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“Social Mission”: A Primary Care Score For Medical Schools

Medical schools are traditionally ranked on criteria like research funding and technological innovation. These rankings are highly significant. A place on the U.S. News‘ annual “Best Medical School” list  is a coveted spot indeed.

So that’s why there was some media attention paid to a recent study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, which ranked medical schools according to their “social mission” — a phrase that defines a school’s commitment to primary care, underserved populations and workforce diversity. Using this new criterion, some of the traditionally high ranking schools fell significantly. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*

Medical Schools: Why Do Some Do Primary Care Better?

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP’s flagship journal, finds that medical schools vary greatly in producing more primary care physicians and getting them into underserved communities.

– “Public schools graduate higher proportions of primary care physicians” than private schools.

– “The 3 historically black colleges and universities with medical schools (Morehouse College, Meharry Medical College, and Howard University) score at the top” in training primary care physicians who then go on to practice in underserved communities. (Click here for an interview with two recent graduates of historically black colleges and with Wayne Riley, MD, FACP, who is the president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee and a regent of the American College of Physicians.)

– “The level of NIH support that medical schools received was inversely associated with their output of primary care physicians and physicians practicing in underserved areas.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*

Unnecessary Tests And Treatments: Responsible Reporting Can Help

Just when I’ve lost hope that mainstream media will stop perpetuating the myth the more medicine equals better care, the Associated Press came up with this excellent piece. The article states, rightly, that “anywhere from one-fifth to nearly one-third of the tests and treatments we get are estimated to be unnecessary,” and that, “it may lead to dangerous side effects.”

Regular readers of this blog should be familiar with those concepts. I wrote recently that patients often reject evidence-based medicine. One reason is that there aren’t enough clinical guidelines available for patients to make an informed decision. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*

Go To A Famous Hospital, Get Better Care?

Hospital rankings matter. Specifically, those published in U.S. News & World Report carry additional weight. Hospitals use these numbers in advertising campaigns, and patients often choose hospitals based on these rankings.

But does a high place really mean you’re getting better care? Not necessarily. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*

The Relationship Between Hospitalists And Primary Care Doctors

The following post is by Jamie Newman, FACP, editorial advisor of ACP Hospitalist:

I read the April 6 Annals of Internal Medicine with great interest. In it, many readers responded to Howard Beckman’s previously published essay on the relationship between hospitalists and primary care physicians. Many physicians bemoan their loss of inpatient control of patients, and perceived lack of communication.

I think back to my own private/university hybrid practice. When my patients were admitted to the resident services, I never heard a word. There was absolutely no communication. I would say that most hospitalists do a much better job of communicating with the outpatient physician then any resident team. It’s a double standard. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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