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April 3, 2015
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A record Match Day for UW School of Medicine students
On March 26, 2015, graduating medical students across the nation received results of the 2015 Match that provides them with the name of the residency training program to which they have been assigned, or “matched,” through a national competitive process.
I am very pleased to tell you that UW School of Medicine students had an outstanding match year. A record number and percentage of students matched into a primary care specialty—60 percent. That percentage has grown steadily, year by year. In 2009, 46 percent of our students matched into primary care specialties; this increased to 52 percent in 2011 and to 60 percent this year.
Among the 215 seniors in the match, 37 percent will enter residency programs in the WWAMI region. A total of 71 students will spend at least their first residency year in the state of Washington, one in Alaska, 7 in Idaho, three in Montana and one in Wyoming.
There are many reasons for this success in retaining students in the WWAMI region and for the record-high percentage of students matching into primary care specialties. The UW School of Medicine has dedicated enormous effort toward creating and implementing special programs that advance careers in primary care and rural medicine. These include the WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience (WRITE), an innovative program that places students in a rural setting for a sustained period of time for completion of clinical clerkships, and the Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST), which creates a continuous connection of medical students with a rural community for the duration of medical school.
As a result of the UW School of Medicine’s strong focus on primary care, rural medicine and healthcare for underserved populations, our medical students commit to these areas at a significantly higher percentage than other medical schools nationally.
I offer my congratulations and thanks to the graduating class of 2015 for your outstanding match and your strong commitment to serving our WWAMI region, especially in areas of significant need, such as primary care. You are a vital and inspiring part of our future. Thank you!
Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
The University of Washington signed a licensing agreement with California-based Avalanche Biotechnologies to pursue a therapy for colorblindness, which affects more than 10 million people in the United States. Color-vision experts Jay and Maureen Neitz, UW professors of ophthalmology, developed the breakthrough gene-therapy approach in their work with squirrel monkeys. See the full story at NPR.
The Environmental Protection Agency is providing $6 million in seed funds for a Predictive Toxicology Center at the University of Washington. The center is intended to enable researchers to develop more accurate, higher capacity in-vitro models of organ-mimicking cell cultures to test chemicals' potential risk to humans. Elaine Faustman and Terrance Kavanagh, both UW professors of environmental and occupational health sciences, will co-direct the new center.
Researchers from the Schools of Public Health, Pharmacy and Medicine will collaborate to develop three-dimensional cell cultures for the kidney, liver, lung and testis to better model how a person would respond to a chemical exposure. William Altemeier, UW associate professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, will lead the center's lung cell culture development. Kavanagh will co-manage the liver-testing model with David Eaton, UW professor of environmental and occupational health sciences. Edward Kelly, UW associate professor in of pharmaceutics, will manage the kidney cell culture project. For more information about the center, see the article in HS NewsBeat.
Older patients with low-back pain who have imaging studies such as X-rays, MRI and CT scans of their spines within six weeks of the emergence of new pain tend to use more health services and incur higher costs but do no better one year afterward than those who have imaging studies later or not at all, according to a new study published in the March 17 issue of JAMA.
“Our study suggests that adults age 65 and older should not be treated differently than younger adults, with respect to low-back imaging,” said Jeffrey Jarvik, UW professor of radiology, health services and neurological surgery and the study’s lead author. For more information about the study, see the article in HS NewsBeat.
UW Medicine will enter into a long-term affiliation with Skagit Regional Health and Cascade Valley Hospital. In addition, Skagit Regional Health will enter into a long-term lease of Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics, with Skagit Regional Health running the operations, finances, day-to-day management and governance of the hospital in Arlington and related clinics. The Board of Commissioners of Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics voted to accept the UW Medicine proposal on Wednesday, March 18, and the Board of Commissioners of Skagit Regional Health approved the plan on Friday, March 20. The next step will be preparation of a letter of intent, which will trigger negotiations on the details for a final agreement, a process estimated to take six to 12 months. For more information about the affiliation, see the article in HS NewsBeat.
Everyone in the world should have access to 44 surgical procedures according to Essential Surgery, a reference book released today by the Disease Control Priorities Network (DCP3) in the University of Washington's Department of Global Health. Making these 44 procedures available worldwide could avert 1.5 million deaths per year, said Charles Mock, UW professor of surgery and book editor.
The book has 80 authors from 20 countries. Dean Jamison, UW professor emeritus of global health, served as the chief editor. Andreas Stergachis, UW professor of epidemiology and global health; Carol Levin, UW senior research scientist in global health; and Joseph Babigumira, UW assistant professor of global health, are co-authors on chapters covering family planning, post-abortion care and the costs and cost-effectiveness of surgical procedures and platforms. For more information on the book, see the article in HS NewsBeat.
Sixty percent of the 2015 University of Washington School of Medicine graduating class will enter primary-care residencies this fall. Their participation in the National Residency Matching Program began months ago when the students submitted applications, attended interviews and ranked their desired destinations. This effort culminated on Friday, March 20, for 215 graduating UW School of Medicine students. The match results indicate that 130 are going into the primary-care fields of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Another 17 will be training in general surgery, eight in obstetrics/gynecology and seven in psychiatry. For more information about the Match Day results see the article in HS NewsBeat or read this week's message from Paul Ramsey.
The University of Washington’s Department of Global Health is a leader in the use of distance learning technologies for low-resource settings, according to a recent article in Techonomy. Through an initiative called eDGH, the department runs e-learning programs in more than 30 countries. Since 2007, when it opened two small program sites in Kenya and Haiti, the department has delivered classes to students in many of the world’s poorest places. Its flagship course on Clinical Management of HIV now reaches over 1,000 students globally each year.
In a typical program, students watch lectures and submit homework virtually, but still attend regular local classes for discussions with peers and professors, said Michael Chung, eDGH’s co-director and UW associate professor in the departments of Global Health and Medicine. This approach, often called “blended learning,” helps reduce program costs without compromising quality standards. For more information, see the article in Techonomy.
C. Scott Smith, UW professor of medicine and of biomedical informatics and medical education, and based in Boise, Idaho, has been named the recipient of the 2015 WWAMI Alumni Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Teaching, Leadership and Patient Care. Smith, an E-76 WWAMI graduate, was integral in leading the UW’s Internal Medicine Boise Track, now a full three-year internal medicine residency program based at the Boise VA Medical Center.
Smith obtained his bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and graduated from the UWSOM in 1980 as a member of the 1976 Moscow/Pullman class. He served as a physician and captain in the United States Air Force, where he was the chief of primary care at Griffiss Air Force Base. He joined the Boise VA faculty as program director in 1990. Smith is board certified in emergency medicine and internal medicine.
Smith is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the VA’s David M. Worthen Award recognizing outstanding contributions and achievements of national significance in the area of health care professional education. He has also received more than $6 million in peer-reviewed research and program funding.
Smith served on the national education committee for the Society of General Internal Medicine. He is the Governor for the Idaho Chapter of American College of Physicians and was inducted as Master ACP in 2012. In addition, Smith is the national physician consultant for the VA Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education, Office of Academic Affiliations.
Carlos Pellegrini, UW professor and Henry N. Harkins chair of surgery, was conferred with an honorary fellowship by the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) for his achievements in and service to surgical education. WACS promotes postgraduate education and training in surgery in West Africa.
Professor Olajide O. Ajayi, past president of WACS, quoted a former resident in the honorary fellowship citation saying, “It is the overall professional conduct of this great man which has most impacted us all - his patients, staff, trainees, and colleagues. It is the way he will listen at a moment of need, it is the unforeseen gesture of kindness, it is handwritten note that he is never too busy to write, and it is the confidence of knowing that he will always be your best advocate. This is what I learned from Dr. Pellegrini.”
Pellegrini is a world leader in minimally invasive gastrointestinal surgery and a pioneer in the development of videoendoscopy for the surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease and esophageal motility disorders, particularly achalasia. At UW Medicine, he developed the Center for Videoendoscopic Surgery, the Swallowing Center (now known as the Center for Esophageal and Gastric Surgery), and the Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies.
The American Cancer Society is awarding Mary L. “Nora” Disis, UW professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology, one of its 2015 research awards for her work on “Vaccines targeting cancer initiation antigens to prevent colon cancer.” The $400,000 unrestricted award “provides flexible funding for full-time investigators in mid-career who have made seminal contributions to cancer research and who will continue to provide leadership in their research area.”
The awards are made through a highly competitive peer-review process and given for a period of five years with the possibility of one five-year renewal. Only 25 research professors are funded at any time. Disis, also a UW adjunct professor of pathology and obstetrics and gynecology, is a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and director of UW’s Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS) and UW’s Center for Translational Medicine in Women’s Health.
Disis is an expert in breast and ovarian cancer immunology and translational research and one of the pioneering investigators who discovered that HER-2/neu is a tumor antigen. Her work has led to several clinical trials which evaluate boosting immunity to HER-2/neu with cancer vaccines.
For more on her research proposal on vaccines to prevent colon cancer, see the summary.
The Department of Bioethics & Humanities and the Ethics Advisory Committee at the University of Washington Medical Center are co-sponsoring this event with Dr. Sullivan, who will speak on “Is respecting patient autonomy enough, or must we promote autonomy as well?” 3:30-4:30 p.m., Health Sciences Building, T-747. View the flier.
The Center for Leadership and Innovation in Medical Education (CLIME) is sponsoring this event with Dr. Regehr, who will speak on “The dangerous pursuit of independence: Implications for healthcare practice and education,” 12-1 p.m., Health Sciences Center, K-069. View the announcement.
Christopher Murray is director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation for the Department of Global Health. His Global Burden of Disease study is chronicled in journalist Jeremy Smith’s book Epic Measures. They will discuss the study and how it is changing the course of global health. The event is at 7:30 p.m., Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle. For more information and tickets, please visit the Town Hall website.
Speakers include Adam Drewnowski, UW professor of epidemiology and medicine (April 14), Ellen Schur, UW assistant professor of medicine (May 13), former U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin (April 30) and wellness celebrities Michael Pollan (April 8) and Kathy Najimy (May 19). All lectures are in Kane Hall, Room 130, 6:30 p.m.
Intracellular signal transduction events are precisely regulated in space and time. This is achieved in part by a-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) that tether a variety of protein kinases and phosphatases in proximity to selected substrates. AKAP targeting provides an efficient means to reversibly control the phosphorylation status of key substrates and contributes to the dynamic regulation of sophisticated cellular pathways. Using genetic, structural, electrophysiological and super-resolution imaging techniques we show that AKAPs enhance the precision of cellular signaling. We have also discovered that aberrant AKAP signaling events contribute to the onset of diabetes, and comorbidities including hypertension and heart disease.
Washington first responders and public health professionals are invited to participate in upcoming train-the-trainer workshops scheduled to introduce you to the Response & Recovery App in Washington (RRAIN) Washington a (iPhone/iPad) mobile app developed at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library and aimed to be used by first responders in the state in response and recovery situations. Come learn how to use the app and website for your next Washington response and recovery situation. Seattle trainings: Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave., May 8, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and June 18, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Visit Continuing Medical Education for information on upcoming classes.