HealthCalming patients, changing perceptions: What one student learned interning at a hospital By Melissa Bailey June 21, 2016 Reprints What else did you learn?“Customer service.” Once, he was cleaning up the phlebotomy lab just after it closed, when a woman came up with her mother in a wheelchair. “I’m sorry, ma’am, this lab is closed,” he recalled telling her. “She just exploded” in anger, he said. At first he was taken aback: “I wasn’t used to someone talking to me like that.” But he learned how to stay calm. Patients get frustrated, he said: Before a long surgery, sometimes “the last thing they want to do is have their blood drawn.”What would you change about the hospital?“There aren’t that many people like me” in higher-up positions, he observed. Mbugua, whose family is Kenyan-American, lives with his mom and his brother in Boston’s Fenway area. “People who are African-American work in the caf,” or at the valet stand, he said. They are “not so much surgeons or doctors.”advertisement In the past three years as a paid student intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Edmund Mbugua learned how to calm down patients, stock anesthesia carts — and confront some “subtle hints of racism” on the job.Mbugua, who’s 18, is one of 25 Boston teenagers graduating this week from the Student Success Jobs Program at the Brigham. Mbugua’s dream is to treat patients on his own. He plans to enroll in Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences this fall and earn his doctorate in physical therapy. I caught up with him one recent morning in the phlebotomy lab where he greets patients, stocks vials for blood, and wipes down chairs after patients have their blood drawn.What surprised you about the hospital?“There’s a lot of blood loss with surgery,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to be all over the floor.” He learned that at age 14, when he got to see an open-heart surgery between stocking operating-room carts. He felt lucky to see it: “Watching a surgery at 14 is something not a lot of people do.”advertisement How has that affected you?One time, Mbugua said, he was walking through the phlebotomy lab in his lab coat, and a white patient grabbed her purse so he didn’t steal it. “Even if I have a lab coat, people still look at me as though I’m not supposed to be there.” He reckoned that’s because “they don’t see many people like me working in the hospital.” (The Brigham workforce is 5 percent black, Native American or Hispanic.) Mbugua said he sees himself as changing perceptions, one person at a time: “It’s a long process, but if I can touch one or two people, that’s better than no one at all.”Longwood Local brings you interviews with personalities from Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, a hotspot of medical labs and hospitals. If you’d like to suggest someone who works in Longwood for a future profile, please email Melissa Bailey at [email protected] Tags Brigham and Women’s Hospitalhospitals Edmund Mbugua at work in the Brigham phlebotomy lab. Melissa Bailey/STAT
First OpinionUna partera está cambiando la forma en que las mujeres dan a luz en México, un bebé a la vez Photos by Alice Proujansky By Carolina Menchú July 31, 2017 Reprints La partera Carolina Menchú en el Hospital Básico Comunitario en Ángel Albino Corzo. La ciudad está en Chiapas, que tiene una de las tasas más altas de cesáreas en América Latina. Alice Proujansky Revolución está en Chiapas, el estado más meridional de México. Es una zona rural del país con muy pocos profesionales de la salud para atender a sus más de 3 millones de habitantes. Eso puede ayudar a explicar la alta tasa de muertes maternas, más de 60 por 100.000 nacidos vivos, que es aproximadamente cuatro veces más alto que en los Estados Unidos y 20 veces más alto que en Finlandia e Islandia. Pero Chiapas también tiene una de las tasas más altas de cesáreas en América Latina — casi el 50 por ciento — que no tiene sentido dada la escasez de médicos.Algunas mujeres valientes viajan de dos a tres horas desde sus casas a hospitales o centros de nacimiento, donde la tasa de cesárea es bastante alta. Pero muchas mujeres en Chiapas dan a luz en casa, a menudo con la ayuda de una o más parteras. Estas son las mujeres locales que ayudan a otras en la comunidad durante sus embarazos y partos. Aunque estas mujeres en general no han tenido ningún entrenamiento formal sobre cómo cuidar a las mujeres embarazadas o atenderlas en sus partos — utilizan las habilidades que aprendieron de parteras que vinieron antes de ellas — muchas veces son la única y mejor fuente de asistencia para las mujeres embarazadas.Parteras ofrecen consejos durante el embarazo. Ellas se quedan con las mujeres durante el trabajo de parto y el nacimiento, animándoles a moverse o agacharse o empujar según sea necesario. Algunas preparan medicinas de las plantas para facilitar o acelerar el trabajo de parto. Sobre todo, apoyan a las mujeres que cuidan. Si una partera está preocupada de que algo no está bien, ella ayuda a una mujer a ir al hospital.advertisement Carolina Menchú es una partera en Chiapas, México, donde trabaja con Compañeros en Salud. (Helen M. Dájer, enfermera-partera certificada en Boston, tradujo el artículo al español).Nota del fotógrafo: En México, la atención obstétrica en los hospitales públicos puede ser tan abusiva que un movimiento por el parto humanizado — el nacimiento humanizado — ha echado raíces en el país. Aprendí sobre el trabajo de Carolina Menchú para avanzar en el cuidado respetuoso basado en la evidencia de uno de sus profesores en la primera escuela profesional de parteras profesionales de México y quería fotografiar su lugar en un creciente movimiento para reconocer el potencial de la partería para mejorar la salud materna en México.Alice Proujansky es una fotógrafa documental que cubre el nacimiento, el trabajo, la maternidad y la identidad. La Fundación Internacional de Medios de la Mujer apoyó este proyecto como parte de la Iniciativa Adelante para América Latina. About the Author Reprints Tags global healthwomen’s health Traer una nueva vida al mundo debe ser una experiencia tranquila y natural, no acompañada por la sutil violencia de la cirugía innecesaria. Debido a que la experiencia de dar a luz de cada mujer está indeleblemente grabada en su memoria, en mi trabajo como partera trato de ayudar a mis pacientes a hacer memorias sobresalientes.Read the article in English here.Antes de comenzar una carrera de partera en 2011, pensé que el parto por cesárea era lo mejor para la madre y el bebé. Eso es lo que yo había visto y oído al crecer en Guatemala y luego lo vi en México, donde las cesáreas son comunes. Si bien este procedimiento puede salvar vidas, también puede conducir a infección, hemorragia, complicaciones en futuros embarazos y problemas respiratorios en los recién nacidos. Comencé a cambiar de opinión durante la escuela de partería en México. Allí aprendí que el parto natural es una opción mucho mejor para la mayoría de los nacimientos y me determiné a ayudar a transformar la forma en que las mujeres en México dan a luz de un procedimiento de intervención a una natural en la que las mujeres se les da la voz que merecen. Durante mi año de servicio, mi año obligatorio de servicio trabajando como comadrona en un pueblo rural llamado Revolución, vi cómo este enfoque podría tener éxito.advertisement Carolina Menchú Enfermeras obstétricas María Dolores Macias Bernal y Adriana Estrada Lomeli atienden al bienestar de Juana López. Pasando el trabajo de parto en una bola y el masaje de espalda son técnicas para el manejo del dolor empleadas a menudo por las parteras y no se utilizan típicamente en salas de maternidad mexicanas. Alice Proujansky López migró de Guatemala para trabajar en Chiapas durante la temporada de cosecha de café. Alice Proujansky Parte de mi trabajo es atender partos y asegurar que las mujeres que no pueden o no deben dar a luz de forma natural obtienen la mejor atención médica posible. La otra parte es enseñar a las parteras las habilidades adicionales que necesitan para ayudar a las mujeres a tener partos saludables y seguros en su hogar y reconocer las situaciones que requieren atención médica.Este trabajo es financiado por Compañeros en Salud, nuestro nombre para los Socios en Salud con sede en los Estados Unidos. Esta organización está trabajando para mejorar la salud en Chiapas y otras regiones desatendidas en México. En colaboración con el Ministerio de Salud de México, Compañeros en Salud ha incorporado la Unidad de Parto Humanizado en la localidad de Ángel Albino Corzo. Es el hogar de un programa piloto que promueve nacimientos respetuosos y culturalmente apropiados atendidos por parteras profesionales, parteras comunitarias, enfermeras, médicos y otros clínicos.La enfermera obstétrica María Dolores Macias Bernal toca el vientre de López mientras trabaja con su sexto parto en el hospital. Alice Proujansky Algunas mujeres embarazadas en la comunidad oyen hablar del centro de boca en boca. Otras nos son enviadas por parteras. Trabajamos como un equipo para ayudar a las mujeres a obtener la atención que necesitan, ya sea la atención prenatal de rutina o el control de la diabetes relacionada con el embarazo o la presión arterial alta o el parto. Dado que el hospital no tiene cirujanos en su personal, las mujeres que necesitan una cesárea deben ser trasladadas a un hospital más de tres horas de distancia que puede realizar el procedimiento.Ayudar a las mujeres a evitar las cesáreas innecesarias es un trabajo del cual me siento muy orgullosa. Observando a las mujeres en el trabajo de parto y escuchándolas, estoy cada vez más convencida de que el empoderamiento de las mujeres para tener partos naturales es mejor para la madre y el bebé. Por supuesto, también es importante saber cuando esta no es la mejor opción para ellas.Cuando viajamos a ciudades lejos de Ángel Albino Corzo, no entramos sin permiso y no le decimos a las parteras qué hacer. En su lugar, esperamos ser invitados a la comunidad para compartir información. Cuando una partera aprende cosas nuevas de nosotros, casi siempre está muy orgullosa de ello — este conocimiento le da una mayor credibilidad en su comunidad. Pero también aprendemos de las parteras. Una de las lecciones más importantes que he aprendido de estas parteras rurales es la importancia de escuchar atentamente a las mujeres embarazadas y las que estan en trabajo de parto.Un equipo de enfermeras obstétricas, un médico y la partera Menchú asisten a un parto. Alice Proujansky Parteras son muy capaces, y no quieren que su trabajo desaparezca, asumido por hospitales impersonales y posiblemente indiferentes. Al mismo tiempo, están dispuestas a aprender nuevas formas de apoyar a las mujeres embarazadas, atender partos e identificar problemas que necesitan atención médica urgente. Como yo, lo único que quieren es lo mejor para sus pacientes.Mi abuelo era un médico tradicional. Sus vecinos a menudo lo buscaban para sanar sus heridas y curar sus enfermedades. A veces también ayudaba a las mujeres duranted su trabajo de parto. A menudo pienso en él ya que trabajo con mujeres embarazadas y con parteras comunitarias, segura de que una mezcla de viejas y nuevas maneras es lo que nuestra comunidad necesita ahora.
Alex Hogan/STAT What’s included? By Ed Silverman Nov. 28, 2017 Reprints GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED About the Author Reprints [email protected] Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Log In | Learn More Rare diseases and trade secrets: Shire and Ultragenyx fight over lists of doctors Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Pharmalot Ed Silverman What is it? @Pharmalot Three months ago, Effendi Ortiz-Toro resigned from Shire Pharmaceuticals (SHPG), where he worked as sales director for the Midwest region, and took a job with Ultragenyx (RARE), which also sells rare-disease drugs. A few weeks later, three regional business managers followed him out the door and also joined Ultragenyx, a scenario that Shire alleges involved stealing confidential information.In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Shire claimed its former employees surreptitiously conspired to take valuable lists of doctors who specialize in treating rare disorders. As a result, Shire argued, Ultragenyx quickly gained a competitive edge and Shire asked a federal court to issue a restraining order to prevent Ultragenyx from marketing a newly approved medicine for treating a rare disease called Sly syndrome. Tags legalpharmaceuticalsrare diseasesSTAT+
About the Author Reprints Two little girls, two similar paths to medicine, but one difference: immigration Aristotle believed that human beings are political animals, something that medical schools often ignore. Adobe Or take the example of allergies, which are even more common. What to do for a child who has gone into anaphylactic shock? Without hesitation, every medical student will say to give the patient epinephrine and write the child a prescription for EpiPens. But with the skyrocketing prices of EpiPens in the last two years, they simply aren’t an option for many families anymore.What good is teaching medical students to recommend treatments that patients won’t use because they can’t afford them?Most medical students — and most of their teachers — will say that medicine and health care should transcend political debate. In a perfect world, it probably should. But that doesn’t happen in the real world, where people tend to pick sides. For instance, the signature legislation of Barack Obama’s presidency was the Affordable Care Act. Thus far, the signature goal of Donald Trump’s presidency seems to be to repeal and replace the ACA, with an emphasis on “repeal.”The disconnect between medicine and politics by medical schools doesn’t mean medical students are apathetic. When President Trump threatened to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, and eventually did so, medical students across the country began social media campaigns, standing up for their colleagues and loved ones who are dreamers. Similar campaigns at medical schools followed the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement, with schools such as the University of California, San Francisco, arranging die-ins that ultimately culminated in the nationwide White Coats for Black Lives movement. In medical school, politics — like most “nonmedical” things — tends to be a distraction. Medical students are generally taught to believe that medicine and politics are not overlapping entities. Clinical medicine, especially, is taught in the vacuum of a perfect world, almost entirely divorced from the reality faced by many of our future patients. Related: First OpinionMedical schools shouldn’t divorce education from politics To reach a diagnosis, we are often presented with one test to run after another, as if our patients will never have to foot the bill. Have a patient with chronic migraines? Order a CT scan. Can’t see anything unusual on the CT? Run an MRI, just to be sure. A workup like that may very well be needed in certain situations, but it’s rarely emphasized that some patients can barely afford a CT scan, much less an MRI.advertisement Related: Faiz Kidwai Why don’t medical schools teach us to confront racism and police brutality? @KidwaiFaiz Yet the culture of medical education fails to emphasize the messy entanglements between medicine and politics. A class on health policy cannot replace classes on pathology or pharmacology, nor should it. But without making policy and public health a major component of medical education instead of a side interest to be pursued on students’ own time, medical schools will continue to churn out exceptionally talented physicians who are exceptionally ill-prepared to deal with the medical bureaucracy and byzantine health care policies that hit them the moment they begin to care for patients. Physicians are no longer just healers, but must also advocates for their patients against these bureaucracies and policies.I don’t believe there is anything immoral about entering medicine with the sole intent of healing people and hoping to have minimal entanglement with the policy side of medicine. But I do believe that is naiveté to the point of fault. We know from public health research that it is difficult to improve outcomes for many patients without simultaneously improving their socioeconomic circumstances. Physicians who are inadequately prepared to tend to these needs through civic engagement face a steep learning curve that takes a while to summit. This limits their effectiveness as healers.More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle concluded that human beings are political animals. I think it’s time that medical schools and medical students acknowledge that reality and do something about it.Faiz Kidwai is a second-year medical student at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. The author thanks Dr. David Annas and Dr. Mary Hon for their contributions to this article. By Faiz Kidwai Jan. 5, 2018 Reprints Many medical schools don’t encourage political thought in their students, far less nurture it. That’s a shame because it squanders an opportunity to equip future thought leaders to deal with serious concerns facing the U.S. population, many of which have their tentacles in politics.In “Experiencing Politics,” a memoir about his 12-year stint in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Harvard’s John McDonough offers an accessible argument about why health care — and medicine by extension — is an inherently political issue. His argument is partly inspired by Niccolo Machiavelli, the infamous 16th century Italian diplomat. McDonough’s argument can be distilled like this:Human nature is insatiable, so humans quibble over limited resources.Health care is a limited resource.Humans will quibble over health care.Politics is the way that civilized societies are supposed to decide how limited resources should be distributed. It makes sense, then, to say that health care is a political issue.advertisement Tags educationphysicians
Tags jobspharmaceuticalsSTAT+ Ed Silverman Alex Hogan/STAT What’s included? Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED What is it? GET STARTED Hired someone new and exciting? Promoting a rising star? Finally solved that hard-to-fill spot?Share the news with us, and we’ll share it with others. That’s right. Send us your changes, and we’ll find a home for them. Don’t be shy. Everyone wants to know who is coming and going. Pharmalot STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. About the Author Reprints [email protected] Log In | Learn More Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. By Ed Silverman Jan. 12, 2018 Reprints @Pharmalot
By Kate Sheridan and Casey Ross Jan. 23, 2019 Reprints One of the nation’s largest health insurers has filed a federal lawsuit to protect its trade secrets from the health care venture launched by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Berkshire Hathaway, making it clear it sees the upstart company as posing a major threat to its business on a national scale.The lawsuit, filed by Optum Inc. in Massachusetts District Court in Boston on Jan. 16, seeks a court order to block one of its former executives, David Smith, from sharing confidential corporate information he allegedly accessed just before he was hired by the new health care company last month. In a sign of its concerns about Atul Gawande’s new venture, Optum sues over trade secrets Atul Gawande Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Geisinger Health System Casey Ross [email protected] What’s included? @caseymross GET STARTED Log In | Learn More STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. National Technology Correspondent Casey covers the use of artificial intelligence in medicine and its underlying questions of safety, fairness, and privacy. He is the co-author of the newsletter STAT Health Tech. General Assignment Reporter Kate covers biotech startups and the venture capital firms that back them. Exclusive About the Authors Reprints [email protected] Tags Bostoninsurancelegalmedical technologySTAT+ @sheridan_kate Kate Sheridan Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED What is it?
Biotech UCB’s $2.5 billion purchase of Ra Pharma underscores immunology focus GET STARTED APSTOCK Log In | Learn More Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. What is it? About the Author Reprints What’s included? By Jonathan Saltzman — Boston Globe Oct. 11, 2019 Reprints Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Another Massachusetts biotech is being bought by a big foreign drug company.Belgian-based UCB said Thursday it plans to buy Ra Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass., company that is developing treatments for rare diseases, for about $2.5 billion. UCB is paying $48 a share, more than double Ra’s closing price Wednesday. Jonathan Saltzman — Boston Globe Tags BostonSTAT Plus biotechnology