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White House Announces New Precision Medicine Commitments

White House Announces New Precision Medicine Commitments | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

The Obama Administration has announced new commitments to its precision medicine initiative (PMI) that it unveiled six months ago.

The initiative, which President Barack Obama touched on in his State of the Union address in January, aims to pioneer a new model of patient-powered research to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients.

 

This week, the Administration launched new commitments, which include:

 

Guiding Principles for Protecting Privacy and Building Trust: The White House is unveiling draft PMI guiding principles that seek to build privacy into the design of the PMI research cohort, which will include one million or more Americans who agree to share data about their health. The White House is seeking public feedback on the privacy and trust principles online through August 7, 2015.

 

New Tools for Patients: In collaboration with federal partners, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will work to address barriers that prevent patients from accessing their health data. OCR will develop additional guidance materials to educate the public and health care providers about a patient’s right to access his or her health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

 

Research Awards to Unlock Data Insights: The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is announcing awards to support four research projects on key questions relevant to precision medicine using the rich data from the Million Veterans Program (MVP), the largest U.S. repository of genetic, clinical, lifestyle and military exposure data.

Additionally, private sector commitments related to the initiative launched this week include:

 

Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine: Duke has developed a platform called MeTree that helps individuals have challenging but necessary conversations with loved ones and care providers about family health histories, so that physicians can tailor care to patients’ unique risk profiles.

 

Flip the Clinic: Flip the Clinic, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is announcing a collaboration with more than 160,000 clinicians and staff practicing at sites across the United States, who have pledged to inform patients about their right to get digital copies of their medical records.

 

Genetic Alliance: Along with collaborators, such as Cerner, Genetic Alliance is launching new capabilities for Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly (PEER), a data registry that empowers participants to share their data with medical researchers, advocacy groups, and others.

 

GetMyHealthData: The GetMyHealthData campaign is pledging to help thousands of consumers over the next 12 months access and download their own clinical health data, so they can use it to understand and improve their health, their care, and the system as a whole—including donating their data for research.

 

Sage Bionetworks: Recognizing the importance of health-data liberation, and the role of data in driving research studies, Sage Bionetworks is announcing that it will support clinical studies that import electronic health-record information to its open source research platform and that it will release open-source informed-consent prototypes to support these studies.

 

The White House also is honoring "Champions of Change" in precision medicine, which includes nine individuals who are working to use data and innovation to improve healthcare.


Via Technical Dr. Inc.
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

I found this interesting because it shows how important the world of healthcare and how the president has taken notice that it's important for consumers to understand their health and take charge of it.

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Hacking Into Healing: The REAL Future of Medicine

Hacking Into Healing: The REAL Future of Medicine | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it
With these new advances in science, we have a choice to shape the new paradigm in health and medicine.

Via Olivier Janin
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

This is a good perspective on how healing is important to the future of medicine. This article also talked about how people are looking back at the ancient practices of medicine to learn the power of healing and how to use it effectively.

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Olivier Janin's curator insight, July 6, 2015 10:02 AM

A great perspective description of what could be the Future of Medicine. Between Psychoneuroimmunology and disruptive bio-hacking opportunities based on critical research results (like the recent discovery of functional lymphatic vessles in the brain),  and more defensive historical Medicine and the next wave of Big Pharma.


read also Business Insider article :  There may be a way to 'turn off' chronic diseases with electricity — and it could be the future of medicine

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Develop Compassion Before Medical School

Develop Compassion Before Medical School | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it
It’s definitely possible to become a doctor without being compassionate, but the question is should you? If you are thinking about becoming a doctor, do your best to develop compassion before medical school.

 

Can someone become a doctor without being compassionate? It’s definitely possible.

 

Thousands of people apply and matriculate to medical school every year and not every single one of those applicants is truly compassionate.

 

You may know this to be true first hand. Maybe you’ve had an experience with a physician whom showed you little to no compassion. If you have had such an experience, you know how terrible it is.

 

 by  Edward Chang


Via Edwin Rutsch, Jocelyn Stoller
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

It's not a great experience to visit a physician with no compassion. This is something that a doctor definitely needs to have to really be a good doctor that patients want to see.

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Compassionate doctors: Medical schools offering courses to help future doctors develop more humane approaches to dealing with patients.

"Most medical schools now recognize the responsibility to train compassionate doctors," said Dr. James Woodruff, associate dean of students at University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. "There's a sense that society is not satisfied with doctors who just make good clinical decisions, but with those who put their patients first and treat them with empathy, clarity and sensitivity to cultural diversity."

 

And to teach that, many medical schools are turning to the traditional arts and humanities. Based on studies that show reflective writing will help doctors become more mindful practitioners and better diagnosticians, creative writing, for instance, is becoming a growing part of medical curricula, like the University of Chicago's, as well as a medical genre in its own right.

 By Lisa Pevtzow,


Via Edwin Rutsch
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

I think it's important to not only be good at science and math but also in the arts and humanities. I personally really enjoy social studies and history when I'm not doing science & math at school.

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Medical school fees to rise by 40% for 3 years

Medical school fees to rise by 40% for 3 years | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

The fee burden on medical students has increased as the Fee Regulatory Committee for Gujarat's selffinanced medical institutes has announced the fee structures for most of the colleges offering medical and dental courses.

According to the new fee structures that are fixed for different SFIs for three years -2015-16 to 2017-18 --fresh students in the general category will have to deal with an increase between 10% and 40%, whereas students under the NRI and management quotas will be burdened by fee hikes between 25% and 50%.


Via In-Gujarat.Info
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

This is relevent because I will be affected by the rising costs of medical school and will need to find scholarships, grants or take out student loans to pay for schooling.

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The CRISPR craze: genome editing technologies poised to revolutionize medicine and industry

The CRISPR craze: genome editing technologies poised to revolutionize medicine and industry | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

CRISPR/Cas systems for genome editing have revolutionized biological research over the past three years, and their ability to make targeted changes in DNA sequences in living cells with relative ease and affordability is now being applied to clinical medicine and will have a significant impact on advances in drug and other therapies, agriculture, and food products.


Via Integrated DNA Technologies
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

I heard about CRISPR and how excited scientists were. CRISPR, ever since discovered, can edit gene sequences which before has never been able to be done before. This has the potential to advance in drug, therapy, diseases, etc. This is something that I am interested in researching in the future.

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Could tissue engineering mean personalized medicine?

Each of our bodies is utterly unique, which is a lovely thought until it comes to treating an illness -- when every body reacts differently, often unpredictably, to standard treatment. Tissue engineer Nina Tandon talks about a possible solution: Using pluripotent stem cells to make personalized models of organs on which to test new drugs and treatments, and storing them on computer chips. (Call it extremely personalized medicine.)

 

 from : http://www.ted.com/talks/nina_tandon_could_tissue_engineering_mean_personalized_medicine.html


Via nrip
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

I often watch TED talks, specifically ones from the TEDMED conference. They keep me updated as to what's going on in modern medicine and what's the future to come. This particular TED talk was about personalized medicine which has become a relatively new concept in modern medicine. Personalized medicine is medicine that can be made to tailor to a specific person's genes. This is definitely something that I would like to research and hopefully personalized medicine becomes advanced and widely used in the future.

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Obamacare has changed medicine. Now med schools need to change, too.

Obamacare has changed medicine. Now med schools need to change, too. | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

A doctor specializing in health-care policy argues that medical schools need to adapt to the sweeping legislation by changing the way they prepare future health-care leaders.


Via Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

I found this article interesting because it shows that medicine is evolving and medical school needs to be able to adapt to the changing world of medicine.

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Good Health: Doctors belong in the social media conversation

Good Health: Doctors belong in the social media conversation | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

The other morning my boss caught me staring into my cellphone at my desk.

 

He's a nice guy, so even if I had been goofing off, which I wasn't, he would have been OK with it.

 

 

But I wasn't goofing off. I was working, scrolling a customized news feed and Hoovering up an invaluable health-information glean that had begun on schedule, two hours earlier, in the bathtub.

Fortunately, my daily soap-and-water health news briefings have yet to end with a mobile device under water.

Staring at your phone may be bad form in restaurants, but in 2015 the thumb swipe has become a legitimate way of conducting work and staying engaged with the world, wherever you are, whatever you do, media workers and health professionals alike.

That is why Mayo Clinic was smart to embrace the medium as early as it did, launching its Center for Social Media in 2005 and hosting a two-day Social Media Summit each year since 2010. Next fall, Mayo hosts the first ever global meeting for its social media health network, a gathering planned to be in Australia.

"Mayo encourages physicians to understand how to use these tools appropriately," said Dr Farris Timimi, medical director of Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. "Most patients make their decisions based on a reference network. More and more often that includes online communications. We check our phones an average of 14 times a day."

Mayo was one of the first major health centers to take social media seriously, and its initiative now looks savvy and wise. If you have ever watched as a large employer weighs in on a nascent viral scrum in the making concerning its service — and I learned about this firsthand after recently tagging a major airline with my complaint about a botched flight — you know that companies can instantly humanize their presence with a few words of empathy from a human with a phone.

The 200 people who had come to Rochester for the Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit last month traveled from 20 states and five countries. Having long since learned beginners' rules like never tweet in all caps — IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING — and try not to say anything unless you have something to add, they gathered to discuss social media strategy for health professionals.

In itself, that is a radical use of the clinic's resources, given that 60 percent of hospitals block their employees from using social media at work at all.

As Timimi points out, hospitals are kidding themselves if they think building a wall within the company mainframe is an effective strategy for the popular portals driving our communications, just plain thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices.

Instead, Mayo aims to train doctors and health care workers to be a positive presence in the digital format. "The key is to train heath care professionals to do this effectively, strategically, and compassionately," said Timimi. His advice: Try to listen more than you speak, and know that whatever you post is a product of reflection, not reaction. "Don't lie, don't pry, don't cheat, you can't delete," is how Timimi puts it.

Though I delete things all the time.

But Timimi makes an important point: that medicine and health care is nothing if not a vibrant public conversation right now, one that health care providers can either join in or sit out. "It is incredibly empowering for people who used to be isolated by geography," he said. "Particularly for a target audience with narrow interests but who are dispersed geographically."

Like families who share a rare illness.

I have been socialized to a certain extent by social media over the years. Which is why I'd add a couple of other rules to that list, ersatz nostrums that I imagine explain why Dr. Timimi has 5,500 followers and mine could fit into a small movie theater at the multiplex:

You can't change anyone's mind and you wouldn't want to try. If you really must swear, always use an asterisk in place of the vowels. And whatever you do, don't drop the phone in the tub.

 


Via Plus91
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

I found this as something to keep in mind that it's important to keep in touch and communicate with people when you're a doctor and connecting with social media is a good way to do so.

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The Role of Empathy in Medicine: A Medical Student's Perspective

The Role of Empathy in Medicine: A Medical Student's Perspective | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

by Elliot M. Hirsch, MD
Throughout medical school, my instructors stressed the importance of empathy, generally defined as the understanding of and identification with another person's emotional state. Sympathy and empathy, commonly confused with each other, are not the same. Sympathy is a statement of emotional concern while empathy is a reflection of emotional understanding.

 

The applications of empathy are widespread, and are especially relevant in fields such as medicine, where the successful treatment of patients depends on effective patient-physician interactions.

 

This article explores the concept of empathy and examines its utility in medicine from the perspective of a medical student.


Via Edwin Rutsch
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

Not only was this interesting to read from a medical school student's perspective, it was also interesting to read that empathy is something that has to be taught. It's not only good to be knowledgeable, it's also good to be able to empathize and have compassion with patients.

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Down with Medical School Debt

Down with Medical School Debt | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

Medical education is harder than ever: more competitive, more demanding and more expensive.


Via Cameron J. Tario
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

This is something a lot of medical students will have to face and figure out how to pay off later in the future. To me, I'm not looking forward to it, but if you love the profession enough, it's worth it.

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Cameron J. Tario's curator insight, August 21, 2013 5:42 PM
One of the reasons I became a lawyer. Not that we don't face the same problems though.
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Adding Empathy to Medical School Requirements | Center for Advancing Health

Adding Empathy to Medical School Requirements | Center for Advancing Health | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

ethinIs it possible for a young medical student to understand a patient's experience? Or the day-to-day life of a person with a chronic illness? In 'Healthy Privilege' – When You Just Can't Imagine Being Sick, Carolyn Thomas observes that "what I've learned since my heart attack is that, until you or somebody you care about are personally affected by a life-altering diagnosis, it's almost impossible to really get what being sick every day actually means. Such is the bliss – and the ignorance – of healthy privilege."

 

After experiencing a rare eye infection that resulted in her "worst  pain ever," first-year medical student Natalie Wilcox shared that "as doctors, it is our job not only to provide care, but to comfort, and to do this we must acknowledge our patients' feelings." While noting that every person experiences pain differently, Wilcox adds, "By recalling my own pain, I bring forth real empathy rooted in shared experience."


Via Edwin Rutsch
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

This is something that is important to learn because not only do you have to talk to the patient, you have to be able to understand and get a sense of what they are feeling and where they are coming from. I think it's better to have a doctor who can empathize than one who is just there to get the job done.

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Louise Botha's curator insight, November 12, 2013 7:23 PM

Most of us will at some time be on the receiving end of hospital care. Surely it does not take that experience for us to show empathy for our patients

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Simple technology makes CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing cheaper

Simple technology makes CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing cheaper | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have discovered a much cheaper and easier way to target a hot new gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, to cut or label DNA. The CRISPR-Cas9 technique, invented three years ago at UC Berkeley, has taken genomics by storm, with its ability to latch on to a very specific sequence of DNA and cut it, inactivating genes with ease. This has great promise for targeted gene therapy to cure genetic diseases, and for discovering the causes of disease.


The technology can also be tweaked to latch on without cutting, labeling DNA with a fluorescent probe that allows researchers to locate and track a gene among thousands in the nucleus of a living, dividing cell. The newly developed technique now makes it easier to create the RNA guides that allow CRISPR-Cas9 to target DNA so precisely. In fact, for less than $100 in supplies, anyone can make tens of thousands of such precisely guided probes covering an organism’s entire genome. The process, which they refer to as CRISPR-EATING – for “Everything Available Turned Into New Guides” – is reported in a paper to appear in the August 10 issue of the journal Developmental Cell.


As proof of principle, the researchers turned the entire genome of the common gut bacterium E. coli into a library of 40,000 RNA guides that covered 88 percent of the bacterial genome. Each RNA guide is a segment of 20 RNA base pairs: the template used by CRISPR-Cas9 as it seeks out complementary DNA to bind and cut.


These libraries can be employed in traditional CRISPR-Cas9 editing to target any specific DNA sequence in the genome and cut it, which is what researchers do to pin down the function of a gene: knock it out and see what bad things happen in the cell. This can help pinpoint the cause of a disease, for example. The process is called genetic screening and is done in batches: each of the thousands of probes is introduced into a single cell on a plate filled with hundreds of thousands of cells.


“We can make these libraries for a lot less money, which makes genetic screening potentially accessible in organisms less well studied,” such as those that have not yet had their genomes sequenced, said first author Andrew Lane, a UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow.

 

 

But Lane and colleague Rebecca Heald, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology, developed the technology in order to track chromosomes in real-time in living cells, in particular during cell division, a process known as mitosis. This is part of a larger project by Heald to find out what regulates the size of the nucleus and other subcellular components as organisms grow from just a few cells to many cells.


“This technology will allow us to paint a whole chromosome and look at it live and really follow it in the nucleus during the cell cycle or as it goes through developmental transitions, for example in an embryo, to see how it changes in size and structure,” Heald said.


The new technique uses standard PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to generate many short lengths of DNA from whatever segment of DNA a researcher is interested in, up to and including an entire genome.


These fragments are then precisely snipped at a region called a PAM, which is critical to CRISPR binding. Simple restriction enzymes are then used to cut each piece 20 base pairs from the PAM end, generating the exact size of RNA guide that CRISPR uses in searching the genome for complementary sites. These guide RNAs are then easily incorporated into the CRISPR-Cas9 complex, yielding tens of thousands of probes for labeling or cutting DNA.


“By using the genome itself as a source for guide RNAs, their approach puts the creation of libraries that target contiguous regions in reach of almost any lab,” said Jacob Corn, managing and scientific director of the Innovative Genomics Initiative at UC Berkeley. “This could be very useful for genome imaging and certain kinds of screens, and I’m very interested to see how it enables biological discovery using Cas9 tools.”



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

As before, CRISPR is something that I am interested in studying since it is relatively new in the gene editing world. Also, UC Berkeley is a college that I am considering  applying and attending so it would be good to contribute to this research.

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White House Announces New Precision Medicine Commitments

White House Announces New Precision Medicine Commitments | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

The Obama Administration has announced new commitments to its precision medicine initiative (PMI) that it unveiled six months ago.

The initiative, which President Barack Obama touched on in his State of the Union address in January, aims to pioneer a new model of patient-powered research to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients.

 

This week, the Administration launched new commitments, which include:

 

Guiding Principles for Protecting Privacy and Building Trust: The White House is unveiling draft PMI guiding principles that seek to build privacy into the design of the PMI research cohort, which will include one million or more Americans who agree to share data about their health. The White House is seeking public feedback on the privacy and trust principles online through August 7, 2015.

 

New Tools for Patients: In collaboration with federal partners, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will work to address barriers that prevent patients from accessing their health data. OCR will develop additional guidance materials to educate the public and health care providers about a patient’s right to access his or her health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

 

Research Awards to Unlock Data Insights: The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is announcing awards to support four research projects on key questions relevant to precision medicine using the rich data from the Million Veterans Program (MVP), the largest U.S. repository of genetic, clinical, lifestyle and military exposure data.

Additionally, private sector commitments related to the initiative launched this week include:

 

Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine: Duke has developed a platform called MeTree that helps individuals have challenging but necessary conversations with loved ones and care providers about family health histories, so that physicians can tailor care to patients’ unique risk profiles.

 

Flip the Clinic: Flip the Clinic, a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is announcing a collaboration with more than 160,000 clinicians and staff practicing at sites across the United States, who have pledged to inform patients about their right to get digital copies of their medical records.

 

Genetic Alliance: Along with collaborators, such as Cerner, Genetic Alliance is launching new capabilities for Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly (PEER), a data registry that empowers participants to share their data with medical researchers, advocacy groups, and others.

 

GetMyHealthData: The GetMyHealthData campaign is pledging to help thousands of consumers over the next 12 months access and download their own clinical health data, so they can use it to understand and improve their health, their care, and the system as a whole—including donating their data for research.

 

Sage Bionetworks: Recognizing the importance of health-data liberation, and the role of data in driving research studies, Sage Bionetworks is announcing that it will support clinical studies that import electronic health-record information to its open source research platform and that it will release open-source informed-consent prototypes to support these studies.

 

The White House also is honoring "Champions of Change" in precision medicine, which includes nine individuals who are working to use data and innovation to improve healthcare.


Via Technical Dr. Inc.
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

I found this interesting because it shows how important the world of healthcare and how the president has taken notice that it's important for consumers to understand their health and take charge of it.

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Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer - Study

Personalized Medicine Best Way to Treat Cancer - Study | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

“If you’re dealing with a disease like cancer that can be arrived at by multiple pathways, it makes sense that you’re not going to find that each patient has taken the same path” - John McDonald, a professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

 

If a driver is traveling to New York City, I-95 might be their route of choice. But they could also take I-78, I-87 or any number of alternate routes. Most cancers begin similarly, with many possible routes to the same disease. A new study found evidence that assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient’s cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways.


The study found little or no overlap in the most prominent genetic malfunction associated with each individual patient’s disease compared to malfunctions shared among the group of cancer patients as a whole.
“This paper argues for the importance of personalized medicine, where we treat each person by looking for the etiology of the disease in patients individually,” said McDonald, 

 

“The findings have ramifications on how we might best optimize cancer treatments as we enter the era of targeted gene therapy.”


The research was published February 11 online in the journal PANCREAS and was funded by the Georgia Tech Foundation and the St. Joseph’s Mercy Foundation.


In the study, researchers collected cancer and normal tissue samples from four patients with pancreatic cancer and also analyzed data from eight other pancreatic cancer patients that had been previously reported in the scientific literature by a separate research group.


McDonald’s team compiled a list of the most aberrantly expressed genes in the cancer tissues isolated from these patients relative to adjacent normal pancreatic tissue.


The study found that collectively 287 genes displayed significant differences in expression in the cancers vs normal tissues. Twenty-two cellular pathways were enriched in cancer samples, with more than half related to the body’s immune response. The researchers ran statistical analyses to determine if the genes most significantly abnormally expressed on an individual patient basis were the same as those identified as most abnormally expressed across the entire group of patients.

 

The researchers found that the molecular profile of each individual cancer patient was unique in terms of the most significantly disrupted genes and pathways.

 

more at http://www.news.gatech.edu/2014/02/24/personalized-medicine-best-way-treat-cancer-study-argues

 


Via nrip
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

Cancer research is something I'm particularly interested in and would try to go into someday and I found this interesting because it shows how medicine has evolved and becoming more personalized.

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Emma Pettengale's curator insight, September 9, 2014 10:15 AM

“If you’re dealing with a disease like cancer that can be arrived at by multiple pathways, it makes sense that you’re not going to find that each patient has taken the same path” - John McDonald, a professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

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America is Still the Land of Opportunity for Doctors

America is Still the Land of Opportunity for Doctors | Career Interests: Medicine | Scoop.it

Like many of you I've recently taken some time off to enjoy and reflect on the most American of holidays, July 4th. Despite the politically charged climate and other social and economic challenges we currently face together as a nation, the United States offers physicians a combination of opportunities and resources that are hard to duplicate anywhere else.

 

1. American doctors have unmatched professional resources.

 

The United States provides the modern physician and her practice with a good supply of educated and well-trained healthcare workers and great external support and resources as well. Very few countries have the large number of specialized and well-trained lawyers, accountants, marketing experts, coding and collections teams, compliance managers, and all the others we take for granted. Add to that our exceptionally well-developed CME system, peer networks, and low-cost or free resources and expert information provided by Physicians Practice and its affiliate publications, and the extent of the support available to all doctors who make an effort to take advantage of these resources becomes clear. Very few other countries can compete with the U.S. in these areas and many turn to our materials and standards for this help.

 

2. America loves a winner.

 

By this I mean that Americans value ethics, service, and excellence; and this gives you a chance to compete on a relatively level playing field by running the best practice you can. Sure, there are always competitors with bigger offices and budgets, but it's been my experience that even small practices with committed and passionate owners and managers can still retain a loyal patient base and thrive and grow. We are a culture that values people, relationships, and results.

 

3. We have an infrastructure that supports business and progress.

 

Yes, we've all seen the reports about our aging roads, bridges, etc., and we probably can all name one specific example in our own town. That said, the availability of regular and dependable mail, Internet service, dependable sanitation, power, water, untainted drugs, labs and diagnostic facilities that turn around results in mere hours in an affordable way, and the protection of first responders are just a minute example of things we all take for granted in this country. Those of you that may have been born outside this country or who have traveled internationally understand that these are advantages not enjoyed by the majority of the people on this planet. How would you like to be running a practice in Greece this week?

 

4. We generally follow the rules.

 

The rule of law provides protection and predictability in many areas that other countries still can't offer. You have the protection and guidance of laws in many areas that are meant to protect you, the public, and your employees. Your property is yours and you can use the law to make sure it stays that way, and to limit the unreasonable claims of others, and to protect your own rights. We also have the protection of the rule of law ensuring that all of our citizens have equal protection and freedoms, in areas ranging from consumer protection laws that enforce professional licensing and prosecute those who act recklessly or fraudulently to simple issues like preventing the public from being exposed to counterfeit drugs — a problem that plagues millions of doctors and patients worldwide.

 

Sure, there are examples of bad actors and criminals in every city and state; the difference is that we have the resources and a system to deal with and actually prosecute them. The United States allows us the freedom and stability to make long-term plans for our businesses, families, and futures relatively free of threats from roving drug gangs, the collapse of our currency, mass civil insurrection, civil war, and countless other issues that billions of people in other parts of the world (some right next door) currently face every day. Are we perfect? No, we never will be, but we strive to be, and have a massive team of local and national civic and professional leaders that are working to protect and better us.

 

I couldn't possibly address all the things that make America great for you and your patients in a single column, and of course we have many issues that need improvement and reform. But, the thing that gives me comfort (and what I hope you choose to focus on today), is that we have the will, freedom, and resources to so improve our personal circumstances.


Via Technical Dr. Inc.
Sophia Nguyen's insight:

This was an interesting read because this gives me more confidence in my decision to go into the medical field as a potential career in the future. It's also reassuring to know that America is still a good place to want to become a doctor.

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