October 2000 Bulletin

In the News

Clinton to issue new regulations on medical records

The Clinton administration said it will issue new federal standards requiring doctors, hospitals, pharmacists and insurance companies to limit the disclosure of medical information about individual patients. The new rules will be issued before the November elections. The health care industry and insurance companies would have two years to comply. The original rules, issued Nov. 3, 1999, applied mainly to information transmitted electronically or stored in computers. The new rules also apply to many paper records. The original rules were supposed to advise patients of their rights and tell them how personal medical information may be used or disclosed. The new rules are likely to require doctors to get patients to sign forms saying that they have received such notices. Violations could result in fines of $50,000 and one-year prison terms. Violations for commercial or personal gain have penalties of $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison.

Residency training chairs support diversity goals

In May, the Diversity Committee asked 153 Residency Training Program chairs if they "supported the goals of the Diversity Committee" and "if they were interested in welcoming qualified women and minorities into their residency program." The committee found that 101 Residency Training Program chairs responded positively, which is more than a 34 percent increase from 1999, when 75 chairs responded positively.

Experts to address state societies at strategy meeting

Experts in legislation, marketing, association management and practicing orthopaedists are on the agenda for the State Society Strategy Meeting on Nov. 18-19, 2000 in the Hyatt Rosemont hotel, adjacent to the AAOS offices, Rosemont, Ill. The State Orthopaedic Societies Committee of the Board of Councilors arranged the meeting to help state orthopaedic societies strengthen organizationally and legislatively. Subjects include the role of orthopaedic societies in the business of medicine, group mergers and insurance negotiation, how to be an effective leader, and grass roots advocacy. For more information contact Joyce Knauss, AAOS Health Policy department, (847) 384-4334.

NIAMS meeting in Dec. to focus on health disparities

Current knowledge on genetic and environmental factors that play a role in the marked differences in the prevalence, morbidity and disability associated with specific rheumatic, musculoskeletal and skin conditions in various populations is the focus of a meeting to be held by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) on Dec. 15-16, 2000. The meeting, "Health Disparities in Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases," will identify challenges and emerging opportunities for research in these areas and highlight intervention strategies that could provide models for reducing these disparities.

Medical education changes to meet society’s needs

Medical education continues to evolve with and respond to society’s changing health care needs, according to reports released by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The reports were issued Sept. 22, 2000 to celebrate "A Century of Reform–Medical Education’s Quiet Revolution to Meet America’s Health Care Needs." Over the years, the AAMC has tracked the many changes in medical education. For example, as the population grows older, medical schools are adding training in geriatrics to their curricula. According to AAMC data, in 1985, 82 percent of medical schools taught geriatrics as part of a required course; by 1997, 95 percent of schools included geriatrics training in the required curriculum. Most medical schools (88 percent) offer students the opportunity to learn the skills of evidence-based medicine, fostering the ability of students to make better decisions in an increasingly complex medical world. Almost 70 percent of medical schools offer some formal training in cultural competence, and 14 percent plan to introduce it in the curriculum.

22% of parents want children to be doctors

A national survey of 800 registered voters in June found 22 percent of parents selected doctor as the "career, business, or profession" they would like to see their children choose. When the same question was asked in February 1965, 18 percent of the respondents selected doctor. A career in medicine is followed closely by computer/technology careers at 17 percent, a profession not represented in 1965. The survey was conducted for the Association of American Medical Colleges by Public Opinion Strategies based in Alexandria, Va.

Gene R. Wurth appointed new OREF president

Gene R. Wurth has been appointed president of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF). Wurth formerly was president and CEO of Provena Covenant Medical Center Foundation, Urbana, Ill. Tom Coffman is stepping down as OREF president to become president of Children’s United Rehabilitation Effort.

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