Top stories of 2018: Medicine, health care, and medical education

December 30, 2018
top stories; news

This year was a wild ride for health care. We saw large tech organizations like Apple breaking into health care, the first doctor in nearly fifty years named as President of Planned Parenthood, and more.

We like to help you stay on top of the breaking news. AMSA’s Weekly Consult e-newsletter is a weekly news roundup covering medicine, health care and medical education, distributed to AMSA members and subscribers every week. It contains a useful mix of the most relevant and timely items for today’s future physicians.

As we head into 2019, see what you were reading about most this year:

1. U.S. News ranks ‘Best Medical Schools 2019’

The U.S. News and World Report releases their annual rankings of top training institutions across the nation. This year’s rankings caught the attention of our readers coming in at the top of the list. Harvard Medical School came in at number one for research and University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill ranked number one for primary care. See where your medical school falls. Read more

2. Which medical specialties are in greatest demand?

Whether you’re early in your medical training or preparing to gear up for residency applications, you’ve likely taken an interest in the challenges that come with reaching the medical specialty you’ve been eyeing. Doximity published the U.S. Physician Employment Report this year that looked at more than 12,000 physician job advertisements in 20 large U.S. metropolitan areas to determine specialities most in demand. See where your top interests fall on the list. Read more

3. ACGME will visit troubled St. Louis medical school to hear concerns of residents

The ACGME sent representatives to St. Louis University School of Medicine earlier this year to investigate concerns surrounding its residency program, potentially resulting from an anonymous annual survey of residents. The visit centered around two areas: looking into underperforming programs and the school’s ability to create an environment where residents and fellows feel safe to provide honest feedback. Read more

Following the visit, the St. Louis Post Patch reported that the university was given two years to address several action items stemming from the visit that mainly focus on ‘gaps in curriculum and policy concerns.’ The school is still fully accredited.

4. Former neurosurgery resident sues the University of Missouri

A former neurosurgery resident sought $50 million for loss of wages and harm to professional reputation in a lawsuit against the University of Missouri’s governing board. He said the medical school’s chief of neurosurgery verbally harassed him and eventually fired him without cause. Read more

5. Match Day 2018: 5 takeaways

This year saw the highest number of Match registrants ever. As we approach Match 2019 in a few weeks, here are some of the most interesting numbers from Match Week 2018. Read more

6. Yale dental students took selfie with severed heads used for medical research

Dental students and a top University of Connecticut orthodontics professor took a selfie with two severed heads while attending a leadership workshop at Yale School of Medicine last summer. Yale officials called the episode “disturbing” and “inexcusable.” They are working to improve oversight at such events to ensure participants are staying in line with ethical standards of conduct following the incident. Read more

7. A doctor flew into a sudden rage and threatened to decapitate, disembowel employees and patients

A Georgia-based doctor had her medical license revoked after over 20 years in practice when she went on a violent tirade through her office this February. Dr. Patterson told one employee she’d ‘cut her from her throat to her private parts’ and warned another she’d ‘cut her head off and roll it down the hallway,’ among other threats. The doctor was charged with counts of making terroristic threats and false imprisonment. Read more

8. How expensive is it to interview for medical residency?

Applying to residency adds up; but how much? Many of you will be starting up the residency application process in a few months, and it’s a good idea to know what you’re heading into. When comparing application fees, travel and accommodations, see what the average medical student spends during residency interview season. Read more

Honorable mention

9. Woman receives $5,751 ER bill—for an ice pack and a bandage

A patient at Hoboken University Medical Center in New Jersey received a bill for thousands of dollars, even though she’d declined treatment since the physician was out-of-network and only received an icepack and bandage while there. The woman pushed on the hospital with no success–until a Vox reporter began asking the hospital questions. Read more

Access to comprehensive health care is a basic human right; yet, millions of Americans remain uninsured or are left with large bills from excessive health care and drug costs. AMSA has a long history advocating for universal health care and lower drug prices and this year will be no different. AMSA activists will be heading to Capitol Hill for Advocacy Day on March 7 to advocate for policy solutions that will improve the safety of our communities and provide access to affordable care and medications.