The Brief  
Stanford Medicine
September 2017
Message From Dean Minor
Credit: Steve Fisch
Message from Dean Minor
Every fall, I have the distinct privilege of welcoming another extraordinary new group of students to Stanford Medicine. Like Harriet Kiwanuka, the first-year MD student pictured above, these scholars come from around the globe with various perspectives and experiences. They’ve played the bagpipes, founded a green technology company, published poetry, won an Olympic gold medal, and made a lasting impact on underserved communities.

I’m especially pleased to welcome the outstanding inaugural class of our new Master of Science in physician assistant studies. They will join remarkable new cohorts of MD, PhD, and master’s students — all of whom will raise science and medicine to new heights.

To our new students: know that you have the full weight of the Stanford Medicine community behind you as you begin this new chapter in your journey to uncover the mysteries of human health and improve the well-being of people everywhere.

Spotlight
Doctors Are Burning Out Because Electronic Medical Records Are Broken
Credit: Unsplash
Doctors Are Burning Out Because Electronic Medical Records Are Broken
Electronic medical records (EMRs) were supposed to make health care better — but they haven’t. Instead, EMRs are incredibly time consuming and too often force physicians to focus on digital record-keeping rather than the patients in front of them. In an opinion piece in Quartz, I share my perspective on how EMRs are among the core issues that lead to physician burnout and call for a major revamp of EMR design. Read more.
Latest Stanford and Intermountain Grant Recipients Announced
Credit: Pixabay
Latest Stanford and Intermountain Grant Recipients Announced
Our innovative care delivery collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare, a Utah-based not-for-profit health system, has reached a milestone. Last month, five seed grants were issued to both organizations, and I’m thrilled that the projects address many critical areas, including electronic decision support, genomic analysis for earlier illness detection, team-based surgical and primary care models, and more. Learn more.
Tumor Donation Yields Answers for Devastating Form of Childhood Cancer
Courtesy of the Kranz family
Tumor Donation Yields Answers for Devastating Form of Childhood Cancer
In 2013, the parents of Jennifer Kranz, who died from an incurable brain tumor, donated her tumor tissue to Stanford Medicine with the hope of learning why her tumor had spread so fast. It was a courageous act that has led Stanford Medicine neurologist Michelle Monje and her colleagues to new insights about how cancer can hijack the brain’s growth factors. Read more.
Lucy Kalanithi Speaks About Medicine, Empathy, and Meaning
Credit: Stanford Video
Lucy Kalanithi Speaks About Medicine, Empathy, and Meaning
It was an honor to host Stanford Medicine physician Lucy Kalanithi for a wide-ranging conversation during orientation for first-year medical students. She shared how caring for her late husband Paul, a Stanford neurosurgeon who wrote the critically acclaimed memoir When Breath Becomes Air after receiving a stage IV lung cancer diagnosis, shaped her perspectives on the physician-patient relationship and the power of empathy and resilience. Read more and watch video.

Precision Health News
Immune System Changes During Pregnancy Are Precisely Timed
Credit: KonstantinChristian/Shutterstock
Immune System Changes During Pregnancy Are Precisely Timed
Stanford Medicine scientists have found that a woman’s immune system changes throughout pregnancy in a highly orchestrated manner, a finding that lays the groundwork for tests to predict preterm birth. Read more.
https://www.onlineregistrationcenter.com/register/222/page1.asp?m=275&c=217
Credit: Shutterstock
Genome Analysis with Near-Complete Privacy Possible
A cross-disciplinary Stanford research team devised a method to scour complete genomes for disease-associated genes without revealing any unrelated information — protecting privacy and ameliorating potential discrimination concerns. Read more.
Crunching the Image Data: Using AI to Look at Biopsies
Credit: John Hersey
Crunching the Image Data: Using AI to Look at Biopsies
Artificial intelligence, once an academic discipline, is now on the cusp of transforming health care. In the Dean’s Letter from the latest edition of Stanford Medicine Magazine, Dean Lloyd Minor shows how machines are enhancing human vision. Read more.

Stanford–EMBL Personalized Health Conference
Courtesy of EMBL
Stanford–EMBL Personalized Health Conference
Jointly organized with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), this gathering will bring together basic and clinical scientists to discuss the integration of systems biology into medical practice.
Wednesday through Saturday, November 1–4
Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center
Register by September 30.

State of Stanford Medicine
Credit: Norbert von der Groeben
State of Stanford Medicine
Dean Lloyd Minor, David Entwistle, and Christopher Dawes will provide an update on Stanford Medicine and the integrated strategic planning process during this open forum.
Tuesday, October 24
12–1 pm
Berg Hall

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