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Algorithms for Innovation BlogIdeas poised to have a big impact

Women in Medicine: Cultivating a Healthy Disrespect for the Impossible

Women in Medicine: Cultivating a Healthy Disrespect for the Impossible

University of Utah pediatrician and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Carrie Byington, M.D. reflects on her career path and the obstacles she overcame as a Mexican-American woman growing up in south Texas with no physician role models. “It’s not about success. There are successes and those are great. There are failures and those are hard,” she confides. “It’s about how you spend your time. In the amount of time you have here, how are you going spend it, how are you going to make a difference?”... Read More
Could Research-Authoring Undergrads be a Solution to the Physician-Scientist Shortage?

Could Research-Authoring Undergrads be a Solution to the Physician-Scientist Shortage?

“Undergraduates rarely are exposed to clinical research, and that’s threatening our pipeline for clinical investigators,” says pediatrician Carrie Byington, M.D., co-principal investigator of the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science and associate vice president for Faculty and Academic Affairs at the University of Utah. “We thought the Academic Associates program would be a way for them to learn career skills and be exposed to research at an early stage. Many students are now telling us that this program opened their eyes to a world they didn’t know existed.” ... Read More
The Healing Power of Storytelling

The Healing Power of Storytelling

Doctors and researchers frown on the false logic of anecdotes—the "N of 1" stories that spread like a virus to undermine science and sound reasoning. But is there a place for storytelling in medicine?... Read More
Smashing Stereotypes: TED profiles ‘12 Badass’ Scientists

Smashing Stereotypes: TED profiles ‘12 Badass’ Scientists

Astrophysicist, biologist, computer scientist, genetic virologist, glaciologist, molecular animator—what do you imagine when you hear these words? “What do you see when you picture a scientist?” asks TED writer Karen Eng in a provocatively titled article, “12 badass scientists…who also happen to be women.” ... Read More

What kind of a change agent are you?

It’s true. There are countless reasons to feel overwhelmed and disheartened with the current state of health care. So many external factors are swirling around at once. The path of least resistance is to dig in your heels and hold on to the status quo. But some are embracing change. They're living in beta and taking the challenges as they come. ... Read More

On-call Resource for Medically Fragile Kids Improves Care, Saves $116M

Carla Thorne became a foster Mom not intending to adopt children but “to give some parents a chance to get right with their lives.” Similarly, University of Utah pediatrics professor Nancy Murphy became a doctor not to fix health care but to heal children. But sometimes circumstances demand that we venture into new and unexpected territory. ... Read More

Escaping 'Undiagnosed Island'

Not actionable. Matt and Cristina Might would like to see those words stricken from medicine’s vernacular. To parents of children with ill-defined diseases, those words are disempowering, signaling another dead end in the search for a diagnosis and treatment. They're also misleading, says Matt Might, Ph.D., University of Utah associate professor of computer science and adviser to President Obama’s precision medicine initiative. Because in the absence of actionable knowledge, treatments or cures, “science becomes medicine,” he says. ... Read More

Diagnostic Errors Carry a Steep Price

Michael Cohen felt something wrong with his chest and made an appointment to get it checked out with his primary care physician. His doctor suspected acid reflux, and ordered a chest X-ray. ... Read More

Final Days, or Dawn of a New Age for Academic Medicine?

A dying beast? Fated for extinction? Dead on arrival? The recent musings of industry analysts about the future of academic medical centers (AMCs) inspire more panic than confidence these days. Long considered the showpiece for American health care, AMCs have also been an important financial anchor for universities. But times are changing.... Read More

When did computers and engineering become something that men do?

Cynthia Furse’s teenage daughter was skilled in math and science and had voiced an interest in engineering. But based on a career aptitude test that showed she liked helping people, a school counselor insisted nursing was a better fit. Why nursing and not medical school – or engineering, for that matter? And why should engineering be perceived as incompatible with wanting to help people, Furse wondered.... Read More