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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Saving Academic Medicine from Obsolescence

Today's post was shared by NEJM and comes from
by Benjamin P. Sachs, Ralph Maurer, Steven A. Wartman and Marc J. Kahn  |   10:00 AM November 8, 2013
The United States spent 17.9% of the GDP on healthcare in 2012. Academic medicine, which makes up, approximately, 20% of these costs ($540 billion), is under profound threat. Teaching hospitals and medical schools are faced with declining clinical revenue, dwindling research dollars and increasing tuition costs. To meet these challenges, we believe academic medicine must embrace disruptive innovation in its core missions: educating the next generation of health professionals, offering comprehensive cutting-edge patient care, and leading biomedical and clinical research.  Medical schools and academic health centers will need to significantly adapt in each of these areas in order to ensure the long-term health of the medical profession. The following are a few examples of disruptive innovations Tulane School of Medicine has embraced.        
Medical information doubles roughly every five years, making it impossible for physicians to stay current. Computing power has also increased to the point that machines like IBM’s Watson, first programed to play chess and Jeopardy, are now used to diagnose and recommend treatment for patients.  Mary Cummings, one of the first women aviators to land a plane on an aircraft carrier, faced a similar situation when she left the navy; a computer was replacing...
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