Discrimination, Abuse, and Harassment in Medical Training

A recent study (Y-Y Hu et al. NEJM 2019; 381: 1741-52) reported high rates of discrimination, abuse, and harassment based on a cross-sectional survey of general surgical residents (n=7409) in 2018.

Key findings:

  • 31.9% reported gender discrimination and 16.6% reported racial discrimination–with main source being patients/families
  • 30.3% reported verbal or physical abuse and 10.3% reported sexual harassment -with attending surgeons being the most frequent sources
  • Residents who experienced discrimination, abuse or harassment were more likely to have symptoms of burnout (OR 2.94) and suicidal thoughts (OR 3.07).  Overall, weekly burnout symptoms were noted in 38.5% of residents and 4.5% reported suicidal thoughts in previous year

The authors note that there were substantial numbers of programs with very low rates of mistreatment which indicates that improvement in training environment is feasible.

My take: This is a black eye for the entire healthcare field.  It is important to address these pervasive problems and to determine the rate of these issues in other areas of medicine.

Botanical Gardens, Chicago

#NASPGHAN19 Annual Meeting -Plenary Session

Here are some notes and a few slides from NASPGHAN’s plenary session.  There could be errors of transcription in my notes.

Benjamin Gold, NASPGHAN president and part of our GI group, GI Care For Kids, welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Link to NASPGHAN_Annual_Meeting_Program 2019

The first speaker, Jack Gilbert, gave the William F Balistreri lecture.  Dr. Gilbert has written a book on the topic of our ‘magnificent microbiome,’ Dirt is Good.  Here are a few slides:

Related study (not discussed in the talk): A recent study (R Vasapolli et al. Gastroenterology 2019; 157: 1081-91) provided data from 21 healthy adults. Using biopsies from panendoscopy and saliva/fecal samples, the authors found that the fecal microbiome is not representative of the mucosal microbiome.  In addition, each GI region had a different bacterial community.

Christopher Forrest gave the keynote lecture on pediatric learning health systems. By collating data from large pediatric health systems, the researchers can determine more quickly how effective treatments are in all pediatric specialties.

Melvin Heyman, editor of JPGN, provided a good year in review. I only capture a few images.

#NASPGHAN19 Impact of New Technologies on Patient Health

Along with Ragh Varier, I had the privilege of moderating a session on new technologies on patient health.  Below I’ve included a few slides and some notes; my notes may have errors of omission or transcription.

Chicago

 

Dr. Mehta’s lecture focused on wearable health technologies. Key points:

  • It is already in use in some areas (eg. continuous glucose monitoring for diabetes, ECG sensors).
  • She noted that wearable technology dates back to the 1600s with the abacus ring
  • Challenges: Accuracy, Actionability/outcome improvement, Reaching at-risk populations (not just the ‘worried well’ populations), regulation, sustainability (users may abandon quickly), and ethical/privacy concerns
  • Some families taking technology into their own hands, so to speak. #WeAreNotWaiting.  Example: artificial pancreas device system

Dr. Syed’s lecture focused on artificial intelligence in medical-decision making. Key points:

  • AI is already in use in areas like facial recognition
  • AI may be able to increase polyp detection rate in colonoscopy and improve histology reading
  • Her team has been working on using AI to help distinguishing enviromental enteropathy histology from other etiologies
  • Other potential uses: AI to help predict Crohn’s disease progression based on histology

Related study (not discussed in talk): Z Deng, H Shi et al. Gastroenterology 2019; 157: 1044-54. The authors collected more than 113 million images from 6970.  With a deep-learning algorithm, they found that video capsule endoscopy could have higher detection rates and improved reading time with a “CNN-based” reading system (CNN=convolutional neural network).  The mean reading time was reduced from 97 minutes with conventional reading to 6 minutes with CNN-based reading system.  The later had 99.88% sensitivity in per-patient analysis (vs. 74.57% with conventional reading).

The oral abstract presentation, by Sonja Swenson, detailed how machine learning was applied to try to improve transplantation selection/PELD scores.

  • The authors of this abstract (437) used data from 6273 patients with PELD scores and added additional variables to try to identify a more accurate model.
  • Link: All NASPGHAN 2019 Abstracts

Dr. Li, known by some as the ’emperor of emesis,’ presented a lecture on telemedicine. His full slides: Telemedicine NASPGHAN Updated 2019 (B Li)

Key points:

  • When surveyed, patients/families prefer telemedicine over conventional medicine.  Key reason is convenience
  • Lots of issues from health care provider viewpoint: reimbursement, licensing (improving), increased time
  • Many examples of telemedicine/telemonitoring that are ongoing

Disclaimer: NASPGHAN/gutsandgrowth assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. The discussion, views, and recommendations as to medical procedures, choice of drugs and drug dosages herein are the sole responsibility of the authors. Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the Society cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure. Some of the slides reproduced in this syllabus contain animation in the power point version. This cannot be seen in the printed version.

 

#NASPGHAN19 Selected Abstracts (Part 2)

Link to full NASPGHAN 2019 Abstracts.

Here are some more abstracts/notes that I found interesting at this year’s NASPGHAN meeting.

A study (poster below) from Cincinnati found that a vedolizumab level ≥34.8 mcg/mL at week 6 (prior to 3rd infusion) predicted clinical response at 6 months

Related blog posts:

The poster below reported a high frequency of eosinophilic disorders in children who have undergone intestinal transplantation. Related blog post: Eosinophilic disease in children with intestinal failure

This study from Boston indicates that acid suppression was not associated with improved outcomes in infants with laryngomalacia (eg. lower supraglottoplasy rates or lower aspiration rates.

Related blog posts:

The study below showed that “less than half of children who started the low FODMAP diet were able to complete the elimination phase.” This indicates the need for careful dietary counseling when attempting this therapy.

Related blog posts:

The abstract below showed that the dietary intake of children with inflammatory bowel disease, who were not receiving enteral nutrition therapy, was similar to healthy control children.

The next two studies provide some pediatric experience with tofacitinib in teenagers with inflammatory bowel disease (14-18 years of age).  The first poster had 12 children and reported a 67% clinical response rate (cohort with 5 with CD, 5 with UC, and 2 with IC).  The second poster had 4 of 6 with a clinical response and 3 in remission.

Related blog posts -Tofacitinib:

Disclaimer: This blog, gutsandgrowth, assumes no responsibility for any use or operation of any method, product, instruction, concept or idea contained in the material herein or for any injury or damage to persons or property (whether products liability, negligence or otherwise) resulting from such use or operation. These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Because of rapid advances in the medical sciences, the gutsandgrowth blog cautions that independent verification should be made of diagnosis and drug dosages. The reader is solely responsible for the conduct of any suggested test or procedure.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.