Quick Takes: Jury Awards $1.7M to Ex-Dental Student, Reforms Urged for Medical Residents, Cleveland Clinic Will Reveal Researchers' Corporate Ties, 6 Arrests for Band Hazing, Ex-Dean Cleared, Grawemeyer in Psychology, Milestone for Holocaust History

December 3, 2008
  • A federal jury on Tuesday awarded $1.72 million to a former dental student at the University of Michigan who said she was kicked out of the program because of a feud between an associate dean and two professors, the Associated Press reported. The former student said she became a target when the two professors refused to allow her special testing conditions because of her attention deficit disorder. A university spokeswoman told the AP that the university was disappointed in the verdict and needed to "exercise careful and deliberate judgment about who should be permitted to graduate from its professional schools and practice in the health care professions."
  • Additional "adjustments" are needed in the rules governing the work of medical residents, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Institute of Medicine. The report notes that the system has improved since 2003 limits were imposed on the maximum hours per week that residents could work (80), and the longest consecutive period of time (30 hours). But the report says that the 30-hour shifts remain problematic. In addition, the report suggests changes involving enhanced supervision, time off for sleep, and better "handovers" of patient care to "minimize the risk of error" by residents. The Association of American Medical Colleges issued a statement praising the report but also noting -- as the Institute of Medicine did -- that changes would require "significant time and resources."
  • The Cleveland Clinic -- a major center for biomedical research -- plans to start making public the ties between its medical scientists and all drug companies or medical device producers, The New York Times reported. The move comes amid criticism from Congress and elsewhere that many medical researchers fail to adequately report such ties, and that conflicts of interest are raising doubts about important findings.
  • Six students at Southern University at Baton Rouge were arrested Tuesday on felony charges of ritualistic torture and battery for repeatedly beating new members of the marching band with a board as part of a hazing tradition, The Advocate reported. Two students were hospitalized because of the beatings. Southern issued a statement in which it said it had "zero tolerance for hazing."
  • A federal judge has found that John Soloski should be cleared of charges at the University of Georgia that he harassed an employee, the Associated Press reported. The charges against the former journalism dean were "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable," the judge found. Soloski was accused of harassing an employee by commenting on her appearance.
  • The University of Louisville has announced that Anne Treisman is the winner of the 2009 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology, worth $200,000. Treisman, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at Princeton University, was honored for her work explaining how our brains build meaningful images from the bits of information we see.
  • The Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California and Sun Microsystems plan today to announce that the foundation has now captured more than 100,000 hours of oral history recordings of Holocaust survivors on high quality systems that will preserve the records. The project involving the foundation and a Sun platform has been considered an important one for long-term study of the Holocaust.
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