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Innovations in Medicine

During a special speakers series at the AMA’s June Annual Meeting, six physician leaders shared insights into changes taking place today that will drive the nation toward more affordable care, healthier patients and more professionally satisfied physicians.

View videos of each speaker’s presentation. Below, read a synopsis of the event. The speakers:

Howard Bauchner, MD Howard Bauchner, MD, editor-in-chief, The JAMA Network demonstrates how he embraced change, managed risk and dared to experiment in order to successfully bring technological innovations to JAMA. Learn how the right vision and resources can improve how we all use technology to communicate.
Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, executive director, National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, explains why she is not telepathic, as some of her patients think, but rather how asking patients what they ate and drank in the previous 24 hours helps her identify many of their medical problems.
Fatima Cody Stanford, MD
Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, clinical and research fellow in obesity medicine and nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, relates how the obesity-related deaths of her young cousin and an 11 year-old girl compelled her to tackle obesity medicine.
David Ellington, MD David Ellington, MD, family physician and member of the CPT Editorial Panel, decodes the arcane process of developing new CPT codes for services that previously went unreimbursed.
Grace Terrell, MD Grace Terrell, MD, president and CEO, Cornerstone Healthcare, primary care physician, member of AMA Innovators Committee, shares the story of two patients, "Hyacinth and Rose," and how vastly different each of their medical journeys in pursuit of treatment for the same disease turned out.
Bechara Choucair, MD Bechara Choucair, MD, commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health, attests to the vital importance of improving access for all—access to health care, healthy choices and health-related information. Learn how people from different sectors are collaborating to make Chicago the country's healthiest city.


“Innovations in Medicine” speakers paint vision of future, spark conversations

An inspiring AMA event debuted in June to an excited crowd of physicians and medical students gathered in Chicago for the Annual Meeting.

The AMA's "Innovations in Medicine" program, a series of brief, informal presentations in the style of TED Talks, captured the audience's imagination and painted a picture of innovations for the future of medicine. Six physician thinkers and doers shared insights into changes taking place today that will drive the nation toward more affordable care, healthier patients and more professionally satisfied physicians.

Howard Bauchner, MD, editor-in-chief of The JAMA Network, kicked off the event with a single question: "How do you manage change in a complex situation?" One of the keys, he said, is a shared vision. In the span of just 90 minutes, he and the other speakers gave just that.

David Ellington, MD, and Grace Terrell, MD, explained the ways in which the environment is already changing that are enabling physicians to restructure how they deliver care to keep patients with chronic illness healthy. Following changes to their group practice's payment model, one of Dr. Terrell's colleagues remarked, "This is the way I've wanted to practice medicine my whole life."

The audience was challenged to re-evaluate how they treat overweight patients when Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, shared stories of numerous patients who presented with obesity but were struggling with underlying health issues, including two young people who died in their sleep from undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. "The environment in which our bodies function has changed," she said. "When we see patients, we need to recognize that there may be things outside of their realms of control."

Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD, highlighted how spending time asking patients a few questions about their diet can lead to simple solutions for health ailments – and save health care dollars. Finding out that a pregnant woman doesn't eat vegetables can help prevent spina bifida in her child, or asking a young person what they drink may help determine why they have insomnia or heart palpitations.

Bechara Choucair, MD, provided a fitting conclusion with his vision for improving the health of an entire city. As commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, he has applied his internal medicine background in citywide initiatives that empower patients to make the right choices.

He shared an image from the city's campaign to reduce teen pregnancy, which features a photo of a pregnant teenage boy with the caption, "Unexpected? Most teen pregnancies are." The campaign sparked conversations throughout Chicago and captured media attention across the nation and the world.

Before closing, Dr. Choucair encouraged physicians to move forward with these ideas in their own communities. "You can make a difference," he said.