Week In Review — Aug. 8

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week's top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.


The Drawn-Out Medical Degree

Should medical education be shorter? The answer is yes, at least according to administrators at many of America’s leading medical schools. The idea may conjure up images of clueless residents Googling symptoms on their smartphones at the patient’s bedside, but advocates insist that time spent in school can be trimmed without shortchanging education or compromising quality of care. And they say there are compelling reasons to speed up the process: to reduce the crushing debt many face by eliminating a year’s tuition and allowing doctors to start careers, and earn money, earlier. Via NY Times.

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Ebola-Fighting Compound Created Using Tobacco

Kentucky company used local tobacco to help produce an experimental serum to fight Ebola, which may help save two American aid workers stricken with the deadly disease. David Howard, a spokesman for Reynolds American Services, said Owensboro-based Kentucky BioProcessing complied with a request from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Samaritan's Purse this week "to provide a limited amount" of the compound, called ZMapp. Via USA Today.

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F.D.A. Acts on Lab Tests Developed In-House

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that it would start regulating medical laboratory testing, saying that tests used to make important treatment decisions must be vetted and validated before they go into use. The decision, long in coming, has been fiercely opposed by some laboratories and pathologists, who have said that regulation by the agency is unnecessary and would significantly increase the cost and time needed to develop tests, stifling innovation and depriving patients of some vital tools. Via NY Times.

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Jobs Are Growing. Health Care is Booming. So Why Are Hospitals Flat? 

Friday’s jobs report was a little lower than expected, but still contained positive news for the economy: … And in no surprise, health care employers added thousands of jobs last month: The industry has gained more than 1 million jobs since Obamacare was signed into law back in March 2010, and is working on a 13-year streak of unprecedented jobs growth. (We’ve consistently tracked this amazing boom on the Advisory Board Daily Briefing.) Via Forbes.

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Hospital Mergers in the New York Area Bring Cost Fears

In New York state, at least a dozen hospitals, many of them financially ailing, have become part of larger networks since 2011, according to the state Department of Health. More than a dozen have new owners or new affiliations in New Jersey during the same period as well. "The most dangerous place to be these days is a stand-alone hospital," said Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of North Shore-LIJ Health System, which has 16 hospitals in the New York area—and is currently negotiating with two other Westchester facilities. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Mayo Clinic Prepared to Use Isolation Protocol to Block Ebola Virus 

Mayo Clinic is prepared to use an isolation protocol for any patients who might have been exposed to the Ebola virus, reacting to the Centers for Disease Control alert to hospitals all over the country this week…The Mayo Clinic, which treats patients from all over the world, isn't taking it lightly. "The risk to the community is very low. In large part due to the way that this infection is spread. You really need direct contact with blood or body fluid from infected people" said Dr. Pitish Tosh of the Mayo Clinic. Via KTTC.

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Experts Explain Pros and Cons of Over-the-Counter Enzymes

Enzyme supplements available without a prescription are becoming increasingly popular, but should everyone add them to their shopping list? Brent Bauer, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, is co-author of a new paper in the medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings on the pros and cons of over-the-counter enzymes. Via News Medical.

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Block E Gutted for Mayo Clinic Square Renovation (Photos)

The complete gutting of the third floor and its mezzanine level started in February, clearing the way for Mortenson Construction to begin building a Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and a practice facility and administrative offices for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. Via Mpls/St. Paul Business Journal.

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Attack of the Killer Office Chairs

I’m sitting down while writing this column. That's a pretty daring move on my part. You see, I recently spoke with James Levine, author of the new book, "Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It." He schooled me on the scary science of the sedentary work life, and let me tell you, fellow sitting enthusiasts, it does not look good for us. Via Chicago Tribune.

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BACK-TO-SCHOOL: Vaccinations

Robert Jacobson, M.D., Mayo Clinic Children's Center pediatrician and vaccine specialist, advises parents to ensure their child has recommended vaccinations and be aware of changes to those recommendations. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Kidney Stones in Summer – Dr. Amy Krambeck in studio and Dr. Ivan Porter calling in from Florida


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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.