December 2, 2010 — (BRONX, NY) — Nearly a quarter of Americans live in rural areas, which consistently report higher cancer mortality rates than urban and suburban areas. Among the complex causes for this disparity is that only 10 percent of physicians practice in rural areas and almost 4 out of 10 rural residents live at least an hour from an urban area. Finding the time, transportation, and financial resources for travel to urban academic medical centers, the standard bearers for quality cancer care, often proves difficult. Most rural residents have their cancer treated in their communities, although a survey suggests rural physicians are less likely to attend national medical conferences and may have difficulty keeping up with important oncology literature.
To help address this disparity, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University recently released a new web-based continuing medical education (CME) program designed to bring clinical research findings and expert advice on oncology via e-newsletter to physicians practicing in rural and small-town community settings. The goal of the program, Advances in Oncology for Community-based Oncologists, is to prepare physicians for the rapid integration of treatment advances into their clinical practices.
T.S. Ravikumar, M.D., an editor of Advances in Oncology for Community-based Oncologists and the NCCCP medical director at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, notes the importance of continuing outreach. “It is estimated that 85 percent of cancer care in the United States is delivered at the community level, far from the academic and research programs that change definitions of best care,” said Dr. Ravikumar. “Programs like this e-newsletter can further support the education of those practitioners who are treating the majority of oncology patients in the U.S. today.”
Christine Pellegrino, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Einstein, is course director for the program. “In this age of web-based and interactive training methods,” said Dr. Pellegrino, “it is critical to harness these technologies in the service of providing the best medical care to patients, wherever they live. By targeting medical specialties through new continuing education programs, we can do a great deal to reduce the information gap between local physicians and urban specialists.”
Advances in Oncology for Community-based Oncologist aims to provide interactive learning in an easy-to-access electronic format that outlines timely changes in standards of care in medical oncology, practice management and highlights from recent research and literature.
The CME program is a joint effort with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein, and In 2 MedEd, LLC. The activity is supported by an educational grant from Pfizer Inc.
About Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2009-2010 academic year, Einstein is home to 722 M.D. students, 243 Ph.D.students, 128 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and approximately 350 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has 2,775 fulltime faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2009, Einstein received more than $155 million in support from the NIH. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Through its extensive affiliation network involving five medical centers in the Bronx, Manhattan and Long Island – which includes Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein – the College of Medicine runs one of the largest post-graduate medical training programs in the United States, offering approximately 150 residency programs to more than 2,500 physicians in training. For more information, please visit www.einstein.yu.edu