Caduceus Newsletter:  Spring 2013.02, Week of January 14 


Image from the U.S. Department of Energy Genome Program web site:   http://genomics.energy.gov  

Dr. Stan Eisen, Director
Preprofessional Health Programs
Christian Brothers University

650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN  38104

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It’s a question of scale, really:




For more information, please go to Marginalia. 


Table of Contents:


1.  The AAMC announces its 2013 AAMC Fee Assistance Program.  
2.  The deadline for applying to the Gateways to the Laboratory Program for Pre-MD/PhD students in New York City is February 1, 2013.  
3.  Disease Burden Links Ecology To Economic Growth, from Biocompare.com.
4.  ===AAMC STAT===, News from the Association of American Medical Colleges, January 7, 2013 edition.  
5.  Inside OME:  AACOM News on Osteopathic Medical Education, Dec. 2012/Jan 2013 edition.  
6.  This, too, is SCIENCE!   “An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool.   
7.  Marginalia:  A question of scale.  


1.  The AAMC announces its 2013 AAMC Fee Assistance Program.  

We’re pleased to announce that the 2013 AAMC Fee Assistance Program has opened and is now accepting applications. Applicants with financial need who will be registering for an MCAT exam or applying through AMCAS during the 2013 calendar year are encouraged to apply. To ensure a timely eligibility decision, please encourage them to apply for fee assistance well before the date they plan to register for a testing date or submit the AMCAS application.


We’ve added another great benefit for award recipients this year: an authorization code for access to The Official MCAT Self-Assessment Package® (valued at $104). All of the MCAT, MSAR, and AMCAS benefits are detailed on the Fee Assistance Program website: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/fap/benefits/.


In addition, we’ve deployed a technical enhancement to the application, which now allows applicants to upload required supporting financial documentation directly to their application.


Applicants can begin the application at www.aamc.org/fap.


If you have questions, please contact an Advisor Relations Specialist at 202-828-0950 or visit www.aamc.org/contactamcas.


Best wishes for a productive spring semester!


Fee Assistance Program Staff






2.  The deadline for applying to the Gateways to the Laboratory Program for Pre-MD/PhD students in New York City is February 1, 2013.  

At the request of several advisors who wish to send targeted emails, I hope this eligibility information helps.  The Gateways to the Laboratory Program is for:


·         Freshman and sophomores (at time of application) only.

·         Underrepresented minority and/or disadvantaged backgrounds

·         US Citizens/Permanent Residents

·         Students who wish to pursue the combined MD-PhD degrees after college.


If you have any further questions or recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Take care,



I am pleased to once again bring to your attention an excellent summer program for students who wish to pursue the combined MD-PhD degree.

Gateways to the Laboratory Summer Program in New York City for Pre-MD/PhD Students

  • Ideal for students who wish to pursue the combined MD-PhD degree (this program is run by the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program).
  • 10 weeks of independent research at either Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center or The Rockefeller University (all in NYC).
  • Present & participate in weekly journal clubs
  • Scrub into surgeries at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
  • Give an oral, written and poster presentation of your research in front of your family (who are flown in for the event), friends and colleagues.
  • Receive on going mentorship by your "Big Sib" (a current MD-PhD student), as well as weekly meetings with the Program's leadership.
  • Receive a stipend of $4,300 (minus the cost of housing).
  • Gateways alumni are accepted and matriculate in the top MD-PhD Programs in the country!      

For further information (including eligibility) and an on-line application, please visit our website:

Please note, our application deadline is February 1, 2013.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes,
Ruth Gotian



Ruth Gotian, M.S.
Administrative Director

Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering
Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program
1300 York Avenue, Suite C-103
New York, NY  10065-4805

phone:                 212-746-6023
fax:                        212-746-8678

This information, transmitted from Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan-Kettering Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program is intended only for the person or entity named above, and may contain legally confidential and/or privileged material.  Any forwarding, copying, disclosure, distribution, or other use of this information by any person is prohibited.  If you are not the intended recipient, any review or taking of any action in reliance upon this information is strictly prohibited.  If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from all computers.  Thank You.




3.  Disease Burden Links Ecology To Economic Growth, from Biocompare.com. 

From:  http://www.biocompare.com/Life-Science-News/128058-Disease-Burden-Links-Ecology-To-Economic-Growth/

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Source : Public Library of Science

A new study, published December 27 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, finds that vector-borne and parasitic diseases have substantial effects on economic development across the globe, and are major drivers of differences in income between tropical and temperate countries. The burden of these diseases is, in turn, determined by underlying ecological factors: it is predicted to rise as biodiversity falls. This has significant implications for the economics of health care policy in developing countries, and advances our understanding of how ecological conditions can affect economic growth.

According to conventional economic wisdom, the foundation of economic growth is in political and economic institutions. "This is largely Cold War Economics about how to allocate property rights—with the government or with the private sector," says Dr Matthew Bonds, an economist at Harvard Medical School, and the lead author of the new study. However, Dr Bonds and colleagues were interested instead in biological processes that transcend such institutions, and which might form a more fundamental economic foundation.

The team was intrigued by the fact that tropical countries are generally comprised of poor agrarian populations while countries in temperate regions are wealthier and more industrialized. This distribution of income is inversely related to the burden of disease, which peaks at the equator and falls along a latitudinal gradient. Although it is common to conclude that economics drives the pattern of disease, the authors point out that most of the diseases that afflict the poor spend much of their life-cycle outside the human host. Many cannot even survive outside the tropics. Their distribution is largely determined by ecological factors, such as temperature, rainfall, and soil quality.

Because of the high correlations between poverty and disease, determining the effects of one on the other was the central challenge of their statistical analysis. Most previous attempts to address this topic ignored disease ecology, argue Bonds and colleagues. The team assembled a large data set for all of the world's nations on economics, parasitic and infectious vector-borne diseases, biodiversity (mammals, birds and plants) and other factors. Knowing that diseases are partly determined by ecology, they used a powerful set of statistical methods, new to macroecology, that allowed variables that may have underlying relationships with each other to be teased apart.

The results of the analysis suggest that infectious disease has as powerful an effect on a nation's economic health as governance, say the authors. "The main asset of the poor is their own labor," says Dr Bonds. "Infectious diseases, which are regulated by the environment, systematically steal human resources. Economically speaking, the effect is similar to that of crime or government corruption on undermining economic growth."

This result has important significance for international aid organizations, as it suggests that money spent on combating disease would also stimulate economic growth. Moreover, although diversity of human diseases is highly correlated with diversity of surrounding species, the study indicates that the burden of such human disease actually drops when biodiversity rises. The analysis is inconclusive about why this effect is so strong. The authors suggest that competition and predation limit the survival of disease vectors and free-living parasites where biodiversity is high. The research sets the stage for a number of future analyses that need to lay bare the relationship between health care funding and economic development.


Funding: MHB is funded by NIH Grant #K01TW008773 from the Fogarty International Center. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation: Bonds MH, Dobson AP, Keenan DC (2012) Disease Ecology, Biodiversity, and the Latitudinal Gradient in Income. PLoS Biol 10(12): e1001456. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001456


Matthew Bonds 
Harvard Medical School 
Boston, MA 
Tel: +1-410-991-6759 


4.  ===AAMC STAT===, News from the Association of American Medical Colleges, January 7, 2013 edition.  


News from the Association of American Medical Colleges

January 7, 2013

• AAMC Urges Long-Term Solution to Protect Access to Care
• Medical Schools, Teaching Hospitals Generate Billions for Economy
• Call for Abstracts for 2013 Integrating Quality Meeting
• Research in Medical Education Conference Issues Call for Submissions
• Ninth Annual Physician Workforce Research Conference Abstracts Due
• PCORI Announces Funding Awards for Comparative
  Effectiveness Research
• On the Move

AAMC Urges Long-Term Solution to Protect Access to Care

The recent bipartisan compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff contains a short-term patch to the sustainable growth rate formula for one year, preventing a 26.5 percent decrease in Medicare physician payments, but does so at the expense of cuts to hospitals.  The cuts include the documentation and coding (DCI) adjustment and the disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.  In a statement, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., said that while the association was pleased Congress was able to reach an agreement on the fiscal crisis, “The AAMC is troubled by the continued cuts to patient care […] that impact the ability of medical schools and teaching hospitals to continue their critical work.” 

Kirch also noted
that "Of greater concern is the failure to address sequestration adequately by simply delaying for two months implementation of potentially devastating cuts to Medicare funding and medical research supported by the National Institutes of Health."  To read a full analysis of The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, visit https://www.aamc.org/advocacy/washhigh/.

Medical Schools, Teaching Hospitals Generate Billions for Economy

The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals infused $587 billion into the economy while supporting nearly 3.5 million jobs in 2011, according to a new economic impact analysis of AAMC member institutions by the consulting firm Tripp Umbach.  The total $587 billion represents a 15 percent increase over the impact institutions had on the economy the last time the analysis was conducted in 2008.  The report also includes an appendix of the economic impact of publically funded research on the economy. 

Call for Abstracts for 2013 Integrating Quality Meeting

The annual AAMC Integrating Quality Meeting in June, which will bring together health care leaders, educators, residents, and students from the medical education and health professions communities to share strategies for enhancing the culture of quality in clinical care and education, is accepting abstracts until Jan. 18.  Proposals are being sought for poster presentations, interactive workshops and sessions, and selected plenary presentations in the following areas: approaches to improving value and educating for quality; aligning strategy for health reform and changes in the regulatory environment; team-based and interprofessional approaches to quality improvement; and student and trainee initiatives in quality improvement and patient safety.  To learn more, visit the meeting’s Web page.

Research in Medical Education Conference Issues Call for Submissions

The AAMC has issued a call for submissions for the 52nd Annual Research in Medical Education (RIME) Conference.  The RIME conference, which is held each year in conjunction with the AAMC Annual Meeting, provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of research concerning all aspects of medical education.  Submissions must be received by Feb. 8 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).  Guidelines and forms are available on the AAMC’s Web site.

Ninth Annual Physician Workforce Research Conference Abstracts Due

Today is the deadline for submitting abstracts for the Ninth Annual Physician Workforce Research Conference to be held May 2-3, 2013 in Alexandria, Va.  The conference is the premier opportunity for researchers, educators, and policymakers to meet and discuss federal and state workforce issues.  Applicants are welcome to submit either individual abstracts or full panels of three to four related presentations.  The Conference Advisory Committee is particularly interested in research that informs physician workforce policy. To learn more, visit the meeting’s Web site.   Address questions to Clese Erikson at cerikson@aamc.org.

PCORI Announces Funding Awards for Comparative Effectiveness Research

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)  approved 25 awards, totaling $40.7 million over three years, to fund patient-centered comparative effectiveness research projects.  More than half of the recipients were from AAMC-member institutions.  The projects will be under PCORI's first four areas of its National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda, which include: Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment Areas, Improving Healthcare Systems, Communication and Dissemination Research, and Addressing Disparities.

On the Move

Christine K. Cassel, M.D., was named president and CEO of the National Quality Forum.  Cassel will join the organization mid-summer 2013.  She is currently the president and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and ABIM Foundation.  Cassel announced last year that she would step down from the positions in July 2013.


5.  Inside OME:  AACOM News on Osteopathic Medical Education, Dec. 2012/Jan 2013 edition.  

If you are unable to view this e-mail clearly you may view it online at
http://www.aacom.org/resources/e- news/ome/2013-01/Pages/default.aspx


Past Issues

Please send information for the newsletter to Lindsey Jurd at ljurd@aacom.org.


AACOM Joining Forces Teaching Case Featured in Online Journal!
Maryland Medicine features teaching case developed by AACOM's Joining Forces Curriculum Work Group. Read more

AACOM: Out and About

Learn about recent AACOM staff activities and projects. Read more

Upcoming Events
and Deadlines

January 18
Excellence in Communications Awards Entries Deadline

January 18-20
COSGP Winter Meeting
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

January 31
SOME Innovation in Medical Education Awards Application Deadline

February 8
NAOME Fellowship Program Application Deadline

February 22
2014 OHPI Program Application Deadline

February 24
AACOM Research Grants Program Application Deadline

March 4
Joint AACOM & AODME 2013 Annual Meeting Early Registration Closes / Regular Registration Opens

March 6
Macy Faculty Scholars Program Application Deadline

March 30
Sherry R. Arnstein Scholarship Awards Application Deadline

April 16
National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 24-27
Joint AACOM & AODME 2013 Annual Meeting
Baltimore, MD

Upcoming Recruiting Events

Upcoming Hospital Day Events

AACOM Job Connection

Utilize AACOM's Job Connection to post resumes and fill academic, administrative and executive position vacancies with high-quality candidates.

Visit AACOM Job Connection to learn more.

Des Moines University-College of Osteopathic Medicine students participate in holiday food drive.  Read more


ShannonService and Compassion: Hallmarks of the Osteopathic Medical Student Population

Dr. Shannon reflects on osteopathic medicine's compassionate nature and strong service orientation, and shares some of the holiday service activities osteopathic medical students have undertaken nationwide. Read more

Leadership Update
Rocky Vista University appoints President and Chief Executive Officer. Read more

Joint AACOM & AODME 2013 Annual Meeting Opening Keynote Speaker Announced; Early Registration Now Open
Don't miss the opportunity for discounted registration. Early registration closes March 4, 2013. Read more

AACOM Board of Deans Convenes
The AACOM Board of Deans recently gathered for its fall retreat and meeting. Read more

AACOM Hosts 2012 Health Policy Fellowship Seminar
Fellows from across the country interacted with prominent health policy makers and experts, including HHS Deputy Administrator Marcia K. Brand, PhD. Read more

Interprofessional Education Update
AACOM and fellow health professions education organizations are working to advance national IPE initiatives. Read more

Application Deadline for 2014 OHPI Program Approaching
Osteopathic medical students interested in health policy should apply by February 22, 2013. Read more

2013 NAOME Application Deadline Approaching
The application deadline for AACOM's National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators is February 8, 2013. Read more

AOA Releases Osteopathic Medical Profession Report
The OMP Report compiles current demographics and statistics related to osteopathic physicians and medical students. Read more

Sixth Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day Approaching
The April 16 event will help inspire and educate the public about the importance of advance health care planning. Read more

Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Issues Call for Faculty Scholars
Selected scholars will lead new educational reforms at their home institution; the deadline for applications is March 6, 2013. Read more

Healthy People 2020 Update
Stay connected with Healthy People 2020 webinars, events, news and updates. Read more

capitol dome

Federal Updates

President Signs Bill to Avert Fiscal Cliff

HHS Seeks Nominations for the NIH Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee

IOM Committee on Governance and Financing of GME Holds Second Meeting

AACOM Letter to White House in Support of GME

AACOM Letter Urging Congressional Leadership to Support Medical Education and Oppose Sequestration

AACOM GR Staff Attends CHF NDD Town Hall

USDE Releases Final Rule on Student Loan Issues

USDE Announces Early Implementation of “Pay As You Earn” Initiative

AACOM Leads Effort in Sign-on Letter to Congressional Leadership on National HC Workforce Commission

CMS Redistributes GME Slots from Closed Hospitals

November Election Results

Additional Federal Updates

Campus Roundup

DMU-COM Associate Dean Receives Fulbright Specialists Award

LECOM Gift Facilitates Gannon University Simulation Center Upgrades

MU-COM Receives $5 Million Grant from Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation

NYCOM/NYIT Announces Official Name Change

OU-HCOM Receives Final COCA Approval to Recruit Students for Dublin Campus

VCOM Holds Second Annual Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser

VCOM-CC Hosts On-Campus Children's Wellness Fair

2013 Osteopathic Medical College Information Book


AACOMAS Application Open!

AACOMAS has opened its centralized application for those seeking to enter osteopathic medical school in fall 2013.


© Copyright 2013 AACOM All rights reserved.
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine • 5550 Friendship Blvd., Suite 310, Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7231 • (301) 968-4100 • webmaster@aacom.org

To subscribe or unsubscribe to this monthly newsletter, please e-mail insideome@aacom.org.


6.  This, too, is SCIENCE!   An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool.”

An In-Depth Analysis of a Piece of Shit: Distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and Hookworm Eggs in Human Stool. 

Authors:  Stefanie J. Krauth, Jean T. Coulibaly, Stefanie Knopp, Mahamadou Traoré, Eliézer K. N'Goran, Jürg Utzinger 


Author Summary

An accurate diagnosis of parasitic worm (helminth) infections is important for adequate patient treatment and disease control programs. Helminth eggs in human stool samples are used as an indicator of infection intensity and morbidity. However, little is known about the exact distribution of helminth eggs in stool samples. Homogenization has been suggested to improve the diagnostic accuracy. Hookworm eggs disintegrate over time, which makes their detection challenging in epidemiological surveys. We determined the location of helminth eggs in entire stool samples from 222 individuals in Côte d'Ivoire. We also investigated whether homogenization has an effect on the detection of eggs, and determined egg counts over time in stool samples stored on ice, covered with a moist tissue, or kept in the shade. No clear pattern of helminth egg distribution was found in human stool samples. Homogenization resulted in more accurate egg counts of the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni, while it did not affect other helminths. Keeping stool samples on ice or covered with a wet tissue slows down the disintegration of hookworm eggs. Our findings have important implications for individual patient management and the design and implementation of epidemiological surveys and helminth disease control programs.

Here’s Figure 1, which graphically (pun intended) shows how samples were collected:

Figure 1 Instruction form on how to collect whole-stool samples for the study.


7.  Marginalia:  A question of scale.  

Open on your computer not your phone or iPad; you need a larger screen.

Gives you a perspective of size, starting in the middle with a human

This is a WONDERFUL animation that I ever received. I hope that it works for you. Just slide the bar at the bottom left or right.

Be sure to go BOTH ways on the sliding scale.


Dr. Stan Eisen, Director
Preprofessional Health Programs
Biology Department
Christian Brothers University

650 East Parkway South
Memphis, TN 38104

E-mail: seisen@cbu.edu
Caduceus Newsletter Archives: http://www.cbu.edu/~seisen/Caduceus.html