA, proposed unleashing a revolution. She spoke to a conference room filled with hundreds of doctors at the 2016 Association for American Medical Colleges Conference.... Read More
History holds a lesson for Americans still reeling from the 2016 election. The characteristics of true leadership—hard work, resilience and virtue among them—seemed to disappear over the past year... Read More
Scanning this glossy photo, it doesn’t look like we have a gender problem: A dozen young female scientists are striving and thriving, tackling medical problems from how burns transform fat to the relationship between the microbiota and immunity. ... Read More
We've still got a long way to go in supporting women in science and medicine. Nationwide, only 20 percent of assistant professors in STEM and medical colleges are women. And pay inequity is alive and well; A recent study of New England researchers found that male scientists received more than 2.5 times the startup funding than their female counterparts did.... Read More
Under University of Utah Health Care’s Value-Driven Outcomes initiative, more than 6,000 staff and faculty have logged on or signed up for face-to-face training seminars. Collectively they’ve developed more than 750 value projects, 180 measures of quality, more than 100 tests of service and 109 cost benchmarks. ... Read More
When Joan Sheetz, M.D., and Anna C. Beck, M.D., met during their work at Salt Lake City’s Fourth Street Clinic for the homeless, they were able to recognize a shared interest in the humanistic side of medicine—the ability to look beyond the illness or injury to the person behind the problem. ... Read More
"The problem with medical school is the Krebs Cycle."
This is a common refrain from physicians. More precisely, the problem is rote memorization of the Krebs cycle, other metabolic pathways and seemingly useless facts.
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Hollywood has already imagined it: Gattaca, an apocalyptic world driven by genetic engineering, where only embryos with the best of their parents’ characteristics ("valids") become children. ... Read More
Telemedicine can improve access to care and lower costs, but how do we make sure it’s safe and of value to the patient and not just health systems figuring out how to do things more cheaply?... Read More
Empowering consumers to shop based on price and quality was supposed to force health organizations to compete on those terms—making health care better and more affordable.
Yet, health spending continues to rise in the U.S. Despite a groundswell of pricing and quality data being unleashed, consumers still aren’t shopping for health care like they do other goods and services. Meanwhile, proponents of consumerism have begun to publicly question its limits—and the dangers of ignoring those limits.... Read More