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APSA-JCVI Pearls: Physician-Scientists and Synthetic Biology [PDF]

Posted on July 31st, 2016

Want to hear about the potential of synthetic biology and career pearls from a physician-scientist pioneer in the field? In the Fall of 2015, the Policy Committee visited the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) to talk with Hamilton Smith, MD, Nobel Laureate and leader of synthetic biology efforts at the JCVI. Dr. Hamilton discussed the power of the physician-scientist and how physician-scientists can shape biomedical research through policy advocacy. Read the synopsis [PDF] of the Policy Committee's visit for career pearls from Dr. Smith and lessons how how synthetic biology will impact medicine and science.

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The Science of mHealth [PDF]

Posted on November 4th, 2015

The past 5-10 years have produced an explosion of new scientific tools ranging from nanotechnology to shotgun sequencing that have allowed for more individualized patient care and disease management. Most recently, we have seen an exponential growth in the development, accessibility, and utilization of mHealth tools, a multibillion dollar sector. Curious about how these mHealth tools are revolutionizing medicine and biomedical research potential? Check out APSA Policy Chair, Dr. Jennifer Kwan's synopsis [PDF] of the recent Transforming Medicine: Evidence-Based mHealth Conference hosted by Scripps, co-authored with Director of Digital Medicine at Scripps, Dr. Steven Steinhubl.

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2014 Regional Meeting Highlights and Reviews

Posted on January 4th, 2015

If you missed the 2014 APSA Regional Meetings, you missed out! Held in California, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, and New York, the 2014 Regional Meetings had an outstanding series of speakers and panelists and brought trainees from the undergraduate to the resident and fellow level together to discuss science and career development. Read on for reports from each of the Regional Meetings, and be sure to attend your own regional meeting in 2015!

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APSA and ACTS collaborate for Advocacy Day 2014

Posted on 3 August, 2014

APSA’s collaboration with the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) this year aligned with career development and advocacy efforts important to physician scientists at all training stages. Activities included:

  1. Capitol Hill advocacy day to support biomedical research funding and translational research
  2. APSA’s Policy chair, Dr. Jennifer Kwan helped organize two informative sessions for the ACTS Annual meeting

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The 10th Annual Meeting in Review

Posted on 28 July, 2014

Ten short years ago, Freddy Nguyen and the first student leaders of APSA held the inaugural Annual Meeting in Chicago, ushering in a decade of growth, advocacy, and achievement. The 10th Annual Meeting (AM) continued this fine tradition, featuring world-renowned speakers, workshops and panels on key issues for physician-scientist trainees, and unmatched networking opportunities with senior leaders in biomedical science.

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APSA works with ACEP to recruit Emergency Care Research mentors for physician-scientist trainees

Posted on 17 June, 2014

Formal training in basic research has never been more accessible for medical students. There are currently 43 institutions with NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTPs), 75 offering formal MD/PhD training paths, and 7 with DO/PhD programs [1]. Thus, the number of research-trained applicants for post-graduate medical training is higher than ever. Yet, physician-scientists performing basic research constitute only a small subset of emergency care researchers, perhaps because the intersection of emergency medicine and basic science is not as intuitive as its intersection with clinical outcomes, public health, and public policy.

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A Journal by Medical Students, for Medical Students 

Posted on 27 February, 2014

The ability to analyze, critique, and use research in practice is essential to master evidence-based medicine and deliver the best care possible to patients. A group of committed medical students have established the American Medical Student Research Journal (AMSRJ) to promote interest in research among their peers as well as to provide a platform for the development of critical thinking skills needed for clinical success.

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Introducing: APSA Committee Corner

Posted on 15 February, 2014

APSA's Standing Committees are always hard at work for physician-scientist trainees, whether planning the APSA Annual Meeting, initiating new partnerships, or fundraising for APSA goals and projects. Learn about their work in the inaugural Committee Corner, and be on the lookout for future updates every month. Are you interested in serving on a Standing Committee? Submit a leadership application today!

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APSA South Regional Meeting Review

Posted on 12 November, 2013

We are pleased to report that the 2013 South Regional Meeting was a splendid success. Held in the lovely Greehey Campus of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), attendees from across Texas were engaged by a rich variety of speakers, small group sessions, and student posters.

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Updates from the Finance Committee

Posted on 5 November, 2013

As the newly elected Chair of APSA’s Finance Committee, I hope to share my great enthusiasm for the opportunities that lie ahead of us in the 2013-2014 academic year. In APSA’s 10th year of existence, we hope to utilize several plans to solidify the financial state of APSA, for both the immediate and long-term future of the organization.

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Event Review: Southeastern Medical Scientist Symposium

Posted on 4 November, 2013

APSA’s 4th annual Southeast Regional Meeting was a great success this year, with over 120 registered participants representing more than ten universities! At the meeting, students in medical, graduate, MSTP, and undergraduate programs from UAB, Vanderbilt, Emory, Georgia Regents University, and many more had the opportunity to mingle and present their research during the two-day conference.

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APSA Northeast Regional Meeting Review

Posted on 4 November, 2013

The 7th Northeast Regional Meeting of APSA was held at Temple University School of Medicine. The Northeast Regional Meeting is perhaps the best opportunity to interact with your fellow trainees from across the northeast, and with nearly 200 attendees, this year’s meeting was no exception.

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Undergraduate Perspectives on APSA

Posted on 4 November, 2013

Hello APSA members! We are your undergraduate liaisons Sofia Campos, a senior from University of California, San Diego, and Leanne Dumeny, a senior from the University of Florida. After joining APSA last year, we intended on sharing our interest in becoming physician-scientists with others, and informing more students about the possibilities and opportunities of a dual degree.

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Updates from the Finance Committee

Posted on 4 November, 2013

A the newly elected Chair of the Finance Committee, I hope to share my great enthusiasm for the opportunities that lie ahead of us in the 2013-2014 academic year. In APSA’s 10th year of existence, we hope to utilize several plans to solidify the financial state of APSA, for both the immediate and long-term future of the organization.

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Review of European MD/PhD Conference

Posted on 4 November, 2013

The European MD/PhD conference took place in Paris, France July 5-7 2013 at Paris Descartes University, with support from the host university and various French organizations. The conference featured prominent physician-scientist speakers in various disciplines from the United States and France, and brought together MD/PhD trainees across all training stages from 9 countries: Denmark, Netherlands, France, UK, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Romania and the United States. APSA was invited to represent the United States, and Jennifer Kwan, current Chair of the Policy Committee, gave a presentation on physician-scientist training in the United States, APSA initiatives geared toward physician-scientist career development, and highlights from the APSA Annual Meeting.

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Event Spotlight: Southeastern Medical Scientist Symposium

Posted on 14 October, 2013

APSA’s annual Southeast Regional Meeting, the Southeast Medical Scientist Symposium (SEMSS), will be at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) this year! MD/PhD, MD, and undergraduate students from UAB, Emory, and Vanderbilt started this annual regional meeting in 2010, and it has been a great success in fostering discussions about interdisciplinary career paths in science and medicine.

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Letter from Evan Noch, APSA President

Posted on 4 October, 2013

The 2013-2014 year of the American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) is off to a wonderful and productive start. Our recent 9th Annual Meeting in April at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago, IL was a great success, with speakers ranging from Shinya Yamanaka to Francis Collins and from Bruce Beutler to Robert Lefkowitz. APSA has expanded rapidly over this past year, and our five standing committees have continued to generate new initiatives that will enhance our member benefits and bolster our presence within the scientific community.

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Thoughts on APSA from Kim Gannon, Neurology Resident

Posted on 17 September, 2013

I was thrilled to be asked to write an article for the APSA newsletter and a bit nostalgic. A bit about me: I graduated from medical school in 2011 from the University of Mississippi Medical Center with a PhD in Physiology. Our medical school did not offer a formal MSTP program, as the thought of a physician-scientist is very young in the South, and only slowly becoming more accepted. I am currently a PGY-3 Resident in Neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

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APSA Partnership Initiative Gains Momentum, Provides Member Benefits

Posted on 17 September, 2013

From its earliest days, APSA recognized the value of partnerships for its members. Our first major alliances were forged with The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP), both honor societies for physician-scientists, to provide physician-scientist trainees access to established and successful physician-scientist mentors. Over the years, through connections of various members of our leadership, we have made affiliations with other organizations to increase our visibility, advocate for physician-scientist training, and expand the benefits we are able to offer our members.

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Faculty Health in Academic Medicine: A Book Review

Posted on 11 September, 2013

Think about this sentence written by Craig Irvine of Columbia University - "The medical academy’s primary ethical imperative may be to care for others, but this imperative is meaningless if divorced from the imperative to care for oneself." This is fancy way of saying what we hear frequently. That is, that we need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. But as highly motivated trainees in the fields of research and medicine, do we really take this advice to heart? We should.

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APSA 9th Annual Meeting Review

Posted on 11 September, 2013

The APSA Annual Meeting (AM) is the premier event for physician-scientist trainees. The 2013 AM, held from April 26th to April 28th at Chicago’s Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel, was no exception. Distinguished speakers and unmatched mentoring and networking opportunities are among the many draws of the APSA AM. If you couldn’t make it this year, read on to discover all that you missed and the many reasons why you will undoubtedly want to make attending in 2014 a top priority.

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Letter from the President - May 1st, 2013

Posted on 1 May, 2013

It has been my pleasure to serve as the president of the American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) this past year. Our annual meeting in April marked the culmination of a highly productive and successful year for APSA’s Executive Council. Over the past 12 months, we launched a number of new and exciting initiatives and expanded on existing efforts as we continue to strive to fulfill our mission of serving the needs of physician-scientists in training.

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Malaria, drug resistance, and climate change

Posted on 25 February, 2013

Scourge of humanity for millennia, malaria remains unconquered despite billions of dollars spent on prevention and treatment. Efforts to control the disease, including billions from the Gates Foundation and numerous intergovernmental organizations, still see over 200 million clinical episodes and over 650,000 deaths each year (WHO data for 2010). Unfortunately, some of the strongest weapons we have in the fight against malaria show signs of weakening, with resistance to the most powerful antimalarial drugs appearing in Southeastern Asia. While the temptation to dismiss the problem as one of the tropics alone may be strong in an era of shrinking research budgets, the developed world ignores malaria and similar diseases at its peril. World travel and increasing global temperatures threaten to bring diseases today confined to the tropics to the shores of the United States and Europe.

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Research Day Award Winners 2012

Posted on 1 February, 2013

Congratulations to the winners of our Future Physician Scientist Awards! We currently have 3 winners: Joseph Taylor, Cody Rutledge, and Alexander Garcia, with more awards coming soon.

Joseph Taylor won a $100 award and certificate at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) 2012 Research Day on November 2nd.

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A Surgical Career for MD/PhDs: Part I

Posted on 23 January, 2013

In this 5-part series, Yun Rose-Li, M.D./Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, provides insights from current surgeons and physician-scientists as well as recent survey and research findings to explore the feasibility and opportunities of a career path in a surgical specialty or subspecialty as a physician-scientist. This is the first of five parts.

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Funding Science: Sequestration and Beyond

Posted on 23 January, 2013

One might be forgiven for believing a universal cure for all cancers is easier to find than optimism for the future of science funding in the United States. As the beginning of 2013 approaches, substantial cuts to science funding loom large. With the US government funding a substantial portion of the research done in the US, and by extension the world, the problem of funding science is of enormous importance to all researchers, particularly trainees who will soon be vying for some of that funding themselves or are supported by it now. As you read this, the immediate problem of sequestration (dubbed the "fiscal cliff" by many) may have been resolved. However, recent trends in US science funding suggest that a drastic policy shift is required to solve the long-term issues facing the funding of science in the United States, issues that will remain of critical importance long after today’s crisis has passed.

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How the Office of Emergency Care Research Will Help Trainees

Posted on 23 January, 2013

With the recent announcement of the new Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR) at the NIH, a distinct niche has opened up in the realm of Emergency Medicine ideally tailored to physician-scientists. Although the NIH had previously established an Emergency Care Research Working Group, the foundation of the OECR displays a new, stronger commitment to basic, translational, and clinical research applicable to the emergency care setting.

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Spotlight on International Health: Q&A with Faculty from the Department of Neurology at Addis Ababa

Posted on 19 January, 2013

In order to gain more insight into the healthcare system in Ethiopia, Evan Noch (M.D./Ph.D. candidate, Temple University School of Medicine) sat down with four faculty members from the Department of Neurology at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. In this Q & A, they provide insight into their experiences as practicing neurologists in Ethiopia and the state of healthcare there today.

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Considering Careers: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PMR)

Posted on 1 January, 2013

Choices define and guide the aspiring physician’s journey through medical training, from the choice to seek medical school and to culmination in the choice of specialty. The future physician-scientist faces these same choices but with a very different view. While their purely clinical colleagues select from the entire spectrum of medicine, physician-scientists are often reminded that they should stick to traditional fields, such as pathology and fellowships following internal medicine, that so many of their forebears entered and prospered in. A brief glance at APSA’s database of research-oriented residencies attests to why, with those and similar fields offering many established and strong programs that blend clinical training with the opportunity for significant research in the field.

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Halting HIV: Scientific and Social Challenges

Posted on 1 January, 2013

The end of AIDS is a refrain heard all too often. In 1984, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler revealed that the viral cause of AIDS had been identified, declaring that the world would have a testable vaccine "in approximately two years." (Scientific American) Sadly, for the tens of millions worldwide suffering under the shadow of HIV/AIDS, she was wrong. Havlir & Beyrer, writing in the August 23rd New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), again address the end of aids. With decades more research and development behind them, are they right? Will the answer, if one is indeed imminent, be relevant for the billions of the world for whom receiving any kind of medical care, let alone the most modern of medical treatment, remains an unattainable dream?

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