Mitchell (Mitch) R. Lunn, MD, MAS, FASN (he/him/his) is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Nephrology of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.
As an internist and nephrologist with a strong interest in technology and sexual and gender minority health, Mitch’s research is designed to characterize the health and well-being of these populations. Sexual and gender minority (SGM) people – which primarily includes members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities – face numerous health and healthcare disparities. Through the use of existing and emerging technologies, Mitch focuses on improving understanding of the factors that positively and negatively influence SGM health including research on SGM health disparities, SGM societal experiences (in and out of health care), provider education about SGM health, and institutional climate towards SGM people.
As a gay man and active researcher in SGM health for over a decade, Mitch brings vital experience and scholarship in engaging diverse, vulnerable, and hard-to-reach populations using technology-based and traditional methodologies. Mitch is the co-director of PRIDEnet, a participant-powered research network of SGM people that engages SGM communities at all stages of the biomedical research process: research question generation and prioritization, study design, recruitment, participation, data analysis, and results dissemination. PRIDEnet accomplishes its goals through a highly active Participant Advisory Committee and a Community Partner Consortium comprised of 41 SGM-serving health centers, community centers, and service/advocacy organizations across the country. Mitch is also the co-director of The PRIDE Study, a national, online, prospective, longitudinal general health cohort study (launched May 2017) of over 13,200 SGM individuals that employs innovative technologies to bridge research gaps in the health of these medically underserved and vulnerable populations. The PRIDE Study’s state-of-the-art web-based research platform enables robust participant recruitment, cohort management, real-time cohort statistics, comprehensive survey administration, facile deployment of studies to cohort segments, and linkage with mHealth devices.
Mitch is a long-standing advocate for SGM inclusion in research and higher education who lectures around the country on SGM medical education, SGM health, SGM cultural competency/humility, and SGM community engagement. In recognition of his work, he received the 2015 University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Chancellor’s Award for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Leadership. He currently serves on the American Society of Nephrology’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Mitch earned his Bachelor of Science degree with highest thesis honors from Tufts University in 2004, his Doctor of Medicine degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 2010, and his Masters in Advanced Studies degree in Clinical Research from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2017. He completed internal medicine internship and residency training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2013 and nephrology fellowship at UCSF in 2016.
In addition to his professional pursuits, he is interested in French language and culture, travel, and aviation.
Assistant Professor - Med Center Line, Medicine - Nephrology
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine (2019 - Present)
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (2016 - 2019)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Member, American Society of Nephrology Diversity & Inclusion Committee (2017 - Present)
MAS, University of California, San Francisco, Clinical Research (2017)
Board Certification, American Board of Internal Medicine, Nephrology (2016)
Fellowship, University of California, San Francisco, Nephrology (2016)
Fellowship:UCSF Dept of Nephrology (2016) CA
Board Certification: Nephrology, American Board of Internal Medicine (2015)
Board Certification, American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (2013)
Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital (2013)
Board Certification: Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine (2013)
Internship, Brigham and Women's Hospital (2011)
Residency:Brigham and Women's Hospital Internal Medicine Residency (2013) MA
MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Medicine (2010)
Medical Education:Stanford University School of Medicine Registrar (2010) CA
BS, Tufts University, Biology and French (2004)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Characterization of substance use among underrepresented sexual and gender minority participants in The Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality (PRIDE) Study.
Background: Profiles of substance use among less commonly described subgroups of sexual and gender minority (SGM) people (e.g., queer, genderqueer) remain largely unknown. Objective(s): To identify substance use differences among less commonly described SGM identity-based subgroups. Methods: The PRIDE Study is a national, online, longitudinal cohort study of self-identified SGM adults living in the U.S. Between 2015-2017, an iPhone application was used to administer three cross-sectional health questionnaires to participants, one of which included questions about binge alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use (substance use). This study was a secondary data analysis of participant responses to substance use survey items. Logistic regression and generalized linear modeling assessed relationships between sexual orientation or gender and use of or reported problems with substances within the past year. Results: Among the 1790 participants included in this study, 51.0% reported binge alcohol use, 39.8% reported marijuana use, and 19.7% reported other drug use (65.9% endorsed use of one or more of these) within the past year. Over 30% indicated substance use had been a problem in their life. Asexual individuals had lower odds of reporting past year binge alcohol and marijuana use (aOR: 0.27, 95% CI: 0.12-0.61; aOR: 0.38, 95% CI: 0.15-0.96, respectively), and queer participants had higher odds of reporting past year marijuana use (aOR: 2.52, 95% CI: 1.58-4.03) compared to lesbian participants. Gender nonbinary participants had lower odds of reporting past year binge alcohol use (aOR: 0.48, 95% CI: 0.32-0.71) and transmasculine participants had higher odds of reporting past year marijuana use (aOR: 2.18, 95% CI: 1.10-4.31) compared to cisgender women. Conclusions: Substance use heterogeneity exists between SGM groups. Comprehensive assessment of sexual orientation and gender may improve understanding of substance use and increase equity within support and treatment services for SGM populations.HighlightsWe examined substance use among less represented sexual and gender minority groups.Alcohol and other drug use were examined by both sexual orientation and gender identity.Analyses included identities such as queer, pansexual, genderqueer and nonbinary.Alcohol use differed across asexual, genderqueer and gender nonbinary groups.Marijuana use differed across queer, asexual and transmasculine groups.
View details for DOI 10.1080/08897077.2019.1702610
View details for PubMedID 32032500
- Supporting sexual and gender minority health: Research priorities from mental health professionals JOURNAL OF GAY & LESBIAN MENTAL HEALTH 2019
Community norms for the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire among cisgender gay men.
European eating disorders review : the journal of the Eating Disorders Association
Prior norms of the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) among men have not considered sexual orientation. This study's objective was to assess EDE-Q community norms among cisgender gay men.Participants were 978 self-identified cisgender gay men from The PRIDE Study recruited in 2018.We present mean scores and standard deviations for the EDE-Q among cisgender gay men ages 18-82. Among cisgender gay men, 4.0% scored in the clinically significant range on the global score, 5.7% on the restraint, 2.1% on the eating concern, 10.5% on the weight concern, and 21.4% on the shape concern subscales of the EDE-Q. The global score as well as weight and shape concerns in a young adult subsample (18-26 years) from The PRIDE Study were higher than previously reported norms in young men (Lavender, 2010). Participants reported any occurrence (≥1/28 days) of dietary restraint (19.8%), objective binge episodes (10.9%), excessive exercise (10.1%), laxative misuse (1.1%), and self-induced vomiting (0.6%). Binge eating, excessive exercise, and self-induced vomiting in The PRIDE Study subsample were lower than previously reported in young men.We provide EDE-Q norms among cisgender gay men, which should aid clinicians and researchers to interpret the EDE-Q scores of cisgender gay men.
View details for DOI 10.1002/erv.2708
View details for PubMedID 31793119
Using mobile technology to engage sexual and gender minorities in clinical research.
2019; 14 (5): e0216282
Historical and current stigmatizing and discriminatory experiences drive sexual and gender minority (SGM) people away from health care and clinical research. Being medically underserved, they face numerous disparities that make them vulnerable to poor health outcomes. Effective methods to engage and recruit SGM people into clinical research studies are needed.To promote health equity and understand SGM health needs, we sought to design an online, national, longitudinal cohort study entitled The PRIDE (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality) Study that enabled SGM people to safely participate, provide demographic and health data, and generate SGM health-related research ideas.We developed an iPhone mobile application ("app") to engage and recruit SGM people to The PRIDE Study-Phase 1. Participants completed demographic and health surveys and joined in asynchronous discussions about SGM health-related topics important to them for future study.The PRIDE Study-Phase 1 consented 18,099 participants. Of them, 16,394 provided data. More than 98% identified as a sexual minority, and more than 15% identified as a gender minority. The sample was diverse in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, geographic location, education, and individual income. Participants completed 24,022 surveys, provided 3,544 health topics important to them, and cast 60,522 votes indicating their opinion of a particular health topic.We developed an iPhone app that recruited SGM adults and collected demographic and health data for a new national online cohort study. Digital engagement features empowered participants to become committed stakeholders in the research development process. We believe this is the first time that a mobile app has been used to specifically engage and recruit large numbers of an underrepresented population for clinical research. Similar approaches may be successful, convenient, and cost-effective at engaging and recruiting other vulnerable populations into clinical research studies.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0216282
View details for PubMedID 31048870
- Advancing Equity in Nephrology: Enhancing Care for LGBTQ+ Patients and Our Workforce. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN 2019
The "All of Us" Research Program.
The New England journal of medicine
2019; 381 (7): 668–76
Knowledge gained from observational cohort studies has dramatically advanced the prevention and treatment of diseases. Many of these cohorts, however, are small, lack diversity, or do not provide comprehensive phenotype data. The All of Us Research Program plans to enroll a diverse group of at least 1 million persons in the United States in order to accelerate biomedical research and improve health. The program aims to make the research results accessible to participants, and it is developing new approaches to generate, access, and make data broadly available to approved researchers. All of Us opened for enrollment in May 2018 and currently enrolls participants 18 years of age or older from a network of more than 340 recruitment sites. Elements of the program protocol include health questionnaires, electronic health records (EHRs), physical measurements, the use of digital health technology, and the collection and analysis of biospecimens. As of July 2019, more than 175,000 participants had contributed biospecimens. More than 80% of these participants are from groups that have been historically underrepresented in biomedical research. EHR data on more than 112,000 participants from 34 sites have been collected. The All of Us data repository should permit researchers to take into account individual differences in lifestyle, socioeconomic factors, environment, and biologic characteristics in order to advance precision diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.
View details for DOI 10.1056/NEJMsr1809937
View details for PubMedID 31412182
A digital health research platform for community engagement, recruitment, and retention of sexual and gender minority adults in a national longitudinal cohort study--The PRIDE Study.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
Sexual and gender minority (SGM) people are underrepresented in research. We sought to create a digital research platform to engage, recruit, and retain SGM people in a national, longitudinal, dynamic, cohort study (The PRIDE Study) of SGM health.We partnered with design and development firms and engaged SGM community members to build a secure, cloud-based, containerized, microservices-based, feature-rich, research platform. We created PRIDEnet, a national network of individuals and organizations that actively engaged SGM communities in all stages of health research. The PRIDE Study participants were recruited via in-person outreach, communications to PRIDEnet constituents, social media advertising, and word-of-mouth. Participants completed surveys to report demographic as well as physical, mental, and social health data.We built a secure digital research platform with engaging functionality that engaged SGM people and recruited and retained 13 731 diverse individuals in 2 years. A sizeable sample of 3813 gender minority people (32.8% of cohort) were recruited despite representing only approximately 0.6% of the population. Participants engaged with the platform and completed comprehensive annual surveys- including questions about sensitive and stigmatizing topics- to create a data resource and join a cohort for ongoing SGM health research.With an appealing digital platform, recruitment and engagement in online-only longitudinal cohort studies are possible. Participant engagement with meaningful, bidirectional relationships creates stakeholders and enables study cocreation. Research about effective tactics to engage, recruit, and maintain active participation from all communities is needed.This digital research platform successfully recruited and engaged diverse SGM participants in The PRIDE Study. A similar approach may be successful in partnership with other underrepresented and vulnerable populations.
View details for DOI 10.1093/jamia/ocz082
View details for PubMedID 31162545
Resilience Against Depression Disparities (RADD): a protocol for a randomised comparative effectiveness trial for depression among predominantly low-income, racial/ethnic, sexual and gender minorities.
2019; 9 (10): e031099
Depression is the leading cause of adult disability and common among sexual and gender minority (SGM) adults. The current study builds on findings showing the effectiveness of depression quality improvement (QI) and delivery of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) skills provided by community health workers in reducing depression. Depression QI approaches across healthcare and social/community services in safety-net settings have shown improvements in mental wellness, mental health quality of life and depression over 12 months. Further, a randomised study showed improved depression among low-income racial/ethnic minorities enrolled in a CBT-informed resiliency class (Building Resilience and Increasing Community Hope (B-RICH)). The current protocol describes a comparativeness effectiveness study to evaluate whether predominantly low-income, SGM racial/ethnic minority adults randomised to a CBT-informed resiliency class have improvements in depressive symptoms over and above community-engaged QI resources and training only.The study approached three clusters of four to five programs serving predominantly SGM and racial/ethnic minority communities in the USA: two clusters in Los Angeles, California, and one in New Orleans, Louisiana. Clusters are comprised of one primary care, one mental health and two to three community agencies (eg, faith-based, social services/support, advocacy). All programs received depression QI training. The current study employed a community-partnered participatory research model to adapt the CBT-informed resiliency class, B-RICH+, to SGM communities. Study participants were screened and recruited in person from participating programs, and will complete baseline, 6- and 12-month survey follow-ups. Participants were depressed adults (8-item Patient Health Questionnaire ≥10; ≥18 years of age) who provided contact information. Enrolled participants were individually randomised to B-RICH+ or depression QI alone. Primary outcomes are depressive symptoms; secondary outcomes are mental health quality of life, mental wellness and physical health quality of life. Data collection for this study is ongoing.The current study was approved by the UCLA Institutional Review Board. Study findings will be disseminated through scientific publications and community conferences.https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02986126.
View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031099
View details for PubMedID 31641001
Genetic Counselors' and Genetic Counseling Students' Implicit and Explicit Attitudes toward Homosexuality.
Journal of genetic counseling
Members of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) community experience significant health disparities. Widespread preferences for heterosexual over homosexual people among healthcare providers are believed to contribute to this inequity, making recognition (and ultimately reduction) of healthcare providers' sexual prejudices of import. The present study sought to characterize North American genetic counselors' and genetic counseling students' implicit and explicit attitudes toward homosexuality. During January 2017, 575 participants completed a Web-based survey and Sexuality Implicit Association Test (SIAT). A majority of participants (60.2%) harbored implicit preferences for heterosexual over homosexual people. Mean implicit attitude score (0.24) indicated a slight automatic preference for heterosexual over homosexual people, while mean explicit attitude score (0.033) indicated no preference for either group. Although participants' implicit and explicit attitudes were positively correlated (p < 0.001), there was greater implicit bias for heterosexual over homosexual people than suggested by explicit attitude scores (p < 0.001). Implicit attitudes differed across self-reported sexual orientation (p < 0.001), but not across gender, race, or genetic counseling specialty. Education has been demonstrated to be moderately effective at reducing sexual prejudices, and almost all participants (95.8%) indicated that they would support the implementation of genetic counseling curricula addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues. The study's combined findings suggest that North American genetic counselors and genetic counseling students support, and may benefit from, the implementation of genetic counseling curricula addressing LGBT issues.
View details for PubMedID 30168102
The new era of precision population health: insights for the All of Us Research Program and beyond.
Journal of translational medicine
2018; 16 (1): 211
Although precision medicine has made advances in individualized patient treatments, there needs to be continued attention on tailored population health and prevention strategies (often termed "precision population health"). As we continue to link datasets and use "big data" approaches in medicine, inclusion of diverse populations and a focus on disparities reduction are key components within a precision population health framework. Specific recommendations from the All of Us Research Program and the Precision Public Health Summit provide examples for moving this field forward.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s12967-018-1585-5
View details for PubMedID 30053823
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6062956
Sociodemographic Characteristics and Health Outcomes Among Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual US Adults Using Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators
2017; 4 (4): 283–94
This study aimed to characterize the sociodemographic characteristics of sexual minority (i.e., gay, lesbian, bisexual) adults and compare sexual minority and heterosexual populations on nine Healthy People 2020 leading health indicators (LHIs).Using a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey (National Health Interview Survey 2013-2015) of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population (228,893,944 adults), nine Healthy People 2020 LHIs addressing health behaviors and access to care, stratified using a composite variable of sex (female, male) and sexual orientation (gay or lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual), were analyzed individually and in aggregate.In 2013-2015, sexual minority adults represented 2.4% of the U.S.Compared to heterosexuals, sexual minorities were more likely to be younger and to have never married. Gays and lesbians were more likely to have earned a graduate degree. Gay males were more likely to have a usual primary care provider, but gay/lesbian females were less likely than heterosexuals to have a usual primary care provider and health insurance. Gay males received more colorectal cancer screening than heterosexual males. Gay males, gay/lesbian females, and bisexual females were more likely to be current smokers than their sex-matched, heterosexual counterparts. Binge drinking was more common in bisexuals compared to heterosexuals. Sexual minority females were more likely to be obese than heterosexual females; the converse was true for gay males. Sexual minorities underwent more HIV testing than their heterosexual peers, but bisexual males were less likely than gay males to be tested. Gay males were more likely to meet all eligible LHIs than heterosexual males. Overall, more sexual minority adults met all eligible LHIs compared to heterosexual adults. Similar results were found regardless of HIV testing LHI inclusion.Differences between sexual minorities and heterosexuals suggest the need for targeted health assessments and public health interventions aimed at reducing specific negative health behaviors.
View details for PubMedID 28727950
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5564038
- Estimating the Prevalence of Sexual Minority Adolescents. JAMA 2017; 317 (16): 1691–92
Applying Organizational Change to Promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Inclusion and Reduce Health Disparities.
2017; 4 (3): 174–80
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations face numerous barriers when accessing and receiving healthcare, which amplify specific LGBT health disparities. An effective strategic approach is necessary for academic health centers to meet the growing needs of LGBT populations. Although effective organizational change models have been proposed for other minority populations, the authors are not aware of any organizational change models that specifically promote LGBT inclusion and mitigate access barriers to reduce LGBT health disparities. With decades of combined experience, we identify elements and processes necessary to accelerate LGBT organizational change and reduce LGBT health disparities. This framework may assist health organizations in initiating and sustaining meaningful organizational change to improve the health and healthcare of the LGBT communities.
View details for DOI 10.1089/lgbt.2015.0148
View details for PubMedID 28296563
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Patient Care: Medical Students' Preparedness and Comfort.
Teaching and learning in medicine
2015; 27 (3): 254-263
Phenomenon: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals face significant barriers in accessing appropriate and comprehensive medical care. Medical students' level of preparedness and comfort caring for LGBT patients is unknown.An online questionnaire (2009-2010) was distributed to students (n = 9,522) at 176 allopathic and osteopathic medical schools in Canada and the United States, followed by focus groups (2010) with students (n = 35) at five medical schools. The objective of this study was to characterize LGBT-related medical curricula, to determine medical students' assessments of their institutions' LGBT-related curricular content, and to evaluate their comfort and preparedness in caring for LGBT patients.Of 9,522 survey respondents, 4,262 from 170 schools were included in the final analysis. Most medical students (2,866/4,262; 67.3%) evaluated their LGBT-related curriculum as "fair" or worse. Students most often felt prepared addressing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; 3,254/4,147; 78.5%) and non-HIV sexually transmitted infections (2,851/4,136; 68.9%). They felt least prepared discussing sex reassignment surgery (1,061/4,070; 26.1%) and gender transitioning (1,141/4,068; 28.0%). Medical education helped 62.6% (2,669/4,262) of students feel "more prepared" and 46.3% (1,972/4,262) of students feel "more comfortable" to care for LGBT patients. Four focus group sessions with 29 students were transcribed and analyzed. Qualitative analysis suggested students have significant concerns in addressing certain aspects of LGBT health, specifically with transgender patients. Insights: Medical students thought LGBT-specific curricula could be improved, consistent with the findings from a survey of deans of medical education. They felt comfortable, but not fully prepared, to care for LGBT patients. Increasing curricular coverage of LGBT-related topics is indicated with emphasis on exposing students to LGBT patients in clinical settings.
View details for DOI 10.1080/10401334.2015.1044656
View details for PubMedID 26158327
Sexual and Gender Minority Identity Disclosure During Undergraduate Medical Education: "In the Closet" in Medical School
2015; 90 (5): 634-644
To assess identity disclosure among sexual and gender minority (SGM) students pursuing undergraduate medical training in the United States and Canada.From 2009 to 2010, a survey was made available to all medical students enrolled in the 176 MD- and DO-granting medical schools in the United States and Canada. Respondents were asked about their sexual and gender identity, whether they were "out" (i.e., had publicly disclosed their identity), and, if they were not, their reasons for concealing their identity. The authors used a mixed-methods approach and analyzed quantitative and qualitative survey data.Of 5,812 completed responses (of 101,473 eligible respondents; response rate 5.7%), 920 (15.8%) students from 152 (of 176; 86.4%) institutions identified as SGMs. Of the 912 sexual minorities, 269 (29.5%) concealed their sexual identity in medical school. Factors associated with sexual identity concealment included sexual minority identity other than lesbian or gay, male gender, East Asian race, and medical school enrollment in the South or Central regions of North America. The most common reasons for concealing one's sexual identity were "nobody's business" (165/269; 61.3%), fear of discrimination in medical school (117/269; 43.5%), and social or cultural norms (110/269; 40.9%). Of the 35 gender minorities, 21 (60.0%) concealed their gender identity, citing fear of discrimination in medical school (9/21; 42.9%) and lack of support (9/21; 42.9%).SGM students continue to conceal their identity during undergraduate medical training. Medical institutions should adopt targeted policies and programs to better support these individuals.
View details for DOI 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000657
View details for Web of Science ID 000353879700027
View details for PubMedID 25692563
From Patients to Providers: Changing the Culture in Medicine Toward Sexual and Gender Minorities
2015; 90 (5): 574-580
Equality for sexual and gender minorities (SGMs)-including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities-has become an integral part of the national conversation in the United States. Although SGM civil rights have expanded in recent years, these populations continue to experience unique health and health care disparities, including poor access to health care, stigmatization, and discrimination. SGM trainees and physicians also face challenges, including derogatory comments, humiliation, harassment, fear of being ostracized, and residency/job placement discrimination. These inequities are not mutually exclusive to either patients or providers; instead, they are intertwined parts of a persistent, negative culture in medicine toward SGM individuals.In this Perspective, the authors argue that SGM physicians must lead this charge for equality by fostering diversity and inclusion in medicine. They posit that academic medicine can accomplish this goal by (1) modernizing research on the physician workforce, (2) implementing new policies and programs to promote safe and supportive training and practice environments, and (3) developing recruitment practices to ensure a diverse, competent physician workforce that includes SGM individuals.These efforts will have an immediate impact by identifying and empowering new leaders to address SGM health care reform, creating diverse training environments that promote cultural competency, and aligning medicine with other professional fields (e.g., business, law) that already are working toward these goals. By tackling the inequities that SGM providers face, academic medicine can normalize sexual and gender identity disclosure and promote a welcoming, supportive environment for everyone in medicine, including patients.
View details for DOI 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000656
View details for Web of Science ID 000353879700015
View details for PubMedID 25650825
What makes a top research medical school? A call for a new model to evaluate academic physicians and medical school performance.
2015; 90 (5): 603-608
Since the publication of the Flexner Report in 1910, the medical education enterprise has undergone many changes to ensure that medical schools meet a minimum standard for the curricula and clinical training they offer students. Although the efforts of the licensing and accrediting bodies have raised the quality of medical education, the educational processes that produce the physicians who provide the best patient care and conduct the best biomedical research have not been identified. Comparative analyses are powerful tools to understand the differences between institutions, but they are challenging to carry out. As a result, the analysis performed by U.S. News & World Report (USN&WR) has become the default tool to compare U.S. medical schools. Medical educators must explore more rigorous and equitable approaches to analyze and understand the performance of medical schools. In particular, a better understanding and more thorough evaluation of the most successful institutions in producing academic physicians with biomedical research careers are needed. In this Perspective, the authors present a new model to evaluate medical schools' production of academic physicians who advance medicine through basic, clinical, translational, and implementation science research. This model is based on relevant and accessible objective criteria that should replace the subjective criteria used in the current USN&WR rankings system. By fostering a national discussion about the most meaningful criteria that should be measured and reported, the authors hope to increase transparency of assessment standards and ultimately improve educational quality.
View details for DOI 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000646
View details for PubMedID 25607941
- Increasing incidence of acute kidney injury: also a problem in pregnancy? American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation 2015; 65 (5): 650–54
First Annual LGBT Health Workforce Conference: Empowering Our Health Workforce to Better Serve LGBT Communities.
2014; 1 (1): 62–65
The Institute of Medicine has identified significant health disparities and barriers to health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations. By lowering financial barriers to care, recent legislation and judicial decisions have created a remarkable opportunity for reducing disparities by making health care available to those who previously lacked access. However, the current health-care workforce lacks sufficient training on LGBT-specific health-care issues and delivery of culturally competent care to sexual orientation and gender identity minorities. The LGBT Healthcare Workforce Conference was developed to provide a yearly forum to address these deficiencies through the sharing of best practices in LGBT health-care delivery, creating LGBT-inclusive institutional environments, supporting LGBT personal and professional development, and peer-to-peer mentoring, with an emphasis on students and early career professionals in the health-care fields. This report summarizes the findings of the first annual LGBT Health Workforce Conference.
View details for PubMedID 26789511
Randomized Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Valganciclovir in a Subset of Patients With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
JOURNAL OF MEDICAL VIROLOGY
2013; 85 (12): 2101-2109
There is no known treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Little is known about its pathogenesis. Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have been proposed as infectious triggers. Thirty CFS patients with elevated IgG antibody titers against HHV-6 and EBV were randomized 2:1 to receive valganciclovir (VGCV) or placebo for 6 months in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Clinical endpoints aimed at measuring physical and mental fatigue included the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) and Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) scores, self-reported cognitive function, and physician-determined responder status. Biological endpoints included monocyte and neutrophil counts and cytokine levels. VGCV patients experienced a greater improvement by MFI-20 at 9 months from baseline compared to placebo patients but this difference was not statistically significant. However, statistically significant differences in trajectories between groups were observed in MFI-20 mental fatigue subscore (P = 0.039), FSS score (P = 0.006), and cognitive function (P = 0.025). VGCV patients experienced these improvements within the first 3 months and maintained that benefit over the remaining 9 months. Patients in the VGCV arm were 7.4 times more likely to be classified as responders (P = 0.029). In the VGCV arm, monocyte counts decreased (P < 0.001), neutrophil counts increased (P = 0.037) and cytokines were more likely to evolve towards a Th1-profile (P < 0.001). Viral IgG antibody titers did not differ between arms. VGCV may have clinical benefit in a subset of CFS patients independent of placebo effect, possibly mediated by immunomodulation and/or antiviral effect. Further investigation with longer treatment duration and a larger sample size is warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmv.23713
View details for PubMedID 23959519
Prioritizing health disparities in medical education to improve care.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
2013; 1287: 17–30
Despite yearly advances in life-saving and preventive medicine, as well as strategic approaches by governmental and social agencies and groups, significant disparities remain in health, health quality, and access to health care within the United States. The determinants of these disparities include baseline health status, race and ethnicity, culture, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, region or geography, sexual orientation, and age. In order to renew the commitment of the medical community to address health disparities, particularly at the medical school level, we must remind ourselves of the roles of doctors and medical schools as the gatekeepers and the value setters for medicine. Within those roles are responsibilities toward the social mission of working to eliminate health disparities. This effort will require partnerships with communities as well as with academic centers to actively develop and to implement diversity and inclusion strategies. Besides improving the diversity of trainees in the pipeline, access to health care can be improved, and awareness can be raised regarding population-based health inequalities.
View details for DOI 10.1111/nyas.12117
View details for PubMedID 23659676
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4598316
Small molecule screen reveals regulation of survival motor neuron protein abundance by Ras proteins.
ACS chemical biology
2013; 8 (5): 914–22
Small molecule modulators of protein activity have proven invaluable in the study of protein function and regulation. While inhibitors of protein activity are relatively common, small molecules that can increase protein abundance are rare. Small molecule protein upregulators with targeted activities would be of value in the study of the mechanisms underlying loss-of-function diseases. We developed a high-throughput screening approach to identify small molecule upregulators of the Survival of Motor Neuron protein (SMN), whose decreased levels cause the neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We screened 69,189 compounds for SMN upregulators and performed mechanistic studies on the most active compound, a bromobenzophenone analogue designated cuspin-1. Mechanistic studies of cuspin-1 revealed that increasing Ras signaling upregulates SMN protein abundance via an increase in translation rate. These findings suggest that controlled modulation of the Ras signaling pathway may benefit patients with SMA.
View details for DOI 10.1021/cb300374h
View details for PubMedID 23496866
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3665055
Summit on medical school education in sexual health: report of an expert consultation.
The journal of sexual medicine
2013; 10 (4): 924–38
INTRODUCTION.: Medical education in sexual health in the United States and Canada is lacking. Medical students and practicing physicians report being underprepared to adequately address their patients' sexual health needs. Recent studies have shown little instruction on sexual health in medical schools and little consensus around the type of material medical students should learn. To address and manage sexual health issues, medical students need improved education and training. AIM.: This meeting report aims to present findings from a summit on the current state of medical school education in sexual health and provides recommended strategies to better train physicians to address sexual health. METHODS.: To catalyze improvements in sexual health education in medical schools, the summit brought together key U.S. and Canadian medical school educators, sexual health educators, and other experts. Attendees reviewed and discussed relevant data and potential recommendations in plenary sessions and then developed key recommendations in smaller breakout groups. RESULTS.: Findings presented at the summit demonstrate that the United States and Canada have high rates of poor sexual health outcomes and that sexual health education in medical schools is variable and in some settings diminished. To address these issues, government, professional, and student organizations are working on efforts to promote sexual health. Several universities already have sexual health curricula in place. Evaluation mechanisms will be essential for developing and refining sexual health education. CONCLUSIONS.: To be effective, sexual health curricula need to be integrated longitudinally throughout medical training. Identifying faculty champions and supporting student efforts are strategies to increase sexual health education. Sexual health requires a multidisciplinary approach, and cross-sector interaction between various public and private entities can help facilitate change. Areas important to address include: core content and placement in the curriculum; interprofessional education and training for integrated care; evaluation mechanisms; faculty development and cooperative strategies. Initial recommendations were drafted for each.
View details for DOI 10.1111/jsm.12142
View details for PubMedID 23551542
Response to valganciclovir in chronic fatigue syndrome patients with human herpesvirus 6 and Epstein-Barr virus IgG antibody titers
JOURNAL OF MEDICAL VIROLOGY
2012; 84 (12): 1967-1974
Valganciclovir has been reported to improve physical and cognitive symptoms in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) with elevated human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) IgG antibody titers. This study investigated whether antibody titers against HHV-6 and EBV were associated with clinical response to valganciclovir in a subset of CFS patients. An uncontrolled, unblinded retrospective chart review was performed on 61 CFS patients treated with 900 mg valganciclovir daily (55 of whom took an induction dose of 1,800 mg daily for the first 3 weeks). Antibody titers were considered high if HHV-6 IgG ≥ 1:320, EBV viral capsid antigen (VCA) IgG ≥ 1:640, and EBV early antigen (EA) IgG ≥ 1:160. Patients self-rated physical and cognitive functioning as a percentage of their functioning prior to illness. Patients were categorized as responders if they experienced at least 30% improvement in physical and/or cognitive functioning. Thirty-two patients (52%) were categorized as responders. Among these, 19 patients (59%) responded physically and 26 patients (81%) responded cognitively. Baseline antibody titers showed no significant association with response. After treatment, the average change in physical and cognitive functioning levels for all patients was +19% and +23%, respectively (P < 0.0001). Longer treatment was associated with improved response (P = 0.0002). No significant difference was found between responders and non-responders among other variables analyzed. Valganciclovir treatment, independent of the baseline antibody titers, was associated with self-rated improvement in physical and cognitive functioning for CFS patients who had positive HHV-6 and/or EBV serologies. Longer valganciclovir treatment correlated with an improved response.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jmv.23411
View details for PubMedID 23080504
Antiviral therapy of two patients with chromosomally-integrated human herpesvirus-6A presenting with cognitive dysfunction
JOURNAL OF CLINICAL VIROLOGY
2012; 55 (1): 40-45
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a neurotropic virus implicated in central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, seizures and encephalitis. Inherited or "chromosomally integrated" HHV-6 (CIHHV-6) is a condition characterized by high DNA loads and germ line transmission of HHV-6 genomes, which are integrated into the telomere.We previously reported that integrated HHV-6 can be reactivated by trichostatin A in vitro. Therefore, we hypothesized that a broad array of neurological symptoms of CIHHV-6 patients may respond to antiviral drug treatment.The patients have been treated with antiviral drugs and monitored for viral load, late mRNA, and clinical improvement.Antiviral therapy of two CIHHV patients resulted in successful clinical resolution. However, both patients relapsed on multiple occasions within 4-6 months of cessation of antiviral therapy.Successful antiviral drug treatment suggests that clinical symptoms of these patients were due to symptomatic reactivation of CIHHV-6. Alternatively, some CIHHV-6 patients may have a reduced resistance to community-acquired HHV-6 strains due to tolerance leading to persistent infections.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcv.2012.05.016
View details for PubMedID 22770640
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender-Related Content in Undergraduate Medical Education
JAMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
2011; 306 (9): 971-977
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals experience health and health care disparities and have specific health care needs. Medical education organizations have called for LGBT-sensitive training, but how and to what extent schools educate students to deliver comprehensive LGBT patient care is unknown.To characterize LGBT-related medical curricula and associated curricular development practices and to determine deans' assessments of their institutions' LGBT-related curricular content.Deans of medical education (or equivalent) at 176 allopathic or osteopathic medical schools in Canada and the United States were surveyed to complete a 13-question, Web-based questionnaire between May 2009 and March 2010.Reported hours of LGBT-related curricular content.Of 176 schools, 150 (85.2%) responded, and 132 (75.0%) fully completed the questionnaire. The median reported time dedicated to teaching LGBT-related content in the entire curriculum was 5 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 3-8 hours). Of the 132 respondents, 9 (6.8%; 95% CI, 2.5%-11.1%) reported 0 hours taught during preclinical years and 44 (33.3%; 95% CI, 25.3%-41.4%) reported 0 hours during clinical years. Median US allopathic clinical hours were significantly different from US osteopathic clinical hours (2 hours [IQR, 0-4 hours] vs 0 hours [IQR, 0-2 hours]; P = .008). Although 128 of the schools (97.0%; 95% CI, 94.0%-99.9%) taught students to ask patients if they "have sex with men, women, or both" when obtaining a sexual history, the reported teaching frequency of 16 LGBT-specific topic areas in the required curriculum was lower: at least 8 topics at 83 schools (62.9%; 95% CI, 54.6%-71.1%) and all topics at 11 schools (8.3%; 95% CI, 3.6%-13.0%). The institutions' LGBT content was rated as "fair" at 58 schools (43.9%; 95% CI, 35.5%-52.4%). Suggested successful strategies to increase content included curricular material focusing on LGBT-related health and health disparities at 77 schools (58.3%, 95% CI, 49.9%-66.7%) and faculty willing and able to teach LGBT-related curricular content at 67 schools (50.8%, 95% CI, 42.2%-59.3%).The median reported time dedicated to LGBT-related topics in 2009-2010 was small across US and Canadian medical schools, but the quantity, content covered, and perceived quality of instruction varied substantially.
View details for Web of Science ID 000294542600015
View details for PubMedID 21900137
- Prioritizing health disparities in medical education to improve care. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges 2011; 86 (11): 1343
Hyperparathyroidism with hypercalcaemia in chronic kidney disease: primary or tertiary?
2010; 3 (4): 366-371
Objective . This study aims to highlight the challenges in the diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism (HPT) in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). Methods . In this report, we describe a middle-aged Filipino gentleman with underlying CKD who presented with intractable nausea, vomiting, severe and medically refractory hypercalcaemia and parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations in excess of 2400 pg/mL. The underlying pathophysiology as well as the aetiologies and current relevant literature are discussed. We also suggest an appropriate diagnostic approach to identify and promptly treat patients with CKD, HPT and hypercalcaemia. Results . Evaluation confirmed the presence of a large parathyroid adenoma; HPT and hypercalcaemia resolved rapidly following resection. Conclusion . This case report is remarkable for its severe hypercalcaemia requiring haemodialysis, large adenoma size, acute-on-chronic kidney injury and markedly elevated PTH concentration in association with primary HPT in CKD.
View details for DOI 10.1093/ndtplus/sfq077
View details for PubMedID 25949433
Spinal muscular atrophy: advances in research and consensus on care of patients.
Current treatment options in neurology
2008; 10 (6): 420-428
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by degeneration of spinal cord motor neurons and muscular atrophy. Advances in recent research have led to understanding of the molecular genetics of SMA. Therapeutic strategies have been developed according to the unique genomic structure of the SMN genes. Three groups of compounds have been identified as therapeutic candidates. One group was identified before the molecular genetics of SMA was understood, chosen on the basis of their effectiveness in similar neurologic disorders. The second group was identified based on their ability to modify SMN2 gene expression. Several of these agents are currently in clinical trials. A third group, identified by large-scale drug screening, is still under preclinical investigation. In addition, other advances in medical technology have led to the publication of a consensus statement regarding the care of SMA patients.
View details for PubMedID 18990310
Spinal muscular atrophy
2008; 371 (9630): 2120-2133
Spinal muscular atrophy is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease characterised by degeneration of spinal cord motor neurons, atrophy of skeletal muscles, and generalised weakness. It is caused by homozygous disruption of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene by deletion, conversion, or mutation. Although no medical treatment is available, investigations have elucidated possible mechanisms underlying the molecular pathogenesis of the disease. Treatment strategies have been developed to use the unique genomic structure of the SMN1 gene region. Several candidate treatment agents have been identified and are in various stages of development. These and other advances in medical technology have changed the standard of care for patients with spinal muscular atrophy. In this Seminar, we provide a comprehensive review that integrates clinical manifestations, molecular pathogenesis, diagnostic strategy, therapeutic development, and evidence from clinical trials.
View details for Web of Science ID 000256932200032
View details for PubMedID 18572081
Chemical genetics and orphan genetic diseases.
Chemistry & biology
2005; 12 (10): 1063–73
Many orphan diseases have been identified that individually affect small numbers of patients but cumulatively affect approximately 6%-10% of the European and United States populations. Human genetics has become increasingly effective at identifying genetic defects underlying such orphan genetic diseases, but little progress has been made toward understanding the causal molecular pathologies and creating targeted therapies. Chemical genetics, positioned at the interface of chemistry and genetics, can be used for elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying diseases and for drug discovery. This review discusses recent advances in chemical genetics and how small-molecule tools can be used to study and ultimately treat orphan genetic diseases. We focus here on a case study involving spinal muscular atrophy, a pediatric neurodegenerative disease caused by homozygous deletion of the SMN1 (survival of motor neuron 1) gene.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chembiol.2005.09.005
View details for PubMedID 16242649
A flexible data analysis tool for chemical genetic screens.
Chemistry & biology
2004; 11 (11): 1495–1503
High-throughput assays generate immense quantities of data that require sophisticated data analysis tools. We have created a freely available software tool, SLIMS (Small Laboratory Information Management System), for chemical genetics which facilitates the collection and analysis of large-scale chemical screening data. Compound structures, physical locations, and raw data can be loaded into SLIMS. Raw data from high-throughput assays are normalized using flexible analysis protocols, and systematic spatial errors are automatically identified and corrected. Various computational analyses are performed on tested compounds, and dilution-series data are processed using standard or user-defined algorithms. Finally, published literature associated with active compounds is automatically retrieved from Medline and processed to yield potential mechanisms of actions. SLIMS provides a framework for analyzing high-throughput assay data both as a laboratory information management system and as a platform for experimental analysis.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chembiol.2004.08.026
View details for PubMedID 15556000
Indoprofen upregulates the survival motor neuron protein through a cyclooxygenase-independent mechanism.
Chemistry & biology
2004; 11 (11): 1489–93
Most patients with the pediatric neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy have a homozygous deletion of the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, but retain one or more copies of the closely related SMN2 gene. The SMN2 gene encodes the same protein (SMN) but produces it at a low efficiency compared with the SMN1 gene. We performed a high-throughput screen of approximately 47,000 compounds to identify those that increase production of an SMN2-luciferase reporter protein, but not an SMN1-luciferase reporter protein. Indoprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, selectively increased SMN2-luciferase reporter protein and endogenous SMN protein and caused a 5-fold increase in the number of nuclear gems in fibroblasts from SMA patients. No other NSAIDs or COX inhibitors tested exhibited this activity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chembiol.2004.08.024
View details for PubMedID 15555999
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3160629