From the Dean

Directing our own health care paths

Clinicians and patients typically agree there are advantages to having medical wishes clearly documented in advance of a health crisis. Despite this understanding, and an abundance of cautionary anecdotes to serve as examples, why do conversations about end-of-life decisions remain … Continued


Outgrowing Childhood Diseases

Before the 1950s, it was rare for a baby born with cystic fibrosis (CF) to survive to more than 5 or 6 years of age. In 1962 the median survival was about 10 years with few surviving into their teen … Continued

Flu: An old, but unconquered enemy

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world. Ultimately, the 1918 flu, which lingered into 1919, infected most of the world’s population and killed 50 million people. At the time, the cause of the … Continued

A Delicate Dialogue

When Nashville, Tennessee, resident Judy Williams recently had a replacement battery for her car installed, she left the service man a bit speechless after he explained the new part’s warranty. “I came home and immediately sent an email to my … Continued

Handle with Care

Neonatologist Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, cares for one of the unintended consequences of the rampant opioid crisis — babies born with drug withdrawal — and he’s on a quest to reduce that part of his practice. He’d prefer not to … Continued

Vaccinating the Vulnerable

On Halloween morning, a patient nervously listened to Greg Fricker, fourth-year medical student from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, as he explained the importance of receiving an influenza vaccine. Fricker told the patient that roughly 80,000 people died last year … Continued

The CME Transformation

In November 2018 Vanderbilt University Medical Center physicians and other clinical team members gathered from specialty services that see patients who are more apt to be gravely ill — trauma, cardiology, gerontology and so on. The occasion was an intensive … Continued