November 16, 2012
By Adam Mingal*
Report: End-of-Life Care Policies Vary in Teaching Hospitals, Prestigious Residencies Don't Always Mean Better Doctors
The Atlantic (11/12) reports that a recent report by the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice casts doubt on automatic correlations between prestigious residencies and better doctors. The report compares twenty-three of the nation's highest ranking teaching hospitals on a variety of aspects of patient care, including the number of surgical procedures performed and the patient experience. The report posits that a hospital's "hidden curriculum," or what is transmitted to residents through practice, is at times an equally significant factor as the residency's prestige.
According to the Duke Chronicle (11/12), the Dartmouth report says there are significant differences across U.S. teaching hospitals' end-of-life care policies that impact the effectiveness of care. The report cites Cedars-Sinai (Los Angeles) and Duke Medical Centers' specific examples: patients near the end of their life at the former medical center saw physicians more than twice as frequently as those receiving care at the latter.The study's organizers hope that their report will encourage students to consider these policies before deciding where to apply.
Florida Hospital Chain to Train Hundreds of New Doctors Amid Shortage Concerns
The Tampa Bay Times (11/15) reports that the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) hospital chain intends to train hundreds of additional physicians across Florida beginning in July 2014 "[a]mid growing concerns about a looming shortage of doctors." HCA is the state's largest chain of for-profit hospitals.
Washington University Medical School Undertakes Effort to Raise Awareness of Veterans' Health Needs
STL Today (11/14) reports that the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has partnered with more than 100 medical schools throughout the nation to increase awareness of veterans' health needs, as well as the needs of service members and their families. The article states that nearly "20 percent of the 26 million Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans develop post-traumatic stress disorder related to their military service."
*We would like to thank Adam Mingal, Esquire (Department on Disability Services, Washington, DC), for providing this week's update.