Daily Rounds: How To Fix NIH; AMA Debates Mandate; Study: 1 In 13 Kids Allergic

Growing a better NIH - "So let me propose a thought experiment: What if the overriding goal of the National Institutes of Health was not further advances in medical research, but actually improving people’s health? Were we to start from scratch, what institutional arrangement would do a better job of improving the health and well-being of the citizens of the United States for the $30 billion we spend on it every year? Based on three decades of experience designing large-scale knowledge enterprises, including the Earth Institute at Columbia University and, more recently, the reconceptualized Arizona State University, I would argue that a reorganized NIH would look very different from the current agency." (

amednews: Coverage of the 2011 AMA Annual Meeting ... American Medical News "The question of whether Americans should be required to buy health insurance prompted intense debate during a reference committee hearing on June 19. Delegates discussed whether to maintain the AMA's support for the individual mandate or to rescind that support. Much of the testimony was focused on Massachusetts and whether an individual insurance mandate in place there since 2006 has worked. "Massachusetts is not perfect, but we've done a great job," said Alice Coombs, MD, an anesthesiologist and a critical care specialist who is a former president of the Massachusetts Medical Society." (

1 in 13 children have food allergy, study says - The Associated Press CHICAGO — "Food allergies affect about 1 in 13 US children, double the latest government estimate, a new study suggests. The researchers say about 40 percent of those children have severe reactions, a finding they hope will erase misconceptions that food allergies are just like hay fever and other seasonal allergies that are troublesome but not dangerous. Overall, 8 percent of the children studied had food allergies; peanuts and milk were the most common sources. That translates to nearly 6 million US children. The new study, funded by an advocacy group, is based on online interviews with parents of children younger than 18 and involved 40,104 children. Research firm Knowledge Networks conducted the survey. Families were recruited through random telephone dialing." (

Enthusiasm Rises Among Med Students For Primary Care—The KHN Interview - Kaiser Health News "By 2020, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that the country will be short 45,000 primary care physicians. So far, the signs are encouraging. For the second year in a row, family medicine residency programs had a record enrollment rate (2011 saw an increase of 11 percent over 2010). An additional 100 slots were also added to meet the rising demand. Some say the focus on primary care in the federal health overhaul law, called the  Affordable Care Act, deserves much of the credit for rising interest in family medicine." (

Graphic cigarette labels aim to curb smoking - "The government’s new, nastier-than-ever cigarette labels are expected to roll out later this week, plastering large images of cancer lesions, diseased lungs and rotten teeth across packaging to shock smokers into kicking the habit. “For the first time ever, they will say that tobacco products are addictive, and they will say in the bluntest of terms that tobacco can kill,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said. (Boston Herald)

This program aired on June 20, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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