Inside the PPE Underworld; Spotting Racism in Medicine

  • As the U.S. continues to break records for coronavirus cases and deaths, hospitals are once again facing PPE shortages. Doug Bock Clark explores the dark underworld of the PPE supply chain and the federal government’s inadequate response ~ Inside the Chaotic, Cutthroat Gray Market for N95 Masks (The New York Times)
  • “Each tube, about the size of a pinkie finger, contains a few precious droplets of frozen coronavirus vaccine,” which can provide one shot of protection to five people, writes Carolyn Y. Johnson, of the delicate and time sensitive process of getting a vaccine to patients ~ A vial, a vaccine and hopes for slowing a pandemic — how a shot comes to be (The Washington Post)
  • Emily A. Wang, MD, MAS, and colleagues discuss the ways in which U.S. prisons and COVID are “deeply entangled,” creating a perfect breeding ground to spread the virus ~ A Report From the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine ~ COVID-19, Decarceration, and the Role of Clinicians, Health Systems, and Payers (JAMA)
  • Growing up, Betial Asmerom watched doctors treat her family with disrespect but it wasn’t until she took a course on health disparities that she realized how often communities of color had similar experiences. Elizabeth Lawrence explores the fundamental changes medical school curricula must undergo to address health disparities and racism in medicine ~ What Doctors Aren’t Always Taught: How to Spot Racism in Health Care (Kaiser Health News)
  • When Kevin M. Simon, MD, fields questions from parents, colleagues and friends about how to talk about racial tensions, he combines evidence with the lived experiences of black men. As a black man and a physician, Simon has found “caring for Black boys and their families is one of the most rewarding and emotionally challenging endeavors I face” ~ Them and Me — The Care and Treatment of Black Boys in America (New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Arif H. Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, and colleagues discuss the essential role palliative care can play when patients and their families face life-threatening conditions ~ The Role of Palliative Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Mayo Clinic Proceedings)
  • “With mounting death tolls, increasing case burdens, and public confusion, we face an enormous task,” write Moncef Slaoui, PhD, and colleagues, regarding the need to develop effective therapeutics against COVID while the nation waits for safe and effective vaccines ~ Bridging the Gap at Warp Speed — Delivering Options for Preventing and Treating Covid-19 (New England Journal of Medicine)

Fred N. Pelzman, MD, of Weill Cornell Internal Medicine Associates and weekly blogger for MedPage Today, follows what’s going on in the world of primary care medicine. Pelzman’s Picks is a compilation of links to blogs, articles, tweets, journal studies, opinion pieces, and news briefs related to primary care that caught his eye.

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