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CFAS News Previous Edition


Droegemeier Nominated to Lead White House Science Office; NAM Opioid Collaborative; CMS Reimbursement Changes; and Other Items of Interest

President Trump has nominated climate scientist Kelvin K. Droegemeier, PhD, to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, reported Axios. Dr. Droegemeier has served as vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma.
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The AAMC praised the appointment of Dr. Droegemeier. “The AAMC commends President Trump on his decision to nominate Kelvin Droegemeier, PhD, to be director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Dr. Droegemeier’s background in both research and policy, including his tenure as vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma and his time as vice chair of the governing board of the National Science Foundation, make him highly qualified to oversee the office and to advise the president on matters relating to science, engineering, and technology,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD.
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The NAM has partnered with the Aspen Institute to launch the NAM Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. The collaborative is made up of more than 40 organizations representing federal, state, and local governments; health systems; associations; pharmacies; payers; accrediting institutions; nonprofits; academia; and industry. The AAMC is a supporting organization of the collaborative.
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The FDA and CMS are among the newest members of the collaborative, reported Inside Health Policy.
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The New York Times reported this week on FDA data showing that widespread off-label prescribing of fentanyl was well understood by government officials, but little was done to address the problem.
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“Academic and rural hospitals will likely see a cut in Medicare funding if the CMS finalizes a proposal to reduce reimbursement for more-complex patients,” said Modern Healthcare.
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HHS Secretary Alex Azar doubled down on promises to overhaul Medicare billing structures and obstruct the health care system’s transition to value-based care, reported Modern Healthcare.
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The New York Times explored the challenges VA Secretary Robert Wilkie will face as he tries to lead the agency out of a tumultuous five-month period marked by internal strife and scandal.
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In his monthly AAMCNews column, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, discussed the results of the most recent AAMC public opinion research report, which shows 72% of respondents have a favorable view of medical schools and 69% have a favorable view of teaching hospitals — a gratifying set of figures considering declining levels of trust the public has toward other institutions.
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Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and senior vice president for medical affairs, has announced she will step down and return to the faculty, effective June 30, 2020. Dr. Davis has served as dean since 2006.
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Major medical errors could be caused partly by high levels of burnout in physicians, reported the Sacramento Bee in its coverage of a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
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Health Leaders reports changes in the practice of medicine have eroded the sense of identity and core professional values such as curiosity and love of knowledge among physicians, which is heavily contributing to burnout. “Among physicians, automation and business-like relationships in clinical settings have eroded the veneration of scientific knowledge and the desire to apply knowledge that benefits patients,” said the article.
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Community-building efforts and peer support groups are some of the most effective solutions to the epidemic of physician burnout, reported NEJM Catalyst, which profiled community-building programs at the Mayo Clinic and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Nicolas S. Nguyen, MD, director of physician experience and provider development at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and clinical instructor at the Harvard Medical School, and Andrew F. Morris-Singer, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University, cowrote the piece.
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Writing in the Health Affairs Blog, Lisa S. Rotenstein, MD, MBA, and Douglas A. Mata, MD, MPH, discuss the need to focus on medical trainee well-being and overall mental health — and to measure outcomes of the efforts. “Greater focus is needed on the organizational and systemic factors that contribute to adverse mental health outcomes in physicians at all levels,” they write.
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Tokyo Medical University — one of Japan’s top med schools — has reportedly doctored test scores of female applicants in a years-long effort to limit the number of women enrollees, reports the Washington Post and the BBC. The school has said it is investigating.
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Women are still a rarity in surgical specialties, and many are deterred from entering surgical specialties because of a pervasive culture of sexism and stereotypes, reported Modern Healthcare. The article also cited AAMC data showing that the lack of women is starkest in orthopedic surgery, where they make up only 5% of active physicians.
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Physicians Practice described several strategies for empowering women physicians.
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Jess Wade, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in physics at Imperial College London, is making sure women in science get recognition by writing one Wikipedia article per day highlighting a woman or somebody from an underrepresented group in science, reported CNN.
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AMA Wire discussed ethical situations that medical school may not adequately prepare young doctors for, including when to end a code, speaking up when mistakes are made by superiors, and how to deal with harassment and hateful comments.
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Congress is asking universities to collaborate more closely with the government to safeguard “critical technologies” and “sensitive, academic-rooted R&D” from theft by strategic competitors such as China, reported the News and Observer.
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Due to financial struggles, the March of Dimes, the 80-year-old nonprofit organization that has funded research on premature birth, infant mortality, and birth defects, is scaling back its investment in research and abruptly terminating grants to dozens of researchers, reported Science and Nature.
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Researchers in Japan launched a first-of-its-kind clinical trial to treat Parkinson’s disease using neurological material from induced pluripotent stem cells, reported Science.
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Slate pondered how society should think about the “Monstrous Men in Science” — men who have made great contributions to their fields but who have also been convicted of harassment, assault, and other abuses.
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After a four-year investigation found Santosh Katiyar, PhD, guilty of research misconduct at UAB, the Morehouse School of Medicine asked to take over his NIH grant and put Dr. Katiyar in charge of it, reported Retraction Watch, which covered the difficulty the research community has faced in handling scientists who commit misconduct and then apply for new positions.
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On a related topic, Undark explored issues in science around the best ways to address suspected inaccuracies or misleading information in the scientific literature and the best ways to engage colleagues when there is such a dispute.
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Recent collaborations with industry that have gone ethically awry for the NIH are causing lawmakers to take a second look at how the agency engages the private sector for help in funding its research, particularly through the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, said STAT. The article also covered steps the NIH is taking to ensure the integrity of its collaborations with industry.
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Sometimes, competition between two opposing scientific positions can make “each camp dig in their heels with the wrong value, whereas the truth lies at a compromise value in between,” reported Scientific American in an article that urged competing scientific parties to remember that science is a win-win endeavor and to seek the truth through respectful cooperation.
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The era of big data, for all its promise, carries substantial risk to personal privacy, said a JAMA Viewpoint. “The increasing availability and exchange of health-related information will support advances in health care and public health but will also facilitate invasive marketing and discriminatory practices that evade current antidiscrimination laws,” wrote I. Glenn Cohen, JD, and Michelle M. Mello, JD, PhD. Dr. Mello is professor of health research and policy at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
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Just days after the Democratic Republic of Congo declared the last Ebola outbreak officially over, a new outbreak has claimed the lives of at least 20 people, reported The Hill. The article noted that, despite the bad news, the fact that the country caught the outbreak so quickly is evidence that a recently implemented epidemiological surveillance system is working as planned.
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Ryan Jackson, MD, dean of the Caribbean Medical University, has established the Caribbean Council of Deans. Modeled after the AAMC’s Council of Deans (COD) and the Council of Deans of Health in the U.K., the new council already has 12 medical schools as members.
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JAMA covered legislative efforts to require the disclosure of probationary status on medical licenses so patients can be aware of physicians who have been found guilty of substance abuse, sexual misconduct, and avoidable medical errors. The article was written by Eli Adashi, MD, a former Council of Academic Societies rep and former dean of medicine and biological sciences at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.
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“[I]f studying medicine is good training for literature, could studying literature also be good training for medicine?” asked The Atlantic in an article on how reading fiction can enhance doctors’ empathy.
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Keck Graduate Institute is planning to establish a new medical school in Southern California to meet rising demand for primary care physicians, said Inside Higher Ed.
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The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) is hosting a webinar, An IPE Approach to the Opioid Epidemic, Aug. 30, 2-3 p.m. EDT.
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Applications are still being accepted for the AAMC’s Organizational Leadership in Academic Medicine for New Associate Deans and Department Chairs seminar. The seminar will take place at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel and Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia, from Oct. 4 to Oct. 7. A number of CFAS reps in leadership roles are involved in the program.
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The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has renamed and relaunched its Center for Patient Care and Outcomes Research (PCOR) as the Center for Advancing Population Science (CAPS). “This expanded focus will facilitate partnerships between CAPS researchers within MCW and with MCW's collaborators and better support MCW’s efforts to create tangible change in our communities,” said Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, dean of the MCW School of Medicine. Leonard Egede, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at MCW, will lead the relaunched center.
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The August issue of Academic Medicine is online and features content on #MeToo in academic medicine, using the internet to change medical education, integrating health systems science into medical education, and artificial intelligence in medical education, among other topics.
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Registration remains open for the Rally for Medical Research Capitol Hill Day, which brings together medical research advocacy groups to urge Congress to make funding for the National Institutes of Health a priority. The rally will take place Sept. 12-13 in Washington, D.C. The deadline to register is Aug. 27.
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The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) has selected three finalists of the inaugural Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists: Daniel Bauer, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; Jaehyuk Choi, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology and biochemistry and molecular genetics at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; and Michael Fox, MD, PhD, an associate professor of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School.
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The AAMC announced winners of its 2018 Innovation Award in Research and Research Education, which highlights innovative institutional models to promote tech transfer, entrepreneurship, and partnerships with the private sector. This is the seventh annual award developed in collaboration with the GREAT Group and GRAND leadership. The awardees are at Washington University in St. Louis, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
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Applications are being accepted for the 2018 AAMC Curricular Innovation Award, which recognizes and highlights innovative ways medical schools and teaching hospitals are working to advance the education of students, residents, and practicing physicians about opioids, substance use disorder, and pain management. The deadline for applications is Aug. 31.
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The American Journal of Psychiatry published the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) presidential address on the state of psychiatry in America. The address was given by APA president Anita S. Everett, MD. The APA is a CFAS member society.
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Kathleen Nelson, MD, has been appointed associate dean for leadership and wellness at Keck School of Medicine of USC. In her new role, she will coordinate, oversee, and develop efforts linked to wellness and leadership for trainees, faculty, and staff. Dr. Nelson is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Keck and is the founding chair of CFAS.

Philip Diller, MD, PhD, has been appointed senior associate dean for educational affairs at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine. Dr. Diller has served as chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UC College of Medicine since 2011.
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Richard Isaacson, MD, has been appointed assistant dean for faculty development at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Isaacson is an associate professor of neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic in the Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Laura Riley, MD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine and obstetrician and gynecologist in chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, effective Oct. 1. Dr. Riley serves as vice chair of obstetrics and medical director of labor and delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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Anil Nanda, MD, PhD, MPH, has been appointed joint chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School and senior vice president for neurosurgical services at RWJBarnabas Health. Dr. Nanda has served as the founding chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport for 27 years.
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Israel Liberzon, MD, has been appointed department head of psychiatry at Texas A&M College of Medicine. Dr. Liberzon previously served as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine.
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The University of Florida renamed its Hypertension Center to the Center for Integrative Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, and has appointed Eric Krause, PhD, as center director. Dr. Krause is an associate professor of pharmacodynamics in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy.
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Months after announcing he was stepping down as president of USC over criticism of his handling of multiple scandals at the university, USC faculty members are asking C.L. Max Nikias to leave his position, reported the Washington Post.
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AAMCNews reported this week on the history and implications of the familiar physician’s white coat in an article, “The White Coat: Symbol of Professionalism or Hierarchical Elitism?” The article contains a “Don’t Wear That/Wear This” graphic from VCU on recommended attire for the modern doctor on the go.
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It seems that the habit of a Canada goose to stand, neck stretched, eyes fixed up to the sky during a dangerous hail storm as ice rocks descend from the heavens is counterintuitively a survival tactic, reports Live Science in coverage of the work of Jeremy Ross, PhD, a biologist at the University of Oklahoma. The streamline shape the goose assumes creates a smaller target, and the fixed upward gaze apparently allows for quick dodges of incoming missiles. Noted.
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And finally, who knew we’re made up largely of a shape called a “scutoid,” which we didn’t even know existed until a week or two ago? A scutoid is a difficult-to-describe three-dimensional form that’s sort of a mashup of pyramids and pentagons and hexagons and triangles butting against each other in such a way that they pack neatly inside the curved walls of a cell. The New Yorker, in its reporting of a paper published in Nature Communications, less-than-helpfully quotes Javier Buceta, a biophysicist at Lehigh University and one of the scientists who discovered the scutoid, as describing the shape as “a prism with a zipper.” Nonetheless, the New Yorker piece contains a link to a YouTube video of a child who crafted a scutoid out of building blocks, in case that helps elucidate the finding.
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Find more news items on AAMC's Research Clips page, and visit the CFAS Resources page for an archive of the previous four editions 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.

Read the previous edition of CFAS News.

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

Alex Bolt
CFAS Communications Specialist
AAMC
abolt@aamc.org

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