This February I had the pleasure of addressing Feinberg medical students for their noon luncheon series on Health Disparities. My presentation discussed the challenges that the open spaces of Montana present for patients seeking specialty healthcare. The concept that some counties in my home state are the size of Connecticut yet have only one provider (a physician assistant) to care for the population is hard to grasp for our urban students. They were very interested in how cardiologists and oncologists provide evaluation and ongoing care to patients hundreds of miles away through telemedicine (live interactive videoconferencing). Patients previously excluded from clinical trials and unaware of newer therapies can now benefit from a flatter earth. There is cognitive dissonance for medical students between the hands-on care they are learning now and the connectivity they use daily in their social networking. However, we can plan on them embracing this and other technologies in their future practices.
This message is my last offering to Ward Rounds as I handed the gavel over to the able Dr. James “Jimmy” Hill at Alumni Weekend in April. The two years seem as if they passed in a flash, but the changes at the medical school have been significant. The pages of Ward Rounds document some of the transformations and the campus skyline reflects the momentum as well.
I really look forward to my semi-annual visits to Chicago for National Alumni Board meetings during the best seasons – autumn and spring. I encourage you to place your hat in the ring and share your enthusiasm for our alma mater.
All the best!
F. Douglas Carr, MD ’78, MMM
President, Alumni Association