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    CFAS News Previous Edition

    AAMC Projects Continued Physician Shortage; Statement on Medical School Curriculum; CFAS-GRA-ORR Spring Meeting Closing in — Registration Still Available; and Other Items of Interest

    The AAMC published a report showing a continued projection of a physician shortage in the United States of up to 86,000 physicians in 2036. “Given the new findings, it is clear that both sustained and increased investments in training new physicians are critical to mitigating projected shortfalls of doctors needed to meet the health care needs of our country. Most importantly, if additional investments critical to increasing the supply of physicians fail to materialize, projected shortfalls of doctors will be larger than presented in this latest report,” said AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD. The complete report, The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections From 2021 to 2036, is available for free download.
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    Dr. Skorton and AAMC Chief Academic Officer Alison J. Whelan, MD, issued a statement on the development of medical school curricula. “The presence of diversity, equity, and inclusion in medical school curricula is intended to train the next generation of physicians to respond most appropriately to the rapidly diversifying populations that they will serve. Doing so increases the likelihood for better health care and healthy lives for all patients, including individuals who have been historically marginalized by the health care system.”
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    The first-ever CFAS-GRA-ORR Joint Spring Meeting takes place April 2-4 in Arlington, Virginia. Featured plenaries will focus on artificial intelligence in medical education; controlling violence in academic health centers; the current environment for women physicians of color; the state of the residency application process; and challenges of misinformation and disinformation in medicine and science in a closing session featuring Science Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorpe, moderated by CFAS Chair Nita Ahuja, MD, chair of Surgery at Yale. Registration is strong, but space is still available. We hope to see you there.
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    A perspective in MedPage Today called attention to the urgency of stopping violence in the health care work environment and advocated for two bills in Congress that would address the issue.
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    Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, chief health equity officer and senior vice president for the American Medical Association, wrote a perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine describing the heavy expectations and limited protections for DEI leaders. “Even as we struggle to do so, striving to meet often-unreasonable expectations, our professional expertise and experience may be doubted,” Dr. Maybank wrote. “We may end up isolated, as colleagues dissociate themselves from equity efforts. And we may feel pressure to remain silent rather than give voice to deeply held values aligned with justice and equity.”
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    Inside Higher Ed reported on a group of researchers from across the country who released a report that countered critiques of diversity, equity, and inclusion policies and practices.
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    Residents are once again flocking to emergency medicine after the strain from the pandemic, and the ensuing levels of burnout, deterred new doctors from joining what was once a historically popular specialty choice, reported Axios in its overview of Match Day last Friday, while the percentage of filled slots in primary care and pediatrics is falling, the piece noted. In its coverage of the 2024 Match, Fierce Healthcare detailed the overall record-setting day and reported that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra celebrated students at Howard University College of Medicine for the milestone.
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    President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday to enhance the federal government’s research into women’s health, addressing midlife conditions such as menopause, arthritis and heart disease and issues facing women in the military, reported the New York Times.
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    What exactly is medical professionalism? If that’s not entirely clear, what about medical unprofessionalism? The New York Times ran a story this week teasing out the question, with input from faculty at Harvard University and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education, among others. In an age of social media promoting important issues and the personalities of people communicating them, the answer to the professionalism question may be blurrier than ever.
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    Surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital successfully transplanted a kidney from a genetically engineered pig into a 62-year-old man. The patient is already walking the halls of the hospital and could be discharged soon, reported the New York Times. The article noted that the patient is a Black man and the procedure could have special significance for Black patients who suffer disproportionately from end-stage kidney disease.
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    The United States is by far the world’s leader in high-quality health sciences output, according to the Nature Index. According to the Nature article, “The United States is the clear frontrunner among the leading five countries for health-sciences research, with a Share almost four times higher than China, in second place.”
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    STAT reported on challenges associated with fetal tissue and stem cell research given the social, political, and ethical considerations that have been building in recent years. The piece touched upon how some scientists see their roles as not merely advancing a scientific field, but also being advocates and educators to help politicians understand the value of the research.
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    The AAMC has developed a new infographic about the value of medical research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The infographic highlights cancer and Alzheimer's statistics, promising clinical trials, and the economic impact of medical research, among other data highlights. The resource is designed to be used as a reference to affirm the importance of Congress’ continued steady investment in the NIH.
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    The NIH will sunset the influential COVID-19 guidelines four years after the pandemic upended daily life across the globe, reported NPR.
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    Politico reported on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might be reorganized into two separate agencies if Donald Trump is reelected as president. One agency would be responsible for public health surveillance, and the other would be responsible for “limited” public health recommendations, according to the article.
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    The National Cancer Institute discussed how to overcome disparities in cancer outcomes based on race, ethnicity, geography, and other factors. “Long-standing social and economic barriers have created webs of disadvantage for certain groups, including many African American and Hispanic people, people in rural areas, and those in pockets of persistent poverty. Taken together, these barriers create conditions that put people at higher risk of diseases like cancer in the first place. And they make it difficult, and sometimes impossible, to get quality and timely cancer care.”
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    The New York Times covered growing backlash against and condemnation of a prominent cancer lab at Columbia University that has been found to have published data that includes the reuse of photos and other images across different papers. “Experts said the episode illustrated not only the extent of unreliable research by top labs, but also the tendency of scientific publishers to respond slowly, if at all, to significant problems once they are detected,” the Times reported. “As a result, other labs keep relying on questionable work as they pour federal research money into studies, allowing errors to accumulate in the scientific record.”
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    The Washington Post featured an interview with Micky Tripathi, PhD, MPP, the national coordinator for health information technology at the HHS, on the agency’s development of a strategic plan on the responsible use of AI in medicine.
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    Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, executive vice president and chief physician executive at Houston Methodist, shared strategies to boost physician well-being in an article for Health Leaders. Key to the approach, noted Dr. Schaal, is leadership development within the faculty community.
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    The Washington Post explored the reasons why health care cybersecurity measures are not up to the challenge of defending against devastating cyberattacks such as the one that hit Change Healthcare weeks ago and hurt patient care at nearly three-fourths of hospitals in the country. In a nutshell, systems’ defensive capabilities are far too weak and governmental agencies aren’t doing enough to put cybersecurity rules and policies in place.
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    Another piece in the Post explored the factors that dampen interest in the field of geriatrics, despite an acute need for doctors that specialize in the treatment of older people. “Research suggests that geriatricians more effectively and efficiently manage older patients than doctors without such training — leading to lower inpatient death rates, shorter hospital stays and reduced patient costs. Right now, the United States has roughly 1 geriatrician for every 10,000 older patients. Only 41.5 percent of geriatric medicine fellowship positions were filled in late 2023, down from 43 percent in 2022. Meanwhile, the number of people over 65 is expected to grow by nearly 40 percent within the decade.”
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    The pandemic and new Medicare payments are leading to a boom in remote patient monitoring, but some experts are concerned that the growth in the technology’s use is outpacing oversight and evidence on best practices, reported Health Leaders.
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    The Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Engagement is presented to an AAMC-member medical school or teaching hospital with a long-standing, major institutional commitment to partnering with the community it serves to identify and address community needs. This commitment should be demonstrated through the development, implementation, evaluation, and sustainment of exceptional educational, clinical, and research programs that go well beyond the traditional service role of academic medicine and rely on the local community’s wisdom and expertise to address community health needs. The deadline for nominations is April 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET.
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    James Graham, MD, has been named chair-elect of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Dr. Graham is executive associate dean for academic affairs in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine.
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    Stephen Motew, MD, has been named president and CEO of the University of Florida (UF) Health clinical enterprise, effective April 1. Dr. Motew is a practicing vascular surgeon and joins UF Health from the Inova Health System in Northern Virginia, where he has served as the executive vice president and chief of clinical enterprise.
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    Brian Druker, MD, has been appointed CEO of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute after serving as director of the institute for more than 17 years. Tom Sellers, PhD, MPH, the new director for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, was recruited to Oregon Health & Science University in February 2023 as the institute’s chief research officer and a professor of medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine.
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    Bruce Policeni, MD, MBA, has been appointed chair and departmental executive officer of the Department of Radiology in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. Dr. Policeni has served as interim chair of the department since Dec. 1, 2023.
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    Elizabeth Gagliardi, MD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Gynecology at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, part of Beth Israel Lahey Health. Dr. Gagliardi is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School.
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    William Mobley, MD, PhD, has been named director of the Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion at University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. Dr. Mobley serves as the associate dean of neurosciences initiatives and Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, as executive director of UC San Diego's Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment, and he has served as interim director of the institute since its founding in 2019.
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    Russell Woo, MD, has been appointed the first associate dean for clinical programs at Hawai’i Pacific Health and the chief academic officer for the HPH Medical Group. Dr. Woo is a professor and the associate chair for research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Hawai’i John A. Burns School of Medicine.
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    Do you have literally thousands of unread messages in your email box? Don’t worry. You’re far from alone, according to a study published in the journal Information Research and covered by The Conversation. Even if you’re among the masses who fit the bulging inbox profile, the University of New England researchers behind the paper advise in their conclusion against the practice, having discovered that the messier the inbox, the less satisfied people are with their inbox management and the more trouble they have completing important tasks. They report that it’s too time consuming and too difficult to find what they need even though they consider their inbox essentially a big folder of their important stuff — and that doesn’t even touch upon the finding that a messy inbox can lead to a security threat or embarrassing oversights resulting in, say, the cancelation of your car registration.
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    And finally, a new thing to worry about with an inevitable future of human / AI interaction on the immediate horizon: Researchers at North Carolina State University, as described in a paper published in the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, have devised ways to help ensure AI systems can detect human lies when being fed inaccurate personal information. Work remains to be done to ascertain what would be considered a “small lie” versus a “big lie,” since small lies remain harder for machines to detect — for now. They’re working on it.
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    Visit the CFAS Resources page for an archive of the previous edition of CFAS News as well as our People of Academic Medicine page, which features a running list of academic promotions, appointments, and departures.

    Your comments and news tips are always welcome. Please email them to Eric Weissman at eweissman@aamc.org.

    Eric Weissman
    Senior Director, Faculty and Academic Society Engagement
    AAMC
    eweissman@aamc.org
    www.aamc.org/cfas