On Saturday, March 19th, the Mass Medical International Global Health Care Conference kicked off, featuring a diverse array of speakers who enlightened the audience with a captivating selection of topics, from the newest strategies in hospital management in the US to a haunting portrayal of the grim realities existing within virtually every hospital system in China.
The conference officially started at 10am, with Dr. Michael Wagner, the President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center discussing the problems that have existed within hospital management in the New England area. Moreover, he highlighted the history the prestige of Tufts Medical Center and how it has worked to increase its reputation by providing state-of-the-art health care services for patients. By expanding Tufts outreach and using online networking resources like NEQCA (New England Quality Care Alliance), Tufts Medical Center has been able to provide faster and more effective treatments for patients in need.
The next up in the conference was Dr. Christine Lian, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and a dermatopathologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. The focus of her lecture was largely clinical and focused on the growing international concern of melanoma. Traditionally, it was thought that the so-called Western obsession with sun tanning had led to the increasing instances of skin cancer worldwide. But, through the research provided, Dr. Lian depicted a growing rise of melanoma cases in China and other East Asian countries where sun exposure is significantly less. Is there a genetic link with melanoma or are there other factors involved with this pressing medical concern? Her ongoing research suggests the promise of understanding the pathology of melanoma.
Third in the line-up was Alison Marshall, a Clinical Instructor at the Boston College School of Nursing and a board certified, practicing family nurse practitioner. Her demanding practice in South Boston highlights the front-line diligence that nurses have to adopt in order to handle the growing influx of patients seeking general medical aid. According to Marshall, the tendency for physicians to specialize too narrowly in their fields of medicine has led to a decrease in primary care doctors that are direly needed to initially process and evaluate patients in need.
Wrapping up the line-up of medical speakers, Dr. Bill Lian, Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts and an Internal Medicine Physician at Mass Memorial Medical Center gave an eye-opening portrayal of the realities existing within the overburdened health care system in mainland China. According to Dr. Lian, nearly all of the hospitals in China have their waiting rooms maxed out beyond capacity on a daily basis, with many patients unable to see a doctor for many days on end. Moreover, a lack of record keeping among Chinese physicians has resulted in clinical chaos as patients are often unable to see the same doctor twice, thus preventing effective case histories to be established among patients. To close his presentation, Dr. Lian juxtaposed the highly expensive and relatively manageable hospital systems in America, which sets a much higher budget margin for providing health care to patients.
Following Dr. Lians sobering lecture, a panel discussion was facilitated by Adam Szot, the GM of Mass Medical International to provide some cohesion among the speakers in synthesizing the unifying topic of global health care and how this can be facilitated. The key questions related to the nature of globalized medicine and the recent advances that have been to provide a more equitable health care system, not only in the US, but ultimately the world.
Necessarily, the panel also turned toward the obstacles that currently exist between countries that prevent globalized medicine from gaining rapid traction in the market. Issues as simple as language and cultural differences to more complex issues related to hospital protocol and transparency in data led to a lively participation on the part of the speakers. Dr. Hong Chen-Cheung, a Primary Care Physician at Mass General Hospital and instructor in Medicine at the Harvard Medical School weighed in on the discussion as well as Magda Tsintou, a Post-doctoral research fellow in Neural Engineering in the Harvard-MIT Division.
To close out the conference, Madge Meyer, the award-winning author of The Innovators Path, public speaker, and founder of Madge Meyer Consulting, LLC gave an inspiring speech about how to adapt in a rapidly changing business world. Her book outlines an inspiring approach toward innovative practice in business and maintain strong discipline in order to meet ones goals and objectives. She is known for her unique yet practical approach to advancing innovation and leadership in business. Ms. Meyer was the former Executive Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer and Technology Fellow at State Street Corporation.