The Decline of US Scientific Impact

Dov Michaeli

Posted 1/07/12 on The Doctor Weighs In

Incredulous Dov

I have attended more scientific and medical conferences than I care to remember. One thing that never failed to impress me was the large number of foreign-born young scientists attracted to our country and our great universities. Many of those scientists arrived as students from countries that smothered independent thoughts and initiatives, and chose to stay in the country where freedom reigned and the possibilities were unlimited. But then 9/11 happened, and our country was seized with a dark mood of suspicion and outright xenophobia. Young students and scientists could not join our scientific enterprise, to our great detriment. What we lost was the great intellectual cross-fertilization that animated our progress. The rise of xenophobic obsessions, coupled with hostility toward Science by the Bush administration wrought incalculabe long-term harm to American science. Yes, we are still garnering a lot of Nobel Prizes, but don’t let it deceive you -those brilliant scientists are awarded their respective prizes for work done over decades, during the golden age of American science.

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Health Care Social Media – How to Engage Online Without Getting into Trouble (Part II)

David Harlow

Posted 1/05/12 on HealthBlawg

I have been asked to write up some of the core takeaways from the health care social media presentations I have been giving recently, so I am sharing a version of this narrative on HealthBlawg, in two parts.  You may wish to begin with Part I

Professional responsibility and malpractice liability

The American Medical Association has promulgated a social media policy; so has theVeterans Administration.  The two represent very different approaches.  The AMA essentially advocates proceeding with caution, and being cognizant of the damage that one’s own social media activities – and one’s colleagues’ – may do to the profession.  The VA, on the other hand, is out in front on this issue – just as it was with electronic health records – encouraging the use of social media tools to disseminate information and engage patients and caregivers in productive dialogue likely to improve overall wellbeing and health care outcomes.

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6 Big HealthTech Ideas That Will Change Medicine in 2012

Josh Constine

Posted 1/1/12 on TechCrunch

“In the future we might not prescribe drugs all the time, we might prescribe apps.” Singularity University‘s executive director of FutureMed Daniel Kraft M.D. sat down with me to discuss the biggest emerging trends in HealthTech. Here we’ll look at how A.I, big data, 3D printing, social health networks and other new technologies will help you get better medical care. Kraft believes that by analyzing where the field is going, we have the ability to reinvent medicine and build important new business models.

For background, Daniel Kraft studied medicine at Stanford and did his residency at Harvard. He’s the founder of StemCore systems and inventor of the MarrowMiner, a minimally invasive bone marrow stem cell harvesting device. The following is rough transcript of the 6 big ideas Kraft outlined for me at the Practice Fusion conference.

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Consumer Engagement in Health: Greater Cost-Consciousness and Demand for Cost/Quality Information

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

Posted 12/14/11 on Health Populi

People enrolled in consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) are more likely than enrollees in traditional health insurance products to be cost-conscious. In particular, CDHP members check prices before they receive health care services, ask for generic drugs versus branded Rx’s, talk to doctors about treatment options and their costs, and use online cost-tracking tools.

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The Vital Role of Guideline Narratives

Kenneth Lin

Posted 12/1/11 on Common Sense Family Doctor 

A few weeks ago, I presented Family Medicine Grand Rounds at Georgetown University School of Medicine on resolving conflicts between screening guidelines. During the question and answer session, Department Chair James Welsh, MD asked how evidence from carefully conducted clinical trials can possibly overcome powerful emotional stories of “saved lives.” I answered that evidence-based medicine’s supporters must fight anecdotes with anecdotes. For every person who believes his or her life was extended by a PSA test or a mammogram, statistics show that many more are temporarily or permanently injured as a result – and their stories matter too. As blogger Kevin Pho, MD wrote about the USPSTF’s recent prostate cancer guideline, “Task Force advocates will need to put a human face on the complications stemming from prostate cancer screening” in order to convince physicians and patients that it’s okay to stop. Indeed, news stories about PSA test-related complications such as this one by Associated Press writer Marilynn Marchione will go a long way in balancing the scales.

An insightful commentary published in JAMA last month took this point one step further by asserting that narratives deployed to support evidence-based guidelines should include not only patients’ stories, but the story of the guideline developers themselves:

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Half of Americans Don’t Realize There’s No-Cost Preventive Care in the Affordable Care Act

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

Posted 11/30/11 on Health Populi

The U.S. public’s views on health reform — remain fairly negative, although the percent of people feeling favorably toward it increased from 34% to 37% between October and November. Still, that represents a low from the 50% who favored the law back in July 2010. It’s quite possible that American health citizens’ views on health reform are largely reflective of their more general feelings about the direction of the country and what’s going on in Washington right now, versus what’s specifically embodied in the health care law, according to the November 2011 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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An Appreciation: Monique Doyle Spencer

Paul Levy

Posted 11/27/11 on Not Running a Hospital

Brian’s Note: When I read this poignant piece about one woman’s brave perspective on fighting cancer, I showed it to my wife Elaine, who is dealing with late stage primary peritoneal (ovarian) cancer. She commented, “Ah! Someone else who doesn’t want to be categorized as a ‘victim’ or ‘survivor’!” It clearly struck a chord.

Monique Doyle Spencer (seen here in July 2010) died peacefully and surrounded by her family last night after a long stint with metastatic breast cancer.  By any measure, she was an extraordinary person, full of ideas, strongly held views, and with a marvelous sense of humor.  I was privileged to be her friend.

I came to know Monique during one of her stays in our hospital.  She mentioned that she had been writing a book about her experience with cancer, but that no one would publish it because it was funny.  Without a pause, I said that we would publish it as a book from our hospital, and the result was The Courage Muscle, A Chicken’s Guide to Living with Breast Cancer.  Those title words were chosen carefully because her whole being was about living.
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