Morning Lecture Recaps

Toensing, McMillan: Hunger no longer affects ‘marginal’ populations

Toensing, McMillan: Hunger no longer affects ‘marginal’ populations

In 1968, CBS Reports showed a documentary called “Hunger in America.” The film illustrated the face of late ’60s poverty: uneducated, unemployed men and women raising skinny-legged kids in run-down shacks. Senior citizens and children were the worst affected. One in 20 Americans at the time struggled with hunger, a figure just above the unemployment rate.

Dimick, Richardson illustrate world agriculture

Dimick, Richardson illustrate world agriculture

“Food transforms the world’s landscapes,” said Dennis Dimick, executive environmental editor at National Geographic. “Forty percent of the land area of the Earth has been transformed for agriculture.” Those transformations and the many faces behind it were vibrantly presented to the Amphitheater audience on Monday as Dimick, joined by National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson, showed photographs from their 25-year collaboration exploring the world’s agricultural systems.

Dentzer: Post-acute care key to improving U.S. health system

Dentzer: Post-acute care key to improving U.S. health system

A projection of Michelangelo’s David stared down at the Amphitheater audience from behind Susan Dentzer as she spoke at Friday’s morning lecture. But this wasn’t quite the perfectly proportioned model of a man that has wowed countless numbers of tourists in Italy. An apparently unhealthy dose of Photoshop had added a massive gut and sagging pectorals to the famed piece of art.

“Somebody got the bright idea to send him off to a two-month trip in the United States,” Dentzer joked. “He’s just not the svelte young Florentine he used to be — he’s an American.”

Cassel: Doctor-patient relationship needs to rest on even ground

Cassel: Doctor-patient relationship needs to rest on even ground

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists the first definition of “patient” as “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint.” The thesaurus provides some of the expected synonyms: “tolerant” and “stoic.” But then some “related words” take a slightly darker turn — “subservient,” “conformist” and, taking the sentiment to its bleakest extreme, “slavish.”

While there are many times patience is, as they say, a virtue, Dr. Christine K. Cassel said people seeking medical care don’t like calling themselves “patients.” It makes them feel powerless. And that’s a dynamic between consumers and health care providers that Cassel wants to help change; she believes people seeking health care need to have a more balanced doctor-patient relationship than has historically been the case.

Gilfillan: U.S. must change private marketplace to move to ‘patient-centric’ approach

Gilfillan: U.S. must change private marketplace to move to ‘patient-centric’ approach

Dr. Richard Gilfillan thinks that basically every health professional has walked a career path paved with good intentions. No one who has stepped up to the podium this week in the Amphitheater, the Hall of Philosophy or anywhere else on the grounds hates the idea of making people healthy.

“No one comes here and says they want to provide fragmented health care at an unreasonable cost,” he said.