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Class Notes

News from and about our graduates.

Forum

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Post-Op

Our 125th anniversary festivities are a celebration of the collective.

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Second Opinion

Progress in sickle cell disease has been painfully slow. Could race play a role?

Letters

This issue’s letter from the editor and reader responses.

In Focus

Kevin Shenderov in short white coat

The Long and the Short of It

A tradition that’s been part of residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital for generations will end in July, when the short white coat traditionally worn by first-year residents in the Department of Medicine gets permanently retired. The move came in response to a growing level of discontent expressed by today’s young doctors, who viewed the shorter coat as pejorative and worried that it potentially reduced patient confidence in the care they were providing.

“Today, [the short coat] does not promote the values that it was intended to promote,” wrote residency program director Sanjay Desai, in a memo explaining the change. “Instead, it represents a physical symbol of the past, and of an excessive rigidity and hierarchy … All institutions have to adapt to stay relevant and to ensure their traditions continue to uphold their core values. It would be a mistake for us not to.”

Kevin Shenderov, who donned his short white coat in June 2016, was among the last groups of interns to take part in the tradition.

Photo: Sherrie Lynne Fornoff

Horizons

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Face of the Future?

For people who rely heavily on visual communication—including the deaf and hard of hearing, children, and patients with limited English proficiency—surgical face masks can pose an isolating obstacle, making it impossible to communicate with doctors and nurses during crucial moments of a procedure and potentially leading to medical error.

Enter ClearMask, a transparent surgical mask that does its job blocking germs and fluids—without blocking faces. The brainchild of a Johns Hopkin team of graduate students and alumni (and an alum of Gallaudet University), ClearMask in April won the top funding prize of $25,000 from the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab, a startup accelerator program. The team has engineered its product to be fog-resistant, breathable and more comfortable, it says, than the standard surgical mask. The team hopes to submit its final design for FDA approval in August and put its product through clinical trials early next year.

Photo: CLEARMASK

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