Leading the Biomedical Revolution in Precision Health

“Partners in Medicine is truly, for us, one of the highlights of the year,” Lloyd B. Minor, MD, told supporters of Stanford Medicine on April 7.

The dinner reception, held at the Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club, was for leadership level donors to the three annual funds—Cancer Discovery Fund, Health Care Partners, and Med Fund—and other areas of Stanford Medicine. They help advance medical education, scientific discovery, and patient care both locally and globally.

For more information, please contact the Annual and Leadership Giving team at 844.483.1950 or stanfordmedicine@stanford.edu

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Lloyd B. Minor, MD

Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of Stanford University School of Medicine
Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Charles G. Prober, MD

Senior Associate Dean, Medical Education of Stanford University School of Medicine
Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases), and of Microbiology and Immunology

Dean's Remarks

It’s been an exciting year,” said Dr. Minor, the Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the School of Medicine. “There is a level of engagement and excitement here that I have not experienced at any other academic medical center.

This year’s event provided an update on the progress toward Stanford’s vision of leading the biomedical revolution in Precision Health—to create health care that is personalized, patient-centered, predictive, preeminent, and participatory. Attendees last year were among the first to get a glimpse of that vision.

He captured his enthusiasm by telling a story about a patient he met from the Central Valley who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“Her doctor there said, ‘You need to get to Stanford for your care.’ So she called us.

“What’s different today is this: the receptionist immediately connected her to one of our multidisciplinary care coordinators who focuses on gynecological oncology. These care coordinators are at the center of our cancer transformation initiative,” said Dr. Minor.

The care coordinator, an oncology nurse, arranged for an appointment within two days, and took responsibility for accessing all medical records in advance. She provided her phone number and met the patient when she arrived.

“And that began a care delivery experience that is profoundly different from most cancer care. The constancy throughout all of that was the care coordinator, who was with the patient for every appointment, who saw her in the hospital, and then who arranged for outpatient appointments and follow up,” said Dr. Minor.

The woman’s cancer genome was sequenced to determine the type of chemotherapy most likely to help her. Her cancer was found to have genetic mutations, so she was able to recommend that her sister be tested.

The care coordinator further arranged for a home health-care nurse, and even stepped in to solve the problem when it turned out the agency sent the nurse to the wrong address.

“That’s the type of coordinated care delivery experience we want to provide for all of our patients who entrust their health care to us,” said Dr. Minor. “And in the future, we’ll be able to give you more and more examples of people who have been prevented from developing disease because of innovations here at Stanford.”

Dr. Minor touched upon these other exciting developments:

·      The January opening of the state-of-the-art Stanford Neuroscience Health Center

·      The affiliation and acquisition of ValleyCare Health System located in the Tri-Valley region of Pleasanton, Livermore, and Dublin

·      A new outpatient facility in Sunnyvale that will house Stanford’s reproductive endocrinology and fertility services

·      A new program that gives physicians immediate feedback on the cost of the antibiotics they are prescribing, with options for other         antibiotics in the same class

Dr. Minor then introduced Charles Prober, MD, professor of pediatrics, microbiology, and immunology and senior associate dean for medical education.

Dr. Prober, a distinguished pediatrician and researcher, is one of the world’s leading experts in viral infections in children, and is known around the country for innovation in medical education. He is a pioneer in ‘flipping the classroom’—presenting material in advance of the classroom session through videos, and then using the classroom session to problem solve and engage in interactive learning in smaller groups where both faculty and students roll up their sleeves.

Dr. Prober shared ways in which Stanford University School of Medicine is reimagining medical education, to prepare the next generation of bright scholars and physicians to lead the biomedical revolution and bridge the two seemingly different approaches of high tech and high touch. He calls this new approach “precision education.”

“One example of high tech is our medical school building, the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge,” said Dr. Prober. The building was designed with flexible space that can be modified at will. Students learn through virtual labs, simulation, even by practicing surgery on a virtual body in a simulated operating room. 

Because the sheer volume of biomedical knowledge is accumulating so quickly, “there is no human being who can consume this amount of content,” he said. “We have to teach our students to use clever ways of accessing reliable literature and incorporating it into the care of their future patients.”

A program called Educators for CARE (compassion, advocacy, responsibility, and empathy) recruits faculty who are known for their high-touch qualities in the daily care of their patients. These faculty ‘adopt’ five students at the time of admission, create a bond, and provide guidance all the way through medical school. Presence, a new center led by well-known physician and author Abraham Verghese, MD, champions the human experience in medicine. It has been launched to foster research, dialogue, and collaboration across the university to improve the clinical experience for our patients, providers, and families in our hospitals and clinics.

Precision health requires precision education that is:

Personalized: “We target the different learning styles of our students. We have to meet them where they are.” Some students learn best by studying textbooks, others need hands-on experiences for concepts to stick

Patient-centered: “Patient centricity is critical. Educators for CARE was built to remind students that the patient is at the center of their educational imperative. It comes down, most importantly, to the patient and informing and educating the patient about their disease or disorder.”

Predictive: “We should be able to predict what is important for our students to know so that they can provide state-of-the-art care when they have the privilege of becoming physicians. We want to engage our students for lifelong learning.”

Preeminent: “We want Stanford to drive medical education not only for our own students (which is a relatively small class of 90 students each year), but for global impact. The scalability of something that has been digitized is infinite. We want to take our medical education content onto a global stage, and distribute it around the world so we can provide benefits beyond the confines of Stanford University.”

Participatory: “We want to engage students through interactive learning with a digital emphasis. One learns by doing. No matter what area you are trying to study.”

About Stanford Medicine’s Annual Funds

The Cancer Discovery Fund supports Stanford’s physician-scientists and their groundbreaking cancer research by providing vital resources at the initial stages of their projects. Gifts to Health Care Partners help to advance our mission of providing leading-edge, coordinated care, delivered with compassion, one patient at a time. Gifts to the Med Fund make a difference to our students, residents and fellows, and postdocs by supporting vital aspects of the School of Medicine program, including financial aid, an innovative academic experience, and a supportive environment for student life and career growth.

For more details about this evening, please contact Leadership Giving at stanfordmedicine@stanford.edu. This annual event recognizes donors who make gifts at the leadership level ($1,000+) to any area of Stanford Medicine.

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