Osmosis.org explores solutions with top experts to strengthen the capacity of our healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
New Hope for Patients with Black Bone Disease - Nick Sireau, CEO and Chair of Trustees at the AKU Society
Just a few weeks ago we shared the story of John Crowley’s family and their battle with Pompe disease on Raise the Line, and in this episode, we’re honored to share another remarkable story of a rare disease parent and the contributions they've made beyond their efforts to help their own loved ones. Nick Sireau is the CEO and Chair of Trustees of the AKU Society, an award-winning patient group that helps people with Alkaptonuria (AKU), sometimes referred to as black bone disease, a rare disorder affecting both of his children. In AKU patients, a build-up of acid in the body leads to a painful breakdown of bones and joints, and serious heart complications. Nick’s tireless efforts have led to some extraordinary results, including making the very first treatment for AKU available. Nick is also Founder and Chair of Orchard, a medical charity that works to develop new and better treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a misunderstood mental illness that Nick has battled for many years. Join host Shiv Gaglani for a fascinating look at the impact one parent has had on the welfare of so many, and for advice for those weighing career options in the healthcare field. “There are hundreds, if not thousands of these ultra-rare diseases that just nobody is touching.”
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What Changes Are Needed in Nursing Education - Dr. Katie Kay, University Dean for West Coast University College of Nursing
As Dr. Katie Kay reflects on what adjustments need to be made to nursing curricula in light of the pandemic, she is not focused mainly on academic content. “We have to address some gaps in curriculums across the board that really prepare individuals for what they're going to encounter in the healthcare setting.” Assessing grit, making sure students seek out resources when they are struggling and adding resilience and wellness training to the mix are top-of-mind examples. As University Dean for West Coast University College of Nursing, Kay is able to impact learning for thousands of students in the largest states in the country where the pandemic has left demand for nurses at an all-time high. In this wide-ranging conversation with host Shiv Gaglani, Kay touches on ways the nursing field can reduce burnout, and gives her opinion on how to successfully implement new technology in the healthcare system. She also speaks about ways the pandemic caused a shift in student expectations around education, the need for faculty to center themselves to best serve students and why hospitals should view nursing as an operational expense versus a billable service. Don’t miss this chance to learn about current and future challenges and opportunities in nursing education.
Mentioned in this episode: https://westcoastuniversity.edu
Exploring Trends & Opportunities in Oral Healthcare - Ann Battrell, CEO of the American Dental Hygienists Association and Laura Skarnulis, CEO of the Dental Assisting National Board and the DALE Foundation
The increasing integration of oral healthcare with medical care could lead to a reconsideration of roles and responsibilities on care teams in both fields. That’s just one of the emerging trends in oral healthcare we explore on this episode of Raise the Line with guests Laura Skarnulis, CEO of the Dental Assisting National Board and the DALE Foundation, and Ann Battrell, CEO of the American Dental Hygienists Association. Both agree this trend, among others, is making oral healthcare an increasingly dynamic field of employment. “There are so many opportunities, pathways, jobs, and environments in which to work,” says Skarnulis. “People can make all different kinds of choices today that never had been there before,” Battrell adds. There is also an ongoing need for both dental assistants and dental hygienists, with the supply in both roles declining during the pandemic due to retirements and other factors. In their informative conversation with host Shiv Gaglani, these industry experts also dive into issues surrounding scope of practice, the benefits of having diversified experiences throughout one’s career and why it’s important to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” to maximize professional and personal growth.
Making Rare Disease Treatments A Priority - John Crowley, Executive Chairman at Amicus Therapeutics
It was on a Friday the 13th in late winter 1997 when John Crowley’s life changed forever. John and his wife Aileen had been noticing concerning symptoms in their infant daughter Megan for several months, and after a few rounds of testing she was diagnosed with a rare form of muscular dystrophy known as Pompe disease. Doctors told the Crowleys their daughter likely only had a few years to live, an outlook that ultimately sparked John’s remarkable efforts to find treatments for Megan as well as her younger brother Patrick, who was also struck with Pompe. His family’s amazing journey was the inspiration for the movie Extraordinary Measures starring Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford. Join host Shiv Gaglani in this captivating and inspiring conversation with Crowley, now the Executive Chairman at Amicus Therapeutics, to learn about how he and his team are shedding light on some of the rarest diseases in the world, the promise of new technology in genetics, and the need for an Operation Warp Speed to develop rare disease treatments. As Crowley puts it, “We can beat nature, we think, in the years and decades ahead. We just oftentimes have to beat time.”
Mentioned in this episode: https://amicusrx.com/
Empowering Consumers to Make Better Health Decisions - Dr. Taylor Sittler, Head of Research & Development at Levels
Direct-to-consumer healthcare and how technology can empower people to be active participants in achieving and maintaining their own good health is a favorite topic on Raise the Line. Today we’re going to take a closer look at how one consumer health device that’s growing sharply in popularity, continuous glucose monitors, can be used to drive healthier decisions. Millions of Americans wear the devices to see the impact of what they eat on their bodies, but it can be difficult for people to use that information. That’s where Levels enters the picture, a health tech company helping people discover how diet and lifestyle choices impact their metabolic functioning. “We're enabling people to better understand what health decisions they should be making,” says Dr. Taylor Sittler, the company’s Head of Research and Development. Levels does that through an app that presents data from the monitors in a way that people can understand. For example, you can see a chart showing your glucose levels over the course of the day. Next up for Levels is supporting people as they act on the information, and providing data on exercise and sleep. Join host Michael Carrese as he explores this growing area of medical technology with Dr. Sittler, and how measuring and monitoring resilience can also play an important role in improving health.
Mentioned in this episode: https://www.levelshealth.com
A New Tool to Improve Clinic Visits for Both Patients and Providers – Dr. David Canes, Founder of WellPrept
Unlike many young children who are fearful of visits to the doctor, Dr. David Canes was fascinated by his. This early interest set the foundation for a career in medicine, leading him to become a skilled urologist and robotic surgeon. But he started to feel unsatisfied with the repetition of information he needed to deliver during patient appointments. “I think there's a lot of other doctors like me who really love making a connection with another human being who needs your help, but if you are repetitively explaining things, you enter an autopilot type of mindset and it really bothered me a lot.” Ultimately, the patient-centered solution he developed grew into the company Wellprept, which empowers doctors to curate educational content that can easily be shared with patients before appointments via a single link. Happily, it’s working well for both the physicians who are using the system and their patients. “The "ah-ha" moment seems to be that the patient comes back in and says, ‘thank you so much for sending me that,’ and then the provider notices that the visit is better.” Check out this wide-ranging conversation with host Shiv Gaglani, in which Dr. Canes shares his insights on other ways to reduce physician burnout, thoughts on improving the doctor-patient relationship, and tips on planning for a long-term career in medicine.
Mentioned in this episode: https://wellprept.com
Thought provoking conversations
As a medical student, I am often grappling with our current medical education system and envisioning ways to improve it. Although I am early in my training, I have a strong conviction that it is never too soon to bring about positive change. It is for this reason that I found this podcast, especially the episode with Dr. Sanjay Desai, so engaging an enlightening.
In that specific episode, which aired on June 1st, 2022, Dr. Desai shared his vision for the future of medical education. He challenged us, the listeners, to question the current system, open our minds about alternative means to achieve medical competency, and defy the ambivalence that often emerges after years of rigorous medical training.
It was a raw yet encouraging conversation, one that left me longing for a way to get involved and play my part in making our system more effective, equitable, and sustainable.
Great stuff! Looking forward to more episodes!
This podcast is restoring my faith in the world of medicine I am studying to be part of. As a neurodivergent minority international medical student, hearing interviews of nurses, PAs, PhDs (Dr BJ Fogg PhD of Tiny Habits), authors/sociologists/anthropologists (Scott Carney), healthcare and biotech entrepreneurs (Chris Altcheck of Cadence, Tobias Silberzahn on McKinsey and Company and Syam Palakurthy, Dr Joshua Courtney of TrueLearn), MDs/DOs and Deans and presidents US based and international medical schools (Dr David Lenihan of Ponce Health Sciences University, Dr Omar Lateef of Rush University Medical Center) who are getting involved in transforming medical education and medicine for both providers and patient I have hope that medicine can improve in both word and action.
Seeing pushback on stagnant textbook based didactics in medical education and continuing graduate medical education, technology integration for improvement upstream medicine/early detection as well as monitoring of chronic disease (crucial in the age of COVID and hospital turnaways) is refreshing. This podcasts combines that with stories of leaders finding and creating their purpose in medicine at the start of their careers, after a no from post graduate training opportunities, or after decades in their career when they find the time and means and ways to break through the infrastructure of US based modern allopathic medicine to create more for their patients, themselves and their colleagues.
This inspires me to pursue my MSW after medical school to help perpetuate reform in mental health services for physicians and their patients as well as trainings (Masters, PhD or certificate program) in cognitive system engineering and program to help create their innovations in healthcare and support their transformation as we face new crises in health/medicine beyond COVID.
HIGHLY recommend - wish they taught this in school!
As a medical student, it’s hard to find time to stay current on all of the new innovations in the field. The Raise the Line episodes are just a quick 20-25 minutes that I can squeeze into my morning commute, which helps me stay much more connected to the work.
I have learned so much about issues that I never really consider in my day-to-day. I remember feeling so moved after hearing episode 232, where they discussed the Archangels project that is working to support unpaid caregivers. It was really powerful to hear about the family members and friends who take care of people with daily medical needs. These folks contribute so much to healthcare, but are never seen or recognized! In episode 130, I learned about Cityblock, which is a program to provide value-based care to low-income folks on Medicaid through behavior change and building trust. I had heard of value-based care in one of my classes, but this podcast highlighted its impact and meaning.
Our healthcare system is so complex, but Raise the Line breaks it down into really digestible pieces that leave you with a lot to think about! I also love that Dr. Desai ends every episode asking his speakers to “fill the knowledge gap.” It’s wonderful to hear a wide range of advice and feel optimistic that I am working towards a better healthcare system. The topics are really relevant to all of our lives - definitely check it out!