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Perspective on Definition of Faculty Published; PCORI Head Announced; New Leadership for Rosalind Franklin, Wayne State; and Other Items of Interest

Several current and former CFAS reps published a perspective in Academic Medicine on the need to evolve the definition of faculty. The authors are Lisa Bellini, MD, senior vice dean for academic affairs, professor of medicine, and vice chair of education and inpatient services for the department of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Carolyn Meltzer, MD, the William Patterson Timmie Professor, chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, and executive associate dean of faculty academic advancement, leadership, and inclusion at Emory University School of Medicine and a former CFAS Administrative Board member; Janet Fischel, PhD, professor of pediatrics and vice chair of faculty affairs at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University; Pamela Peterson, MD, MPH, MSPH, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Brian Kaplan, MD, professor of surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine; and Roberta Sonnino, professor of pediatric surgery (retired) at Wayne State University School of Medicine and a former CFAS Administrative Board member. The paper originated with work conducted through the CFAS Faculty Identity and Value Working Group, chaired by Dr. Bellini.
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The AAMC congratulated Nakela Cook, MD, on being named the next executive director of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). “As a physician, comparative effectiveness researcher, and administrator, she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help ensure the institute is dynamic in addressing the needs of patients, clinicians, and other health care stakeholders and continues to flourish. Under Dr. Cook’s leadership and with a new 10-year reauthorization, PCORI is poised to build upon its record of engaging patients and other stakeholders as key partners in its research to compare the effectiveness of medical treatments. By proactively disseminating and implementing the findings across the health care system, PCORI is transforming how some of the most prevalent diseases are treated while improving care and lowering health care costs for patients with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, and other conditions,” said AAMC Chief Scientific Officer Ross McKinney, MD, in a statement.
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Archana “Archie” Chatterjee, MD, PhD, has been named dean and vice president for medical affairs at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, effective April 6. Dr. Chatterjee currently serves as professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. She was an AAMC Council of Deans fellow in 2016-17, has served as chair of the AAMC Group on Women and Medicine in Science, and has been active for many years in the AAMC Group on Faculty Affairs.
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Mark Schweitzer, MD, has been appointed dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine and vice president of health affairs at Wayne State University, effective April 27. Dr. Schweitzer is now chair of the Department of Radiology at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.
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The Washington Post published an op-ed urging Congress to set aside its differences and put an end to surprise medical bills. “The best way to end surprise billing is simply to require that all ancillary providers working at in-network facilities are themselves also in-network. That would avoid any controversy about government rate-setting, encouraging insurance companies and providers to instead negotiate down prices,” the editors wrote.
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The House Ways and Means Committee is taking up the surprise medical billing issue in an effort to break the impasse and come up with a middle ground between sides, reported Politico.
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The Government Accountability Office found that federal oversight of the 340B drug discount program is lax and some nongovernmental hospitals that don’t meet eligibility requirements to participate in the program are participating anyway, reported Modern Healthcare. The article said hospital participation in the 340B program has tripled since 2009, and 67% of participating hospitals are private, not-for-profit hospitals.
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The Globe and Mail profiled the passengers of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which was shot down by an Iranian missile, leading to the deaths of all 176 onboard. Most of those onboard were either Canadian passport holders or people traveling to Canada. The article noted that among the victims were physicians, international students, newlyweds, engineers, architects, and at least one medical student.
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The AAMC and the American Hospital Association filed another lawsuit to stop the most recent cuts to hospital outpatient departments under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ site-neutral payment policy, which went into effect this year, reported Fierce Healthcare.
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The Affordable Care Act’s program that penalizes hospitals for high readmission rates did not increase mortality risk for patients between 2008 and 2016, said Becker’s Clinical Leadership & Infection Control in coverage of a study published in the BMJ.
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Efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act may be to blame for a stall in the closure of the racial gap in health insurance coverage, reported ABC News.
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Austin Frakt, PhD, director of the Partnered Evidence-Based Policy Resource Center at the Boston VA Healthcare System and an associate professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, wrote a piece for the New York Times UpShot blog exploring the long history of racial bias and injustice in American health care and the subsequent mistrust it has engendered in communities of color. “Racial bias in health care, as in other American institutions, is as old or older than the republic itself,” Dr. Frakt wrote.
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Health Affairs commented on a study published in Science in October 2019 that showed a widely used algorithm used to identify millions of patients with complex health needs exhibited significant racial bias. The article expanded the conversation into a discussion on how to rethink risk stratification in health care.
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Uché Blackstock, MD, founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, wrote an opinion piece in STAT arguing that academic medical centers are losing black faculty members such as herself because of “the structural racism and white supremacy embedded in their current institutional cultures.”
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Resa Lewiss, MD, the director of the Point-of-Care Ultrasound Division at Jefferson Health and a professor of emergency medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, wrote an opinion piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer explaining why so many women in academic medicine leave in the middle of their careers and the cultural changes needed to stop that trend.
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And Chethan Sathya, MD, MSc, a pediatric surgeon and journalist writing for Scientific American, said he is “mortified” by how his female colleagues are treated as second-class citizens in medicine. “When one places one’s life in the hands of a surgeon, one assumes that she or he is singularly focused on the patient’s well-being. But how can surgeons perform at their best if they are battling workplace abuse or being hampered in their ability to provide care because of discrimination,” he wrote.
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An article in Health Affairs Blog promoted the idea of teaching concepts of implicit biases in medical school so students can mitigate their biases before habits are entrenched into their professional practice.
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An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal commented on “cancel culture” and its negative effects on science and scholarship.
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Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are reactivating a 2018 investigation into Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, and INSYS Therapeutics over their role in the opioid epidemic, reported The Hill.
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Opioid manufacturers Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Par Pharmaceutical will pay $8.75 million to the state of Oklahoma in a settlement in which neither company is required to admit wrongdoing or allegations of deceptively marketing opioid medications in ways that understated the risk of addiction, reported the Associated Press.
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Various states’ Medicaid expansions are associated with lower mortality rates from opioid overdoses in those states, reported Modern Healthcare in coverage of a study published in JAMA Network Open.
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The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics compiled research expenditures, journal articles, and data on the scientific workforce and education and found that while the United States still spends more than any other country on basic research, the country’s share in global research and development has been shrinking while the world’s total share ballooned to more than $2 trillion, reported the Washington Post.
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Many clinical trial sponsors still ignore the requirement to publish their results on ClinicalTrials.gov, and the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration do little to hold them accountable, even after two full years have passed since a final rule went into effect that clarified the law’s expectations and penalties, reported Science.
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The New York Times published an op-ed on how to improve the FDA, arguing that the agency’s standards are slipping and that “the agency has too few resources and too little power to fulfill its key responsibilities. But it has also become profoundly vulnerable to political interference and other special interests. And a revolving door — F.D.A. staffers frequently go on to lucrative jobs at the very companies they were tasked with policing — has hurt the agency’s credibility.”
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Joshua Sharfstein, MD, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, wrote an editorial in JAMA describing the need for reform at the FDA. Dr. Sharfstein was a former Principal Deputy Director of the FDA.
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The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is seeking public comments on a draft set of desirable characteristics of data repositories used to locate, manage, share, and use data resulting from federally funded research. If interested, please submit responses by 11:59 p.m. ET on March 6, 2020.
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The UK-based Wellcome Trust conducted a survey of more than 4,000 researchers globally (with most responses coming from the United Kingdom) on how professional researchers function in the current professional climate and culture. Key findings include insecurity about job stability, concerns about how the research climate affects personal mental health of researchers, and a culture that stifles creativity. The full report, along with details of the study methods and an executive summary, are available for free download.
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A blog post from the National Institute on Aging discussed how NIH is working to enhance inclusion and representation of people of all ages and from all backgrounds in research.
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After the recent dust-up over a study on consuming red meat published in the Annals of Internal Medicine where the authors did not report industry ties, JAMA published a perspective about questions surrounding corporate links to nutrition scientists generally, exploring potential reforms researchers should consider in future scholarly work.
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Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report covered Becker’s Annual CEO & CFO Roundtable last November, where executives explored how health systems can respond to the increasingly consumer-driven demands of patients and deliver the financial experience patients have been trained to expect from interactions with online retailers such as Amazon.
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The Washington Post checked in on the environment for scientists conducting fetal tissue research seven months after the Trump administration limited federal funding in the field. The piece reports on the grant blocks graduate students face if their work involves fetal tissue and how some established researchers don’t advocate for themselves due to personal threats they have received. The article notes that fetal tissue has been “pivotal to understanding and developing therapies for HIV, cancers, neurological problems, sickle cell disease, eye disorders and other conditions” and that the NIH has paid for most of the work.
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Doctors between the ages of 40 and 54 experience the highest rate of burnout, half of doctors would trade a significant amount of pay for better work-life balance, and administrative tasks and work hours are key drivers of stress, according to a survey of more than 15,000 physicians covered by the Wall Street Journal.
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Meanwhile, the chronic stress and exhaustion associated with burnout could put people at risk of atrial fibrillation, reported CNN in coverage of a study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology.
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Surgical checklists have been shown to improve the safety of surgeries, but they are used only in about a third of surgeries in poor countries due to “surgeons who resent the implication that they may make dangerous mistakes, lax enforcement by hospital administrators and the powerlessness of nurses in some cultures,” reported the New York Times.
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Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said this year’s flu vaccine is not a good match for B/Victoria, a common flu strain that is particularly hard on children, reported CNN.
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The Washington Post featured a discussion of how schizophrenia affects its victims and their families, and the ineffective ways the condition is dealt with in today’s health care system.
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The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology published new online advocacy materials and FAQs on the value of animals in research.
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Jennifer Doudna, PhD, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, pioneers of gene-editing technology, were awarded Israel’s Wolf Prize in medicine, reported the New York Times. The article noted that the Wolf Prize is thought of as one of the predictors of a future Nobel Prize.
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The AAMC published the leadership plenary addresses delivered by AAMC President and CEO David Skorton, MD, and Lilly Marks, vice president for health affairs for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and immediate past chair of the AAMC Board of Directors, during Learn Serve Lead 2019: The AAMC Annual Meeting.
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In an AAMCNews Insights column, AAMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer David A. Acosta, MD, examined how academic medical centers must embrace equity-mindedness and conscious inclusion if they are to realize the full benefits of a diverse workforce.
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AAMCNews additionally covered the challenges health care providers face when treating patients who have biases.
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The AAMC is offering a free online course titled “Basic Principles of Medical School Funding,” which will help participants better understand medical schools' three missions, how they interrelate, and the costs and funding sources for each.
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Deborah Costakos, MD, has been appointed chair and professor of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Dr. Costakos serves as interim chair and associate professor of the department.
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Jay Bhama, MD, has been appointed chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine. Dr. Bhama previously served as professor and chief of the adult cardiac surgery program at University of Iowa Health Care.
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Bob Kiaii, MD, has been appointed chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UC Davis Health. Dr. Kiaii previously served as chair of cardiac surgery at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University.
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Cara Gottardi, PhD, has been named director of the Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Gottardi is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the Feinberg School of Medicine.
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Ed Xia, MBA, has been named assistant dean for information technology services at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson. Xia is the former senior director of information technologies at the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
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Emily McElroy has been named dean of the McGoogan Library of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, effective Jan. 1.
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Goldie Taylor, MBA, has been named chief marketing officer at Morehouse School of Medicine. Taylor is the founding chief executive and managing director at a full service, consumer-driven brand marketing agency.
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Is the temperature spiking outside or are you just getting cooler? Perhaps both. New research suggests that the average human body temperature is dropping. As reported in Smithsonian and other outlets, that stalwart figure of 98.6 degrees F may need to be lowered to 98.2 degrees or even 97.9 degrees. The science behind these findings emerges from Stanford School of Medicine, where researchers suggest that our more comfortable lives — both in terms of interior climate and control of diseases that cause inflammation — could have led to the downward trend. Others are not so sure, wondering whether more accurate measurement standards or even more consistent methods of taking a human’s temperature explains the change.
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And finally, it’s Friday night! Perhaps you’re headed out to dinner. Enjoy. But are you at risk of “Chinese restaurant syndrome”? According to Merriam-Webster, the odious-sounding “condition” is real — or at least it became semantically real back in 1993 when the vaunted reference book added the phrase to its pages. The term arose from widespread reporting of symptoms, including numbness and headaches, after eating in Chinese restaurants, which many attributed to consumption of food prepared with the preservative and flavoring agent monosodium glutamate, or MSG. Well, not so fast. In the age of social media, a campaign with a hashtag (#RedefineCRS) is trying to break the stereotype. But not so fast again: as reported by the New York Times, the campaign is being spearheaded by Ajinomoto, a company that has been producing MSG for more than 100 years.
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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.

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

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