Current Issue
Spring 2014
BMM Current Issue
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Letter from the Dean
An Abundance of Talent

We are very pleased to highlight in this issue of Brown Medicine one of our most exciting initiatives and one of our most talented faculty.

 The patient-centered medical home is where we are likely to receive our medical care in the future. The medical home will bring appropriate medical care, single stop shopping, coordinated referrals to specialists, electronic medical records, and other services directly to patients. Costs can potentially be markedly reduced in such a model, and patient outcomes improved. The model can also make primary care a more rewarding career choice, and Rhode Island’s Area Health Education Center, based here at the Medical School, is working with national leaders to promote this model and provide incentives for new doctors to enter primary care. I believe that health care reform likely will incorporate the ideas of a the patient-centered medical home and will be the future of medical care.
Professor of Medicine Sharon Rounds personifies excellence at Alpert Medical School. A true “triple threat,” Sharon has excelled as a clinician and teacher. Rounding for many years at the VA in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, and the ICU, she has cared for innumerable veterans and taught generations of students, residents, and fellows. She has always been regarded as a doctor’s doctor, and research has brought her national and international recognition. And finally, serving as associate dean for clinical faculty affairs, president of the American Thoracic Society (the most prestigious pulmonary society), and now chief of medicine at the Providence VA Medical Center, Sharon has excelled as an administrator. We are more than fortunate to have Sharon on our faculty.

Letter from the Editor

Flora, Fauna, and Fame

In this year of Darwinophilia, there seems to be a bit of a “jump on the bandwagon” phenomenon. Right and left, institutions and publications are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the naturalist’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species. But if you pause a moment to contemplate the profundity and reach of Darwin’s work, you’ll want a seat on that bandwagon, guaranteed.

What a guy. Beyond giving us the understanding that species are the modified descendants of earlier forms – a notion of such exquisite clarity and logic that it seems almost self-evident today – Darwin broke ground in botany, zoology, travel writing, and experimental psychology. Though his work caused almost a Copernican revolution in science and culture, Darwin comes across less as a radical than as a deep, unifying, acutely observant thinker whose theories were gradual – like evolution itself.

There is something charmingly understated about his personal journal entries. He is implacable when it comes to his own productivity. Over and over he laments days, weeks, months as “entirely wasted,” “lost” either to inactivity (“…nothing is so intolerable as idleness”) or poor health (“lost several weeks by Boils & unwellness”), all the while researching, writing, and revising some 25 tomes that helped change the way we think about life on earth.

It was only a matter of time, I suppose, before the aspiring fifth grade archaeologist that I was, who worshiped the Leakeys and made a stop-motion animation starring Australopithecus africanus, gave Charles Darwin his due. As much as his contributions to science, it is his eclecticism and apparent unpretentiousness that I admire. John Collier’s achingly beautiful 1883 portrait conveys an irresistible impression of what I hope truly were his essential qualities: gentlemanliness, open-mindedness, insight, and wisdom.

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