Forget Peer Review: Dr. Susan Culican looks to the crowd for untrained eyes and unconventional funding.

susan culican -peerspectrum

Name: Susan M. Culican, MD, PhD

Location: Washington University School of Medicine & St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Specialty: Pediatric Ophthalmology. Residency Director

Welcome back. During our last episode we had an incredible conversation with the founders of Experiment.com, a very novel and exciting platform for crowd funding scientific research. If you missed this episode, definitely check it out. Keith and I came away so impressed with their venture, we decided to take a deeper look at some of the current research. One experiment really jumped out, so we invited the lead researcher to join us. That researcher is today’s guest, Dr. Susan Culican, professor of Ophthalmology and residency directory at the Washington University School of Medicine, and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

We covered a lot of ground in this episode: alternatives to traditional grant funding, resident education and best of all… Susan’s current research that …get ready… actually challenges the long held assumption that only surgeons have the expertise to reliably assess surgical skill. Her experiment seeks to prove that non-clinicians (i.e. the public) while viewing surgical videos can assess surgical skill just as accurately as highly skilled attendings. Not a chance, you say! Well, see how you feel at the end of this episode. You might just change your mind. With that said, let’s get started.

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Undiscovered Country: Research Funding 2.0 with Cindy Wu & Denny Luan, founders of Experiment.com

peerspectrum- experiment.com - Cindy Wu and Denny Luan

“This solution helps close the gap for potential and promising, but unfunded projects.”       – Bill Gates

Name: Cindy Wu & Denny Luan

Location: New York City

Specialty: Co-Founders of Experiment

How do you feel about funding scientific research, particularly medical research? How efficient, effective and fair is the grant system in deploying billions of taxpayer dollars? Are funds targeted towards diseases proportional to their occurrence in patient populations? Are the influences of disease specific non-profit groups helpful or hurtful? Are the interests and activities of biomedical companies aligned with the needs of you, and your patients?

Well, if you think there’s room for some serious improvement, today’s episode is for you.

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Extending Medicine’s Reach. The Future of PA’s and NP’s with Ellen Kurtzman, PhD.

peerspectrum- ellen kurtzman

Name: Ellen Kurtzman, PhD, RN, FAAN

Location: George Washington University School of Nursing. Washington, DC

Specialty: Professor of Nursing and Health Services Researcher

Today we’re exploring the future of PA’s and NP’s. Many of you listening work very closely with them, and in-fact many of you listening are PA’s and NP’s. As the roles, responsibilities and autonomy of PA’s and NP’s continue to grow, an interesting question comes up. Can we actually compare the effectiveness of PA’s and NP’s to doctors?

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First Bitcoin, Next Medicine. Get Ready for Blockchain with Harvard Physician and Technologist, Dr. William Gordon.

peerspectrum- william gordon

Name: William J. Gordon, MD

Location: Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical College: Boston, MA.

Specialty: Clinical Informatics Fellow at Partners HealthCare, Hospitalist and Instructor in Medicine.

All right, welcome back. Imagine a world where patients can access their medical records anytime, anywhere with immutable security. Imagine every instance along a patient’s continuum of care recorded and easily searchable. Imagine the opportunity to meta search millions of health records and data points, and even outcomes, without compromising an individual patient’s personal identity. Imagine patients using these resources to evaluate and choose their hospitals, and even you.

Folks, this isn’t science fiction or wishful thinking. It’s a technology called block-chain and if you’ve heard of bitcoin, you’ve heard of block-chain.

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The Fascinating History of Bad Medicine and Dangerous Belief Systems: Alan Levinovitz, PhD

alan levinovitz-peerspectrum

Name: Alan Levinovitz, PhD

Location: James Madison University: Harrisburg, VA

Specialty: Professor of Religion and Philosophy

“Although scientific training can inoculate against the power of nutritional myths, by no means does it guarantee immunity.”

-Alan Levinovitz, “The Gluten Lie”

All right, welcome back. Do a quick search on Amazon for books about gluten and over three thousand results show up. Everything from cooks books, diet guides and even childrens’ books show up. If you’re a listener to this podcast, and you don’t have celiac disease, these are not the books likely found in your home library.

Happily there’s one book, on the first page of results, that you should own though. Called “The Gluten Lie”, it’s well researched, backed up with peer-reviewed data and it’s about much more than just Gluten. Who wrote this book you ask? An MD out there who was fed up with latest irrational diet craze. No, this book was written by our guest today, Alan Levinovitz, a professor of Religion and Philosophy at James Madison University. As we’ll soon explore with Alan, many of these diet crazes, pseudo science myths and other crazy beliefs are nothing new. They’ve popped up again and again throughout history, and if we don’t learn from history, well, you can guess what happens.

This was a unique conversation and probably one of the funnest yet. Alan is fighting the good fight, writing for The Atlantic, Time, Fortune and NPR just to name a few. He’s also a great guy to talk with and the kind of professor you wish you had had in college. With that said, let’s get started….

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Solo Practice at the World’s Edge. Author, Explorer & Antarctica Base Physician, Dr. Gavin Francis

Gavin Francis on PeerSpectrum Podcast

Name: Gavin Francis, MD

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Specialty: General Practitioner, Emergency Medicine

Dr. Gavin Francis is a general practitioner based in Edinburgh Scotland. He’s also a prolific traveler and an incredibly talented writer.

Today we’re going the explore the 15 months Gavin served as the sole physician at Halley, the British research station in Antarctica. Gavin was it. With no medical team, no back up and pretty limited equipment, Gavin had to be ready for any medical emergency, large or small. During the winter months, Halley is completely cut off from the rest of the world. Ships can’t enter, planes can’t land and you won’t see the sun until spring. It’s hard to imagine being farther off the grid than this. Even the international space station has a Soyuz spacecraft ready for an emergency escape.

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How Would Warren Buffett Pick His Doctor? Norman Beck’s Life Saving Story.

Norman Beck at TedX SMU

Norman Beck has been profiled in the New Yorker, he’s shared his story on the stage of TED, he has breakfast with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates every year, and yet, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of him…until today.

Norman Beck searches for data in hard to reach places. Because he looks where no one else looks, he knows what no one else knows. Norman’s experience and skills were put to the test one day in a doctors office, when he found himself on the receiving end of a life threatening diagnosis. He knew his life depended on the answer to a very serious question: “who is the best surgeon I can find?”

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Don’t skip the eclipse! Surgeon, NASA Consultant & Amateur Astronomer, Dr. Gordon Telepun

corona- gordon telepun
Image courtesy of Gordon Telepun

Name: Gordon Telepun, MD

Location: Decatur, Alabama

Specialty: Plastic Surgeon, Amateur Astronomer

Today we’re going to take a brief departure from our normal routine for a smaller, mini episode. In just one week, the moon’s shadow will be passing over the continental US . If you’ve never seen a solar eclipse, and you’re still not sure if it’s worth all the hype, stay tuned. Our guest, Dr. Gordon Telepun is a plastic surgeon in Decatur Alabama. That’s his day job. Gordon is also a passionate amateur astronomer. He’s traveled to the middle of the ocean, and as far as the plains of southern Africa to see a solar eclipse. His knowledge of eclipses would probably give Neil deGrasse Tyson a run for his money. Gordon has even developed a geo-location app (for viewing the eclipse) that’s being used by NASA next week at two of their observation sites. This episode was fascinating and lot of fun. With that said, let’s get started…

Learn more:

Gordon’s photos from Africa:

https://magnetograph.msfc.nasa.gov/outreach/girlscouts/Gordon_photos.html

Gordon’s Solar Eclipse Tracking App:

https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id1203105865?mt=8

Gordon’s Website:

http://www.foxwoodastronomy.com/

Dr. Telepun’s Practice:

http://www.youngandhealthyskin.com/

Evidence Based Medicine Strikes Back! CNN Producer, Dr. Alok Patel on Medicine in Modern Media

Alok Patel

Name: Alok Patel, MD

Location: Columbia University Medical Center, New York City

Specialty: Pediatrician, Associate Professor, Journalist and Startup Advisor.

How many of you feel like your patients consider you the 2nd opinion after first consulting Dr. Google? How much of your time is spent fighting through a jungle of pseudo science and misinformation just to reach your patients? Why is it so hard to earn their trust?

With all the talk today of fake news, the erosion of journalism and the shallow miasma of modern media things look pretty grim. But this is Peerspectrum. Lamenting over the state of affairs is not what we do here. Despite the circumstances, there are some out there (particularly physicians) engaging these problems head on. Today’s guest is one of them.

Dr. Alok Patel is a Pediatrician and associate professor at Columbia University, in New York City. He’s also rising voice among physicians using modern media to defend and advance medicine.

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Treating Fighter Jet Pilots and Guiding the Next Generation of Physicians: Dr. Ryan Gray

Flight Surgeon
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Grace Lee

Name: Ryan Gray, MD

Location: Boulder, CO

Specialty: Flight Surgeon and Founder of MedicalSchoolHQ

So, where do the Air Force’s elite bomber crews, fighter jet pilots and even drone navigators go when they need to see a doctor? They go see a guy like today’s guest, Dr. Ryan Gray. Ryan is an Aerospace Medicine physician, also known as a flight surgeon. As a flight surgeon, Ryan treated some Air-force’s most elite fliers. He was also responsible for evaluating their flight readiness, sometimes having to ground pilots and crew members who were not medically cleared to fly. As you can imagine, not everyone was eager to find themselves in Ryan’s clinic, fearing a medical disqualification that could literally ground their careers. We’re going to learn how Ryan navigated this challenging dynamic, and the tactics he used to build trust with his patients. We’re also going to learn how a young airman’s question sparked a new mission for Ryan, the mission he now pursues as an educator and physician entrepreneur.

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