Bander Center Updates
The Bander Center for Medical Business Ethics was officially inaugurated on April 8th, 2008, with a speech from Matthew Wynia, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Institute of Ethics at the American Medical Association. His talk, “Ethics and Pay for Performance (P4P): What is known of the effects of P4P on physician ethics and the patient-physician relationship?” focused on the possible ethical pitfalls of P4P, including whether these programs were inequitable or de-professionalizing for physicians, and if they discourage treatment of vulnerable groups of patients. His lecture also laid out a research agenda for P4P programs to ensure they meet both physician and patient interests. Wynia engaged the audience and was drawn into numerous discussions afterward at a reception in the top floor of the new Saint Louis University Research building. To view slides from his presentation, click here.
We are also pleased to welcome our first two medical school faculty fellows, Miriam B. Rodin, M.D., Ph.D., and Govind Nagaldinne, M.B.B.S., both from the Department of Internal Medicine. Working with fellowship director Erin Bakanas, M.D., M.A., the two will dedicate 10% effort for 1 year to the Bander Center for education and research activities centered on medical business ethics. With this program, the Bander Center hopes to develop a network of medical business ethics professionals both at Saint Louis University and the broader national medical community.
The Bander Center has already embarked on projects to promote ethical business practice in medical care and research through education, training, and research in the field. In May, just over 100 physicians in the Saint Louis University community completed the Bander Center Medical Business Ethics CME Needs Assessment. The survey collected preferences on the topics, formats, and forums for medical business ethics CME from a wide range of departments at the School of Medicine. CME courses in physician and pharmaceutical interactions and conflicts of interest in medical research are already underway. Additionally, James DuBois, center director, and Elena Yates, center coordinator, have been working with Saint Louis University Medical Center’s task force dedicated to developing new policy on interactions of physicians and students with pharmaceutical and other medical industry companies.
The Bander Endowed Lecture for 2008, entitled “Health Care Band-Aids: How to Fix America’s Ailing Health Care System” was timely. Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health, gave the lecture, focusing on the state of our ailing health care system, possibilities for a fix and then offered support for his own solution.
Pictured: Ezekiel Emanuel (center) with Dr. Bander and his wife, Patricia.
With the recent election of Barack Obama, who promised major health care reform, and the appointment of Dr. Emanuel’s brother, Rahm Emanuel, as Obama’s chief of staff, there was added excitement for what Ezekiel Emanuel calls the “Guaranteed Healthcare Access Plan,” a strategy he developed with Stanford economist Victor Fuchs. Ultimately, the plan involves integrated reforms in health financing and health delivery to produce a complete overhaul of our current system, which he argues is the only way to make health care more efficient and available to 100% of our population, while boosting our down-turned economy in the process (The slides from his lecture are available online.).
Dr. Griffin Trotter, a physician-ethicist from the Department of Health Care Ethics, described Dr. Emanuel’s plan as “one of the most sophisticated proposals for universal healthcare access put forth so far. It is ambitious and sweeping, yet also detailed and realistic. Further, it resides outside the box of partisan politics, offering insights for individuals of many political persuasions. The Bander Lecture featured a whirlwind tour of Emanuel’s plan, and invigorating discussion.”
In addition to his position at the NIH and his expertise in health care reform, Dr. Emanuel is also an internationally known bioethicist and breast oncologist, and has written extensively on the ethics of clinical research, advance care directives, end of life care issues, euthanasia, the ethics of managed care and the physician-patient relationship. He has also recently published Healthcare Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America in which he highlights his vision of a reformed health care system for America.
For more information about these events or the Bander Center, please contact Elena Yates, the Center Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 977-6667, or visit our website at http://www.slu.edu/bander.xml.