Grand Rounds: Briefing the Next US President

Dear Mr or Mrs Next US President,

Thank you for vis­it­ing Grand Rounds, the week­ly col­lec­tion of the best health and med­ical blog posts, in the midst of your very busy schedule.

Street Musicians in NYCThe health and med­ical blo­gos­phere would like to make sure you and your team take into account the issues out­lined below as you and your aids for­mu­late your poli­cies and put togeth­er the team that will fur­ther define and imple­ment them.

With­out fur­ther ado, let me out­line these 40 ques­tions and topics.

Dear Mr or Mrs Next US President, 

1. Your main asset is your brain. What have you done late­ly to main­tain your brain? (Sharp­Brains).

Health Pol­i­cy

2. Who do you sup­port as US Sci­ence Advi­sor? (A Blog Around the Clock).

3. Not to depress you but…are you aware that health­care reform is real­ly hard? how will you change all this? (Medin­no­va­tion­blog).

4. How will you increase price trans­paren­cy of med­ical pro­ce­dures and engage con­sumer forces? (Val Jones).

5. Sor­ry to insist, but this is an impor­tant point. Why is there so much con­fu­sion and mis­in­for­ma­tion about pro­ce­dure prices? (Insure Blog).

6. Have you seen the recent fig­ures that show how lack of insur­ance reduces can­cer sur­vival rates? (High­light Health).

7. The cost of fruits and veg­eta­bles is grow­ing high­er than infla­tion rates, and we have a grow­ing obe­si­ty prob­lem. What will you do? (The Diet Dish).

8. In the midst of mul­ti­ple eco­nom­ic pres­sures, how will you make sure to add “Care” back to Health Care? (Hos­pi­tal Impact).

Health Sec­tor Professionals

9. How will you address the Nurs­ing Short­age? (Emergi­blog).

10. How will you reward, moti­vate and rec­og­nize med­ical inno­va­tors? (Clin­i­cal Cas­es and Images).

11. How will you moti­vate pro­fes­sion­als who put their own health and hap­pi­ness at risk to take care of oth­ers? (In My Hum­ble Opinion).

12. Would you agree that this neu­ro­sur­geon deserves his com­pen­sa­tion? (Ret­ro­spec­ta­cle).

13. How can we moti­vate more doc­tors to take Emer­gency Calls? (Every­thing Health).

14. If you are Oba­ma, you already know this. If you aren’t, how are your health­care pro­pos­als bet­ter than his? (Health­line Connects).

15. Have you spent time deal­ing with the real­i­ties of day-to-day hos­pi­tal issues? (Trau­ma Queen).

16. Mr(s) Pres­i­dent: you are a key par­tic­i­pant. Do you know how much we want you to suceed? (Chron­ic Babe).

Emerg­ing Topics

17. Aging-relat­ed research is neglect­ed in com­par­i­son to dis­ease-spe­cif­ic research — which does­n’t make much sense. How will you help cor­rect this? (Ouroboros).

18. How will you facil­i­tate cross-sec­tor col­lab­o­ra­tions to design, eval­u­ate and bring to mar­ket new tech­nolo­gies? (Dia­betes Mine).

19. Should every phys­i­cal rehab facil­i­ty make Nin­ten­do Wii games avail­able to patients? (How to Cope with Pain).

20. Is evi­dence-based med­i­cine the panacea? (Hope for Pandora).

21. Will you help us help our­selves? (BrainFit4Life).

22. How will you help set the bal­ance between the ben­e­fits and the mis­use of antibi­otics? (A Chron­ic Dose).

23. Will tech­nol­o­gy and games help reduce depres­sion rates? (Doc Gurley).

Glob­al Issues

24. What will you do to help the thou­sands of vet­er­ans (esti­mat­ed at 30% of return­ing sol­diers) com­ing back from Iraq with PTSD? Will you take this toll into account before you embark into anoth­er war? (NY Emer­gency Medicine).

25. What can we do to reduce cholera rates in Africa and parts of Asia? (Kolahun).

26. Giv­en the risk of glob­al epi­demics, what will you do to pre­vent out­breaks and dis­sem­i­na­tion of infec­tious dis­eases? (Inter­est­ed Participant).

27. Why has the malar­ia prob­lem grown so much in Africa, and what can we do to reverse it? (Ipex).

28. Can you help reduce the rate of inno­cent mis­takes in South Africa? (Oth­er Things Amanzi).

Eth­i­cal Concerns

29. Should doc­tors use the place­bo effect in the patien­t’s ben­e­fit? (Just a Geeky Girl).

30. A cocaine vac­ci­na­tion is no longer sci­ence-fic­tion. Would you allow, enforce, or pro­hib­it it? (Mind Hacks).

31. What is your posi­tion on the lethal injec­tion debate? (Every Day Nurses).

32. If noth­ing else works, how do we ensure noble and com­fort­able deaths? (Dig­i­tal Doorway).

33. If you see him, would you please remind Dr. Phil of HIPAA reg­u­la­tions? (Jef­freyMD).

Spe­cif­ic Med­ical Conditions

34. How will you help par­ents whose kids have atten­tion deficits nav­i­gate through emerg­ing research? (Health Busi­ness Blog).

35. We live in an increas­ing­ly com­plex world. What can you do to help improve the men­tal health of our teenagers? (Teen Health 411).

36. Imag­ine that, while hik­ing with some friends, one of them gets injured. Would you know how to pro­vide first aid? (Med­i­cine in the Outdoors).

37. How will you help dis­sem­i­nate best prac­tices, such as this exam­ple for Chron­ic Rhini­tis? (Aller­gy Notes).

38. Do we real­ly know what Schiz­o­phre­nia is? (Med Jour­nal Watch).

39. Can we do bet­ter new­born screen­ing for “Bub­ble Boy Dis­ease”? (Sci­ence Roll).

40. Can eat­ing beans help pre­vent Dia­betes? (Dis­ease Proof).

Dear Mr or Mrs Next US Pres­i­dent, good luck with the pri­maries and the elections.

Yours sin­cere­ly,

Alvaro, the host of this Grand Rounds Edi­tion, on behalf of this amaz­ing com­mu­ni­ty (thanks, Nick!)

PS1: giv­en the One-Per­son One-Vote prin­ci­ple and the theme of this edi­tion, I have includ­ed all submissions.

PS2: Next edi­tion will be host­ed on Jan­u­ary 22nd at

PS3: cred­it for pic goes to Wikipedia. Image is titled Street Musi­cians in NYC.


  1. Thomas Robey on January 15, 2008 at 2:39

    Nice­ly done.

  2. hgstern on January 15, 2008 at 6:46

    Wow! That’s a great metaphor, and a super effort.

    Thanks for host­ing, and for includ­ing our post.

  3. Dr. Val on January 15, 2008 at 7:35

    This is great, Alvaro. I like the blocks of ques­tions for­mat! Great job!

  4. Doc Gurley on January 15, 2008 at 8:22

    My first time par­tic­i­pat­ing in Grand Rounds–excellent round-up!

  5. Nancy Brown on January 15, 2008 at 9:34

    Great job — cre­ative and inter­est­ing! Thanks for hosting!

  6. ubergeek on January 15, 2008 at 10:05

    Great job! Love the for­mat. Thanks for includ­ing my post!

  7. AmyT of on January 15, 2008 at 12:55

    Excel­lent for­mat! Great job. Now would­n’t it be cool to get Hillary over here for a look-see?

  8. Alvaro on January 15, 2008 at 2:37

    Thank you all, for your par­tic­i­pa­tion. Most of the arti­cles are sim­ply superb! I learned a lot just by read­ing them.

    Amy: I’d cer­tain­ly love Hillary, and the oth­er can­di­dates, to take a look…it would be amaz­ing to have a can­di­date ask anoth­er one dur­ing a debate, “what exact­ly would you do about the Grand Rounds 40 health issues?” :-)

  9. Karen on January 23, 2008 at 9:06

    Are there any con­crete prac­tice appli­ca­tions to aid chil­dren (age 4–18)that are expe­ri­enc­ing acute psy­chi­atric ill­ness­es, some trau­ma relat­ed, to main­tain cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties? What do you think of coher­ence training?

  10. Alvaro on January 24, 2008 at 2:03

    Hel­lo Karen

    1) It depends on the spe­cif­ic prob­lem. Cog­ni­tive ther­a­py and some cog­ni­tive train­ing pro­grams have shown to be use­ful as part of a mul­ti-modal intervention. 

    2) Coher­ence train­ing: if you refer to heart rate vari­abil­i­ty biofeed­back, we think that can be a use­ful tool for emo­tion­al self-reg­u­la­tion in gen­er­al. I don’t know if there is research for spe­cif­ic clin­i­cal con­di­tions. To pro­vide over­all con­text, we reviewed a great paper last year: Appel­hans BM, Lueck­en LJ. Heart Rate Vari­abil­i­ty as an Index of Reg­u­lat­ed Emo­tion­al Respond­ing. Review of Gen­er­al Psy­chol­o­gy. 2006;10:229–240.

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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