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Dr. Kirch on the Record

Recent Articles and Commentaries

Darrell G. Kirch, M.D.

For recent columns by Dr. Kirch, visit AAMCNews.

Philanthropy Bonds Institutions and Communities
With uncertainty in federal funding, philanthropy helps academic medical centers achieve goals in education, medical research, and patient care, while giving community members a stake in our work. — AAMCNews, December 2016

In Search of Community
Darrell G. Kirch, MD, AAMC president and CEO, reflects on Learn Serve Lead in Seattle where the academic medicine community gathered to share insights and search for solutions to some of the nation’s most complex health.— AAMCNews, November 2016

In the Search for Measures that Matter, Star Ratings Miss the Mark
The flawed methodology behind the new CMS Star Ratings has created a confusing picture of U.S. hospital care that could have serious consequences for patients.— AAMCNews, October 2016

Introducing AAMCNews
AAMCNews is single, online destination for news, trends, and current conversations about the most important topics in academic medicine.— AAMCNews, September 2016

Educating for Resilience and Humanism in an Uncertain Time
We must foster a connection with our communities and with our mission from day one of medical school if we are to educate the next generation of physicians to be not only compassionate caregivers, but also resilient physicians and supportive colleagues.— Reflective MedEd, September 27, 2016

CMS' new star ratings are unfair to teaching and safety net hospitals
Instead of providing useful information, the new CMS Star Ratings paint a confusing and conflicting picture of the quality of U.S. hospital care.— Modern Healthcare, August 6, 2016

Caring for Ourselves, Caring for Each Other
As symptoms of burnout become more prevalent among physicians and scientists, the academic medicine community must come together to create a culture of wellness and resilience.— AAMC Reporter, July 2016

What Does the Future Hold for Academic Medicine in a World of Health System Mergers and Acquisitions?
From alliances to joint ventures to acquisitions to full mergers, academic health systems must change to guarantee thriving, sustainable health systems.— AAMC Reporter, May/June 2016

The Doctor's Dilemma
Medical schools and teaching hospitals are training the next generation of physicians in pain management and in how to address and prevent opioid abuse.— Huffington Post, April 13, 2016

Graduate Medical Education: An Investment in Our Future
Strong residency training programs will improve patient care and research now and in the future.— AAMC Reporter, April 2016

What Does the Public See When They Look at Us?
New AAMC research found that the public highly values the services academic medicine  provides to communities, especially in moments of crisis.— AAMC Reporter, February/March 2016

Medical Research: The Best Investment We Can Make In Our Future
With the budget cuts of recent years hopefully behind us, it is critical that the federal government commit to a long-term strategy of sustainable and predictable funding increases for medical research.— Huffington Post, February 18, 2016

Working Together to Advance Medical Education
Our faculty, students, residents, and institutional leaders are working to improve our nation’s health care system through team-based models, technology, and changes to medical education.— AAMC Reporter, January 2016

Crossing the Inequality Chasm
As we continue to examine the ways in which racial, social, and economic inequality affect society and health, all of us in health care need to ask ourselves: Where do we stand on crossing the “inequality” chasm? — AAMC Reporter, December 2015

The Veterans Administration—Rising to the Challenge
The crisis of care at the VA has been painful to witness, but the future looks hopeful.  Under a unified program required by Congress, the VA not only has an opportunity to address access issues, but also to reinvest in patient care, research, and medical education.— AAMC Reporter, November 2015

A Medical Education Meeting Focused on the Future
The AAMC Medical Education Meeting in November will bring together teachers, learners, education leaders, and researchers across the continuum to share innovative approaches to learning and assessment.— AAMC Reporter, October 2015

Looking Back and Moving Forward: Council of Teaching Hospitals Turns 50
The formation of the Council of Teaching Hospitals was a landmark moment for academic medicine that helped transform the AAMC into a modern association. We celebrate COTH today for bringing all corners of academic medicine under one roof.— AAMC Reporter, September 2015

The Supreme Court Bends Toward Health Equity
With the Supreme Court's King v. Burwell decision, the nation is a step closer to ensuring that all Americans will get the affordable health care they need.— AAMC Reporter, July/August 2015

Pomp and Circumstance, Excitement and Concerns
Commencement season provided a positive reminder of the quality of today's medical school graduates, but many from this group are concerned about the state of our nation's health care system and the course its transformation will take.— AAMC Reporter, June 2015

A New Paradigm for Evaluating Future Physicians
The first administration of the new MCAT exam was the culmination of many years of work to develop a test that better assesses the knowledge and abilities that future physicians will need to practice in a changing health care landscape.— AAMC Reporter, May 2015

Ignoring the Doctor Shortage at Our Peril
New AAMC projections show shortages in both primary and specialty care which will acutely affect aging populations. Solving the shortage will require a multipronged approach, including finding ways to deliver care more efficiently. — AAMC Reporter, April 2015

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back—Time to Take Action
As the federal budget process moves forward, the AAMC will continue to engage with policy makers to support funding for medical research while working to prevent destabilizing cuts. — AAMC Reporter, March 2015

Academic Medicine and Social Justice
Community healers and leaders must address issues related to inequality, social exclusion, racism, and bias that all too often are linked to societal violence. — AAMC Reporter, February 2015

Responding to Ebola and Preparing for Future Outbreaks
The Ebola outbreak serves as a reminder that academic medicine must be ready to respond to a public health crisis at a moment's notice. — AAMC Reporter, January 2015

Resilience Will Drive Academic Medicine Forward
With its long-standing tradition of resilience, the academic medicine community must work together to overcome current challenges and those that lie ahead. — AAMC Reporter, November/December 2014

Preparing the Next Generation of Physicians
As our nation faces a shortage of healthcare professionals, we need to support more students interested in a career in medicine and ensure they are educated on the evolving healthcare system. — Careers in Healthcare, December 2014

Today's Health Challenges Call for More Investment in Research—Not Funding Cuts
National Institutes of Health research is the nation's best hope for treating emerging health threats, and perhaps most important, for responding to the health challenges of an aging nation. — AAMC Reporter, October 2014

A Better Blueprint for Improving GME
With a shortage of 130,600 physicians expected by 2025, federal support for GME must be increased, not cut, if we are to provide the care Americans will need in the future. — AAMC Reporter, September 2014

The VA: A Vital Partner for Academic Medicine
We must educate legislators about the importance of the VA to our nation's healthcare system as a major training ground for physicians and healthcare professionals. — AAMC Reporter, July/August 2014

Putting the Spotlight on GME—Now and Into the Future
With graduate medical education at a critical juncture, the AAMC is working across the association to ensure investment in future doctors, optimize the learning environment, and prepare the physician workforce of the 21st century. — AAMC Reporter, June 2014

Welcome to the AAMC's New Headquarters at 655 K Street
Welcome comments, May 2014, YouTube, 4 min.

The Class of 2014: New Doctors for a New Health Care System
While we have made great strides in improving medical education, we can do more. It is time to reframe our thinking and anticipate the changes that will come with the Affordable Care Act and a more diverse patient population. — AAMC Reporter, May 2014

Ensuring Residency Opportunities, Today and Into the Future
Each year, federal caps on graduate medical education (GME) prevent hundreds of medical students from becoming doctors. With impending physician shortages, we need Congress to pass legislation to expand GME funding. — AAMC Reporter, April 2014

Measuring This, Measuring That: Measuring What Is Important
In recent years, the number of organizations issuing reports on hospitals and physician quality performance only has increased, with the result that these reports sometimes present conflicting conclusions. — AAMC Reporter, March 2014

State of Our Research Is Linked to the State of Our Union
While the AAMC welcomes renewed demonstrations of support for medical research, it is more important than ever that national leaders recognize the need to undertake a more sustainable approach to medical research funding. — AAMC Reporter, February 2014

Resolving to Improve Our Health Care System
With the ACA expanding health care coverage and a new budget that may restore funding for medical research and health professions, there is reason for optimism. However, efforts to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate may come at a cost to medical schools and teaching hospitals. — AAMC Reporter, January 2014

Facing the Facts About the Physician Shortage
In response to media articles questioning whether the impending doctor shortage is real, medical schools and teaching hospitals have a responsibility to help the public and the nation’s leaders understand the urgent need to expand the physician workforce. — AAMC Reporter, December 2013

Voices of Innovation
Interview with the University of Utah Health Sciences at the 2012 AAMC Annual Meeting, video, 2 min.