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Entries in Innovation (12)

Wednesday
Dec122012

The Future Of Medicine Is A Problem and An Opportunity For Young Doctors

Creating Opportunity In Your Future Medical Career.

The world of medicine that the next generation of physicians will be inheriting from their predecessors is the most advanced, complex and dysfunctional in the history of humankind. As future physician begin to take the wheel of a health care system that is at times revolutionary and at times in complete disarray, we must realize a few important facts.

  • We will become the leaders of a heath care system that will have new pressures and demands placed on doctors at an unprecedented rate.

  • We will enter a world with a global aging patient population. This is happening at a rate unseen by any previous generation of physicians and this rate will only continue to increase.\

  • We are entering a more centralized medical care system. This centralization will take place at both the patient-physician and physician-hospital level.

  • The economics of modern medicine demand increased specialization among doctors and this will continue to progress as biomedical advances progress. 

These simple facts about our modern health care system present a laundry list of problems and opportunities for young doctors. It also places us in a position to suffer or thrive more than any group of doctors in medical history.

This means one thing, the traditional approach will not work....

The level of specialization, rapidly changing knowledge, outside pressures in today's medical practice has evolved beyond the current medical education models which are still largely build on the 100 year old Flexner Report. Thus, the length of study, focus, and framework are build around principles of medical education have not kept up with the pace of modern medical practice. In fact, there are some leaders in medical education that are and have been calling for a complete overhaul of the US medical education system.

In an interview for the University of Virginia Magazine Dr.Randolph Canterbury, the medical school’s senior associate dean for education said this,

It’s become pretty clear in the last couple of decades that this is probably not the best way to learn something as complex as medicine. The idea that physicians ought to learn the facts of all these various disciplines—anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and so forth—to the depth that we once thought they should doesn’t make much sense. About half of all medical knowledge becomes obsolete every five years. Every 15 years, the world’s body of scientific literature doubles. The pace of change has only accelerated. The half-life of what I learned in medical school was much longer than what it is today.

There will need to be huge changes to every level of the medical system and medical school is not exception. I feel that student doctors who realize medical school cannot, and will not teach them everything they need to make in the future are best in the position for success.

Working hard to learn the skills taught in medical school is imporant but when you consider that most of what you learn will be outdated in 5-10 years, it makes you look at your grades differently.

Yes, getting good board scores and having a nice class rank are important, but the will not be important past residency.

Doctors will no longer expect to graduate and have a killer practice handed to them on a platter. Skills like networking, leadership, managment, and creativity are all vital if you want to separate yourself from the crowd once you become a doctor and they are all completely impossible to teach in a lecture hall.

 

 

Thursday
Nov222012

5 Must Watch TED Talks For Any Medical Visionary

Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.    -Bill Hybels

Ok, I'm sure you are all familar with TED.com, basically it's is like crack for those who thrive on big ideas. I must admit, TED is a bit of an addiction for me. So if you have a bit of extra time this weekend; here is my must watch list for anyone who wants to do big things with their medical career.

 

1. The Wireless Future of Medicine

Eric Topol says we'll soon use our smartphones to monitor our vital signs and chronic conditions. At TEDMED, he highlights several of the most important wireless devices in medicine's future -- all helping to keep more of us out of hospital beds.

Eric Topol is a leading cardiologist who has embraced the study of genomics and the latest advances in technology to treat chronic disease.

 

2. Medicine's future? There's An App for That

Daniel Kraft offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine, powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient's bedside.

Daniel Kraft is a physician-scientist, inventor and innovator. He chairs the FutureMed program at Singularity University, exploring the impact and potential of rapidly developing technologies as applied to health and medicine.

 

3. Robert Fischell on Medical Inventing

Accepting his 2005 TED Prize, inventor Robert Fischell makes three wishes: redesigning a portable device that treats migraines, finding new cures for clinical depression and reforming the medical malpractice system.

Robert Fischell invented the rechargeable pacemaker, the implantable insulin pump, and devices that warn of epileptic seizures and heart attacks. Yet it's not just his inventive genius that makes him fascinating, but his determination to make the world a better place.

 

4. How Do We Heal Medicine?

Our medical systems are broken. Doctors are capable of extraordinary (and expensive) treatments, but they are losing their core focus: actually treating people. Doctor and writer Atul Gawande suggests we take a step back and look at new ways to do medicine -- with fewer cowboys and more pit crews.

Surgeon by day and public health journalist by night, Atul Gawande explores how doctors can dramatically improve their practice using something as simple as a checklist.

 

5. Where Good Ideas Come From

People often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web.

Steven Berlin Johnson is the best-selling author of six books on the intersection of science, technology and personal experience. His forthcoming book examines "Where Good Ideas Come From."

Wednesday
Oct312012

Be The Doctor Who Thinks Differently

I can summarize the most successful people I’ve ever known with one trait: the willingness to challenge mainstream ideas.

An Uncommon Guest Post by Leo Babauta

This has been the key to everything good in my life too:

I changed my health and drastically reduced my carbon footprint when I stopped eating like everyone else around me and became vegetarian (and eventually vegan).

I simplified my life when I stopped believing what the majority of people believe, that buying stuff makes you happier, more secure, look better in the eyes of others, etc.

I improved my health and reduced our carbon footprint when I went car-free.

I changed my career by blogging differently than others (on simplifying rather than doing more) when I started Zen Habits.

And there are many more examples, but you get the point. This isn’t a post to brag about all of that — it’s to share what I believe is a real key to life: the willingness to think differently than most people. It means you have to be willing to question what most people do and what the majority will tell you. It means you have to have the courage to try something different. It means you have to be brave enough to stand out from the crowd and not take the safe route.

The Safe Route

Most people take the safe route, because they’re afraid of being different and failing. If you do nothing amazing but you go with the crowd, then you don’t look stupid. But then you miss out on the amazing. If you never stand out from the crowd, you will always be average. True being an average physican is no small achievement but that's not the right way of looking at it. The question should be are you living your dreams are you passionate about your day to day activites? 

The people who stand out are the ones who make a mark, who innovate and discover, who learn the freedom of exploration and invention. If you stand out when you apply for residency or a job, you’ll be more likely to be noticed. If you don’t, and you play it safe, then they’ll likely ignore you. If you stand out when you start a business, people will be curious and check you out. If you’re just one of many businesses doing the same thing, why should others care about you? Why should they choose you?

And yet, most people play it safe:

Most people go to school and then college then because that’s what everyone else does. They don’t know what they really want to do, so why not take the traditional route? And that’s fine, but it’s good to look into other options. Most people get a job and stick to it because that’s the traditional way to make a living. Others might be a solo entrepreneur or start a small business and dare to create something new and live a life they’re passionate about.

Most people eat meat and dairy and eggs because that’s how they were brought up, and eating differently is weird and unthinkable. “I love my ribs too much!” But then you miss out on a whole world of healthy, delicious food, and the opportunity to change the planet and your own health. 

Most people drive a car, because that’s what everyone else does — and changing it is too difficult. And yet, cars pollute and cost a lot and make us less healthy and make the streets less safe for our communities and take up most of our public spaces.

These are just some examples in my life, however the need to play it safe turns up in every part of our lives.

Learning to Think Differently

When you hear an idea that’s different than what you’re used to, pause. Instead of rejecting it outright, consider it — is there some merit? What are the arguments, the evidence? Let go of the emotions that come up, the defensiveness. Many people, when presented with ideas conterary to their belief feel they must lash out and attack. And yet, if you set aside those emotions, and look at the arguments, you might learn to think differently — and that applies to all ideas. Looking at the world, and especially your career as a physican, through these lenses can radically change your outlook.

When you are told that this is the way to do things, take a second look. Is this really the best way? Are there other possibilities? If no one has thought of them, can you? Just because an idea is different, don’t just accept it. Look at the bulk of the evidence, and learn to spot flaws in reasoning.

Test out different ideas.

Just because most people don’t do it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. They might all be wrong, and this might be better. No better way to find out than to test it. If it’s not a good idea, drop it and move on. Learn to be proud of your ability to test things that people traditionally believe in, and not to worry so much if you stand out. In fact, learn to see standing out as good — not just to stand out, but to forge new ground, to challenge ideas, to express your individual voice rather than blending in.

 ____________________________

Become a writer on Uncommon Student MD: Submit a Guest Post.

Thursday
Jun212012

Innovating In Health Care As A Young Physican

Looking to change healthcare with your new idea but don't know where or how to start?

Look no further...

Arlen D. Meyers MD MBA, is the cofounder, and Chief Medical Officer of MedVoy, a medical tourism company. His is also a Professor of Otolaryngology, Dentistry and Engineering at the University of Colorado at Denver. He has authored of a new book called The Life Science Innovation Roadmap: Bioscience Innovation Assessment, Planning, Strategy, Execution, and Implementation and currently serves as CEO and President of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org

I asked if he could give a quick overview of the change in healthcare that is happening right now and some areas where these changes are creating opportunities for young physician entrepreneurs to make a big impact.

Enter Dr. Meyers

None of us needs to be told that the US healthcare system is undergoing change. Designed for yesteryear and showing signs of dysfunction and age, our system is cracking under the strain of an aging population, escalating costs and poor technological progress.

Things have changed in several important ways:

  • Health Insurance Reform and changes to the Reimbursement model
  • Decentralized patient–centered care
  • Downsizing /right-sizing the healthcare workforce
  • Electronic medical records, healthcare information exchanges and data analytics/BI
  • Acute to preventive care
  • Disconnected to integrated care
  • Medical travel: The search for value-based care
  • Mobile health
  • The emergence of non-US markets for biomedical innovation
  • Increasing regulatory scrutiny
  • The changing intellectual property landscape
  • New healthcare delivery models: telemedicine, concierge medicine, hospitalists
  • Physician-industry conflict of interest and transparency requirements

These market shifts can be lumped into four categories, each an opportunity for you to make a difference.

The first is healthcare information technology. The infrastructure emerging has four basic components: electronic medical records, health information exchanges, data analytics and business intelligence and telehealth/telemedicine. They all serve as elements of a rapidly evolving national healthcare information architecture that will be second nature to you and your patients someday. Using the system will be as easy as putting your card in an ATM machine in Nairobi and getting US dollars.

The second category are those changes and models designed to deliver care more efficiently and effectively than the present face-to-face model, where the patient has to come into an office or hosptial to see the doctor for minor check ups or follow up visits. Examples include on-site clinics located in businesses, disease management facilities, intermediate care clinics and pharmacy based offices.

The third group attempts to make billing and collection better, faster and cheaper. Processes like identity verification and authorization, real time benefits verification, dependent validation and benefits comparisons are designed to make sure the right person is getting paid the right amount for the right reasons.

Finally, the ground is shifting under the biomedical innovation infrastructure. Changes in regulatory rules concerning manufacturing, marketing, FDA approval, and intellectual property are but a few of the manifestations. There are huge opportunities to create positive change for the way doctors treat disease.

If entrepreneurship and innovation sound interesting to you, start learning about it now. (in medical school, residency, or even college as a premed) This is not something you will get during your medical training and there are lots of resources to help young physicians learn the world of bio innovation.

________________________________________________________________

A big thanks to Dr. Meyers, and if you want to learn more...

Join the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, it's free and there are a ton of great resources to help doctors learn to be entrepreneur. Check out SoPE Here

Check out Dr. Meyer's new book The Life Science Innovation Roadmap: Bioscience Innovation Assessment, Planning, Strategy, Execution, and Implementation.

 

Monday
Apr302012

A CEO & Entrepreneur Who Also Happens To Be A Surgeon; An Interview With Dr. Arlen Meyers

"Taking Care of Business Is Taking Care Of Patients." -Dr. Arlen Meyers MD MBA

When you ask most physicians what they do, the answer is expected to include their specialty and maybe a bit about a fellowship or possibly some research. With Dr. Arlen Meyers, it's not quite that simple. A professor of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado Denver, he is also cofounder, President and Chief Medical Officer of medvoy.com, a globally integrated, doctor to doctor referral platform. He has been named one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 by Modern Healthcare and is currently serving as the founding CEO and President of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs and Director of the Certificate Program in Bioinnovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. This is just the tip of the iceberg; Dr. Meyers is working to radically change the way doctors do business. I was able to catch him for a quick chat.

Enter Dr. Arlen Meyers

What Does Your Job Entail

Basically, I have two lives. The first as an academic head and neck surgeon which involves teaching medical students, residents, staffing clinics, and all the other medical stuff. The other side of my life is all about bioentrepreneurship. My second world is about the research, education, and practice of bioentrepreneurship in medicine; specifically ENT surgery, and that’s how I spend my time.

What’s the secret to becoming an entrepreneur and a surgeon?

I don't think it's a secret, but I'd say you need to get up early and work your ass off (said with a grin). I don’t know what else to tell you. We only have 24 hours in a day, and we just choose to use them in a certain way.

When did you first develop an interest in entrepreneurship?

Well in retrospect, probably when I was 8 or 10, but I think I was too stupid to know that at the time. Fundamentally, my view on this is that becoming an entrepreneur is about 15% being hard wired to do it, and it’s about 85% getting the knowledge, skills, abilities, and work experience to make it happen.

What is your advice to physicians or medical students who are considering getting an MBA?

It's really quite simple. Basically you are going to get your ticket punched, and everyone’s going to say, “Hmmm, this doc is an MD MBA.” You’re going to meet a whole bunch of business minded people, and you’re going to learn some stuff. Those are the three reasons that you go to business school. Now, what opportunities will you have if you get an MBA? That’s always the real question.

Doctors who get an MBA basically are doing it for 3 main reasons:

1.They’re interested in furthering their education and getting credentials so they can be in a health service leadership position—VP for medical affairs, medical officer, president of the hospital, whatever.

2. They want to do it because they’re interested in health service research or strategy, so they want to run a public health office in their state or something like that.

3. They want to start a company or they want to be an entrepreneur.

My advice would be that an MBA makes the most sense if you’re in category 1. If you’re in category 2, you probably shouldn’t be pursuing an MBA. You should probably be doing a Masters in Public Health or Public Administration. And if you find yourself in category 3, you shouldn’t waste your time with an MBA; just go out and start a company.

Why did you decide to start the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SOPE) and what kinds of things does it do for physicians who are interested in entrepreneurship?

I started it because it needed to be done and no one else was doing it. The Society of Physician Entrepreneurs is a lesson in entrepreneurship and that is something that doctors are not trained to do. Basically, in order for you to start something to be successful, it has to satisfy three objectives: One, it has to be a big unmet market need. Two, you have to create something that satisfies that need in such a way that people are willing to pay for it. Three, you have create a business model so it sustains itself. We do not get trained about this stuff in medical school or residency.

To me, the biggest opportunity in US Health care reform is innovation. However the sad truth is that most doctors don’t get it. Remember the typical line, "doctors are terrible business people." Actually, I don’t think they are but that’s a whole another conversation. I want to fundamentally change that stereotype and SOPE is one way to make that happen. Our focus is not on practice management in the traditional sense, our focus is on innovation and on bioentrepreneurship. We want to show how to get a life science idea to market and change health care with your idea. It’s not how to squeeze another nickel out of your accounts receivable.

Do you have a book recommendation for our readers?

The one that I’m writing called The Life Science Innovation Road Map. You will hear more about when it is relased, I hope it will help doctors learn how to make there ideas a reality.

 

Friday
Apr062012

The 5 Top Inventions That Will Make Being A Medical Student Or Resident A Breeze

The Future Of Medical School and Residency

1.Never Miss Another Pimp Question With Google's Project Glass

Google is working on a pair of glasses complete with a heads up display inside the lens. Soon you'll have an Android Operating System right in front of your eyes. If the attending asks you for 15 differentials for a patient with dizziness you can give her 20. Also sweating through another operating room anatomy pimp session will be a thing of the past. Just pull up the Netters app on your glasses and tell the surgeon to bring it! The glasses are slated to hit the market by the end 2012 at a cost of between $250 and $600. So start saving your student loan money now.

 

2. Never Forget the Definition of Any Medical Term With Touch-Hear

This idea is from National University of Singapore's Design Incubation Centre. Essentially, by touching a word or phrase in a particular piece of reading material, the user can listen to its related information such as pronunciation and/or meaning. Those obscure medical terms that are always on the tip of your tongue but you just can't remember will not be a problem. If a question says, the patient has astasia-abasia, asomatognsia, abulia, and anosognosia and you are lost? No problem, you now have the answer at the tip of your finger.

 

  

 

3. Holding Retractors in a 20 Hour Surgery? No Problem With a Powered ExoSkeleton

Currently being developed by the United States Army for application in combat. The powered exoskeleton gives a person super human strength. Current models increase your strength 10 fold and will never fatigue. Imagine how much easier holding that butt cheek retractor will be once you can slip on an exoskelton.

 

4. Long Lectures Become Fun With Flexible/Foldable TV Screens

Soon those gruelling all day medical school lectures will turn into a wonderful experience. Just bring a stack of notes or text book and slide your TV screen into the pages. Instead of keeping up with the professor's boring lecture you could be Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Just remember to move your highlighter around from time to time so they don't suspect something is up.

 

5. Take the 80 Hour Work Rule And Laugh In It's Face With Turbo Snort

The product is called Turbo Snort, I really don't think much more needs to be said. One bottle boasts 400 hours of energy. With Turbo Snort you will be able to huff your way to success in medical school and beyond. Just slip on a pair of google glasses, an exoskelton, and take a shot of Turbo Snort and you will become the Medical School Gunner version of Iron Man.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Mar212012

Have The Power To Practice Medicine How You Want

Turning Healthcare Ideas To Action

Jessica is a fourth-year med student in the Tufts MD/MBA program and will be heading to Portland, OR, for residency in Family Practice. While in school, she has been involved in various consulting projects for hospitals, health clinics, and small health and wellness businesses. She is also the co-founder of the Ideas To Action series at Tuffs University. It is a speaker/workshop enrichment series for health sciences students interested in entrepreneurship and idea development. With a profound interest in entrepreneurship, her goal is to have the freedom to explore innovative ways to impact health and wellness. I was able to chat with her about her journey, and I thought it was definitely worth sharing.

How did you decide to go to medical school? 

My path was not at all conventional. When I was young becoming a doctor was something I said I would never do. Both of my parents are doctors and they actually told me not to go into medicine. The change happened while I was at Harvard studying psychology. I heard about the combined MD/MBA program Harvard had just started, and I loved the idea. I always had an interest in the world of business and innovation, but I also liked that medicine gave you the opportunity to directly change people's lives. However, these two worlds existed apart in my mind until that point.  Now I did not have to choose.  I could take both of my interests and turn them into my passion, so I became a premed student. Once I decided medicine was what I wanted to do, my parents were supportive; and my mom gave some great advice. She told me that if I was going to choose this career path, I had to make sure I had the power to practice medicine how I wanted.

When/how did you get interested entrepreneurship?

I guess it’s something that has always been with me. My family is very entrepreneurial, and so maybe it's just in my blood.

Tell me about Ideas To Action Series?

While in school, I found myself constantly coming up with ideas, but I really didn’t know what to do with them. I approached my MD/MBA course director about this, and he put me in touch with Don Lombardi, the founder of Institute for Pediatric Innovation. As I began to explore my frustrations about the life science entrepreneurial process, I realized a lot of other students might feel this same way; and Ideas To Action Series was born.

The format is simple. We have someone who is creative and/or innovative in healthcare talk about the process they used to go from a dream to reality. This gets the creative juices flowing. Then we start the workshop portion where everyone gets into groups to come up with a product or service that could be a solution for a current problem in healthcare. It is always fun to see the great ideas people come up with, and I am always impressed by the creativity displayed during these sessions. After brainstorming, the moderator takes some of the best ideas and goes through some practical ways to implement them in the real world. It’s fun to have ideas, but it’s even more fun to actually do something. Giving students tools that lead to action is our main goal with Ideas To Action.

Any Advice To Medical Students Who Want To Follow An Unconventional Career Path?

Being a student is actually the perfect opportunity to approach an individual or company and ask to learn what they do. At this point you are not seen as competition, and people will likely go out of there way to help you. During one of your breaks, seek out a doctor who is doing something you find interesting or starting up a company in health care and tell them you are very interested in what they do and would love to learn more. Ask to work with them for a week, or even for the summer, and see where it goes.

Any Non medical Book Recommendations?

The title is How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes.  I know it has the ring of a cheesy self-help book.  But for people like me (many of whom I imagine are in fact medical students) who get a little uncomfortable in networking situations, this is an awesome book for building a little social confidence.  It offers great tips for entering a gathering with self-assurance, making a positive first-impression, and connecting meaningfully with people. This is especially important for students who want to do innovative or alternative things and therefore need to talk to lots of different people, outside of the med school bubble, at conferences, workshops, and startup events.

 

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