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What We're Reading: Joint Initiative Launched to Prevent Physician Suicides


What we’re reading, December 2, 2016: Johnson & Johnson must pay $1 billion to patients injured by Pinnacle hip implants; 3 organizations join forces on initiative to prevent suicides in physicians and medical trainees; the American Hospital Association has sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump with a list of requests for his administration.

Johnson & Johnson must pay over $1 billion to 6 plaintiffs injured by Pinnacle hip implants, a federal jury ruled on Thursday. The plaintiffs, who experienced tissue death and bone erosion, alleged that the company promoted the metal-on-metal implants as lasting longer than ceramic or metal ones. Johnson & Johnson and its DePuy Orthopedics Unit are currently involved in almost 8400 lawsuits concerning the Pinnacle devices.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and Mayo Clinic have collaborated on a new initiative to prevent physician suicides due to burnout. Located on ACGME’s website, the resources include a video on peer-to-peer support for medical students and residents as well as a guide on how training problems should address a resident’s suicide. “Addressing our own risk in the physician community is an important step toward addressing suicide at the public health level,” said Christine Moutier, MD, chief medical officer of AFSP, in a joint press release.

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has sent a public letter to President-elect Donald Trump containing 5 requests for action by the new administration. Signed by Richard J. Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO, the items include reducing regulatory burden, enhancing affordability and value, continuing to promote quality and patient safety, ensuring access to care and coverage, and continuing to advance health system transformation and innovation. Referencing the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the letter urged Trump “not to make any abrupt changes that could lead to significant instability for patients, providers, insurers and others.”

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