April 19, 2021

Lonnie Listonsmith

Experienced Health Expert

Medical

1 min read

My awareness of the limits of medical knowledge began when I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 18. It peaked with a near-death experience five years later, and was heightened even further when I discovered what’s known as a ketogenic diet.

Those five years, spent far too often as a patient in some of the best medical centers in the United States and the United Kingdom, challenged my idealistic vision of medicine. Now that I am entering Harvard Medical School as a student, I find myself in an awkward predicament.

At 18, one year into a relatively

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MH: Hello, I’m Matthew Weinstock, managing editor of Modern Healthcare. Thank you for tuning into the latest edition of the Check Up. Attention to health equity has grown in recent years, especially in 2020 and going into 2021 with the aftermath of the pandemic and what we saw around civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd.

But solving these problems means building a workforce that can really put data into perspective and action for providers and health systems. Earlier this month, Meharry Medical College, an historically Black college in Nashville, Tennessee, announced that it’s creating a School of Applied

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This approach has long roots. Some of our civilization’s best chroniclers of the human condition have been doctor-narrators who decided to start telling stories themselves: Anton Chekhov, William Carlos Williams, Walker Percy, Oliver Sacks — and today, gifted writers like Atul Gawande, Daniela Lamas (a Times Opinion contributor), Siddhartha Mukherjee and Vincent Lam. It has been a huge loss to the humanities, and to readers in general, that relatively few doctors think of themselves as storytellers. But perhaps that is beginning to change.

It’s worth noting that the most famous doctor in Covid-era America is a committed humanist. Anthony Fauci,

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Human diversity did not appear to matter to modern medicine. At the time, the state of medical practice ignored the differences between individuals and between men and women.

This practice was reflected in how doctors were trained. They took courses in basic biology, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology. But genetics, the science of variation, was not a required course until recently.

Advances in genetics research have slowly transformed the practice of medicine. There has been a slow accumulation of a long list of diseases caused by variations in a single gene. Since the disease-causing variants generally occurred —

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University of California Health (UCH) medical, nursing and public health schools achieved national recognition in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of Best Graduate Schools for 2022. The rankings are one measure of a school’s quality, and prospective students often refer to them when deciding where to apply.  

This year’s ranking of medical schools includes a new diversity index, created to measure progress in enrolling students from underrepresented groups and creating a future health workforce that better reflects the general population. Four UC schools of medicine scored in the top 10 nationally for diversity, with UC Davis

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On Tuesday, I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Six months ago, I would’ve said having a safe, effective vaccine in my arm by April would be near impossible — even miraculous. Most of us thought so.

But here we are, all beneficiaries of a modern medical miracle. It took only 12 months from the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen being identified to a vaccine being approved, the fastest vaccine ever developed. The brilliant researchers, extensive resources and modern technology are all homages to the wonders of science.

Even so, I think there’s more. A year ago this week, I

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