Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unmarried sex is a crime in Abu Dhabi

The Telegraph has the story:
Expat couple arrested in Abu Dhabi for sex outside of marriage

"An expatriate couple have been detained in Abu Dhabi for almost six weeks after being arrested for having sex outside of marriage.

South African Emlyn Culverwell, 29, took his 27-year-old Ukrainian fiancée, Iryna Nohai, to a medical centre in the UAE city after she developed stomach cramps.

The doctor said she was pregnant and informed authorities after they could not provide marriage certificates. They were first brought to Yas Police Station, before being moved to Al Wathba Prison."   

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Matching shipping containers to shippers

A matching problem that John Vande Vate is thinking about has to do with the large number of shipping containers that travel empty to their next destination after being unloaded. "Street turns" would match them to shipments near their previous destination.

Here's his report on the considerable upside to improved matching:
e‐Street‐Turns:TheEasyStreettoGreen

Monday, March 20, 2017

Congestion in SF public school choice

One thing that computerized school choice is supposed to do is reduce congestion that sometimes stops school districts from matching students to schools in a timely way. San Francisco has a computerized system, but they are nevertheless running into congestion this year. SFGate has the story:
High anxiety as SF public school assignments run late, By Nanette Asimov

"A school district glitch has parents biting their nails in San Francisco this week.
Thousands of dollars are on the line for families that are prepared to lay out hefty deposits for private schools by this week’s deadlines — but hope they won’t have to if they can get into a public school of their choice.
The trouble is, the San Francisco Unified School District may not be able to tell them about their public school options, from elementary through high school, before private-school down payments are due Wednesday through Friday. The district missed its March 17 deadline for sending out school-assignment letters because of “unforeseen staffing emergencies,” said spokeswoman Gentle Blythe.
“We have people who haven’t slept in days” trying to make sure that 83,000 school options for 14,000 students are all correct, Blythe said, adding that she can’t reveal more about the problem because of employee confidentiality.
...
"The deadline for private high school deposits is Wednesday at noon for parents applying for financial aid and Friday at noon for those paying full price. Private elementary and middle schools have a Thursday deadline. And although most private schools coordinated their deposit due dates with the public school district this year, the district’s glitch has thrown the careful planning into disarray."
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Update: SF school-assignment letters to be mailed out Monday night  By Nanette Asimov Updated 4:19 pm, Monday, March 20, 2017

"The San Francisco district sends out public-school assignments by U.S. mail because “the letters provide the documentation families need to register at school sites and serves to further verify their address,” spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said.
However, parents facing an imminent private-school deadline who haven’t gotten a letter by Tuesday can email enrollinschool@sfusd.edu.
“We will do what we can to help you after March 21,” says a notice on the district’s website."

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A 5 pair internal kidney exchange at Ohio State

US News and World Report has the story
A five-way kidney exchange was successfully completed at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.

"Rimmer and DeVoe were part of a five-way kidney exchange at Ohio State on Tuesday. All five recipients had a family member or friend willing to donate to them, but each was incompatible.
...
"More than 98,000 people in the United States, including about 2,200 in Ohio, are waiting for kidneys. Ohio State was the site of 209 kidney transplants in 2016, and roughly 40 percent were from living donors. A goal is to boost both numbers, said Washburn, who operated on two of the recipients, including Rimmer.

The five-way kidney exchange is the second largest of such procedures performed solely at Ohio State. Most such "internal" exchanges are smaller, but the university's largest, in 2011, involved 12 patients and six transplants. This week's exchange initially included 16 people, but one person was not well, so three pairs had to drop out.

Since 2010, 60 kidney transplants have been performed at Ohio State through similar internal exchange groups. Surgeons there also perform about 10 transplants annually through "external" exchanges that involve other hospitals."

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mohammad Akbarpour on Iran's kidney market

My colleague Mohammad Akbarpour at Stanford GSB is featured in their newsletter.  

He thinks about kidney transplantation from a number of different angles...here's a snippet.

Is It Ever OK to Sell (or Buy) a Kidney?

"Iran’s paid kidney market emerged after the country’s revolution at the end of the 1970s. In the early ’80s, foreign sanctions against the government inhibited its ability to get dialysis machinery. The number of Iranians needing a kidney transplant, however, kept increasing, so in 1988 the government organized a system that regulated and funded kidney transplantation. Their system included compensation for donors.
Officials euphemistically described the money given to each donor as a “gift,” says economist Mohammad Akbarpour, an assistant professor of economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business, who, has been working with several colleagues to study Iran’s market and unpaid kidney exchange markets globally. “They were paying for it, but using different words,” says Akbarpour. The system worked so well that the kidney transplant wait list in Iran was nearly eliminated by 1999.
“We have this discussion in the West about what would happen if you have a paid market for kidneys,” says Akbarpour. “The expectation has been that poor people will be selling their kidneys to rich people. But the debate has been largely based on speculations, as opposed to evidence.”
Akbarpour looked at five years’ worth of data about kidney sales and transplantation in the country, and his preliminary findings show that the average wealth of those buying kidneys is almost exactly the same as the average wealth of Iranians. Most of the payment for each transplant comes from the patient, not the government.
“It’s not just rich people who can buy a kidney in Iran,” he says. “Even poor people find the money for it, because it’s so valuable. There are also charities they can tap.”
But one suspected consequence of a cash market for kidneys did turn out to be true: Poor people sell kidneys far more than any other economic group. In Iran, most kidneys come from those whose incomes are in the bottom 25% of earners."

Friday, March 17, 2017

Match Day for American doctors and foreign medical grads

Today is Match Day for the National Resident Matching Program. Congratulations to all the newly matched residents.

Here are some articles in honor of match day, concerning difficulties in the interviewing process that proceeds the formal match, and some other things (including the US travel ban that is once again being adjudicated):

Match Day is coming up. Here’s how medical students game the residency system
"Writing love letters

This is the most common way to game the match. Applicants send emails to residency program directors expressing their interest in the program, hoping to influence how the director ranks them. Applicants sometimes end up writing multiple letters professing their love to different programs. Sometimes, they tell more than one program director that their program is their first choice.

While programs often say that they don’t adjust their rankings based on “love letters,” some do. For one of my friends, a residency director for surgery told her, “the love letter could be a deciding factor in how we rank you.”

So, we’re stuck: If you don’t send one, it might look like you’re not interested."
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 2016 Dec 1;82(12):1163-1168.

Behind the Match Process: Is There Any Financial Difference Lurking Below the Specialty of Choice?

Abstract: The Match was developed in response to a chaotic residency selection process. While the match has remained relatively unchanged since it was introduced, the number of medical school graduates has increased at a rate outpacing the number of residency positions leading to a more competitive process for applicants. In May 2014, an 18-question mixed-response questionnaire was distributed to fourth year allopathic medical students via an E-mail distribution list for student affairs representatives. The individual surveys were accessible via SurveyMonkey and available for completion over the course of a 4-week period. Approximately 65.1 per cent of students performed at least one audition rotation and documented average expenditures of $2494 on housing, food, and transportation. The average applicant applied to 32 programs and attended 12 interviews while spending $4420 on the interview trail. Applicants for surgical programs applied to approximately 42 programs and attended 13 interviews compared with primary care applicants who averaged 23 programs (P < 0.001) and attended 12 interviews (P = 0.002). Surgical applicants averaged 20 days on the interview trail while spending $5500 ($423/interview) on housing, food, and transportation compared with primary care applicants averaged 19 days away from home (P < 0.05) and spending $3400 ($283/interview) on these same items (P < 0.001). The findings in our study indicate that the "Match process" contributes to the financial burden of graduating medical students and it is more expensive and time consuming for the candidates interested in surgical specialties.
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No Heart Surgeon Match Day for Major Medical Center
Columbia University missed deadline to submit residents' ranking list
"Medical students hoping to train in cardiothoracic surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City got some bad news over the weekend: The center will not be able to select residents in Match Day for cardiothoracic surgery.
The center confirmed Monday that it missed the deadline to submit its ranking list for residents in the specialty."
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And this:( 
Travel Ban Adds Stress To 'Match Week' For Some Doctors

Here incidentally is the NRMP statement on the travel ban:

NRMP Statement On The Executive Order On Immigration

February 3, 2017
NRMP has released a statement on the Administration’s Executive Order on immigration. We ask the medical education community to support all international medical graduates and their families during these difficult times. Please be assured that NRMP will do all it can to address the uncertainties the order has created. As for the current Match cycle, we hope that applicants and programs will continue to rank each other in the order of true preference, based on the qualifications and qualities each seeks in the other.
Maria C. Savoia, M.D., Chair
Mona M. Signer, President and CEO

Thursday, March 16, 2017

What do immigrant doctors affected by the travel ban bring to America?

"What do immigrant doctors bring to America" is the question asked (and answered) by The Immigrant Doctors Project, a website compiled by a team of youthful looking scholars in response to the six country travel ban reinstated by the White House after an earlier version was found illegal by the courts.

One of the authors, Jonathan Roth, is quoted at length in a news article on the particular effect this ban may have in Los Angeles: Hundreds of doctors in LA County could be affected by new travel ban

"The executive order, which is due to go into effect on Thursday, temporarily blocks visas from being issued to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen to "to protect the Nation from terrorist activities by foreign nationals." The ban does not include permanent residents and those who already have visas, but doctors applying for new visas or seeking to renew expired ones would require a waiver. Several states are challenging the order's constitutionality in court.
"Los Angeles is actually the metro area in the United States which has the highest number of doctors from the banned countries," according to Jonathan Roth, a Harvard PhD student and one of the researchers who worked on the Immigrant Doctors Project.  
Roth, along with other researchers from Harvard and MIT, used the location of the medical school where a doctor was trained as a way to calculate a doctor's country of origin. Since many doctors train abroad, Roth says it's likely that the number of doctors affected by the ban is much larger than their estimates. 
More than 900 doctors in Los Angeles went to medical school in one of the six countries listed in the executive order, more than three-quarters of them in Iran, he says. "
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Tomorrow is Match Day for new medical residents and fellows, and we have yet to hear how the immigration ban may have affected this year's match. (See earlier post: Travel bans and rank order lists for the resident match)