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Military veterans to benefit from federal health training grants

Washington -- New White House initiatives are prodding medical schools to train military veterans for health care jobs and encouraging health centers to hire veterans. Universities and colleges that train veterans to be physician assistants will be given higher scores when applying for federal physician assistant training grants, according to an Oct. 25 announcement by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the Dept. of Health and Human Services. The move is part of White House efforts to connect veterans to jobs. "No veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation overseas," President Obama said on Nov. 7. "Our war fighters have been hit disproportionately hard by the economic downturn with unemployment rates that eclipse their non-military cohorts," said Bob Wallace, executive director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. The Obama administration also encouraged employers to list their job openings on a new da ...

Only 1 in 10 physicians asks patients what they expect from care

Eighty-five percent of physicians say it is important to know what patients expect from a hospital stay to ensure high-quality care, yet only one in 10 doctors asks about patient expectations. Nurses are likelier to quiz patients about their expectations, with 20% doing so, according to a survey of more than 1,000 physicians and nurses in the U.S. and three other countries published in November's BMJ Quality and Safety. Forty-seven percent of respondents were physicians and 53% were nurses. The gap between physicians' recognition that patient expectations are important and their failure to ask about them constitutes a "blind spot," the study says. "Expectations are definitely an important component of patient satisfaction, which is the congruence between the patient's expectations and his perceptions at the end of treatment," said Ronen Rozenblum, PhD, MPH, director of the unit for innovative health care practice and technology in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Center for Pa ...

AMA announces App Challenge winners

The idea to replace the index cards that many physicians carry in their lab coats to keep track of hospitalized patients with a smartphone application was a winning one, the American Medical Association decided. The AMA selected the idea for the "Rounder" app as one of two winners to its 2011 AMA App Challenge, which invited physicians, residents and medical students to submit medical app ideas for a smartphone or tablet application. The other winning app, "JAMA Clinical Challenge," is a learning tool that tests physicians' diagnostic skills and offers educational information on specific diagnoses. The app contest was launched last summer and had hundreds of entries. There were two categories: one for ideas submitted by physicians and the other for ideas submitted by residents or medical students. In September, five finalists from each category were announced. Michael Ray Bykhovsky, a third-year medical student at Georgia Health Science University in Augusta, was the winner in ...