Medical Student Serves as Theme Issue Editor for AMA's Virtual Mentor

Marley Burns, a second-year medical student, is the theme issue editor for the September 2012 Virtual Mentor, AMA’s online ethics journal.

Medical Student Serves as Theme Issue Editor for AMA's Virtual Mentor click to enlarge Marley Burns

The September Issue of Virtual Mentor examines the limits of confidentiality in 21st century medicine. In addition to Marley’s contributions as editor of the issue, three UNC faculty members contributed this month.

Georgette A. Dent, MD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, wrote an article titled “The Student Becomes the Patient.” Sue E. Estroff, PhD, Professor, Social Medicine, and Rebecca L. Walker, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Social Medicine wrote an article titled, “Confidentiality: Concealing ‘Things Shameful to be Spoken About.’”

Other highlights from the issue include:

  • Would patient ownership of health data improve confidentiality? This movement toward patient ownership of data may offer less protection than its proponents envision, writes Barbara Evans, PhD, JD.
  • Medical students’ role in maintaining patient confidentiality and professional discretion is discussed by Peter Ubel, MD and Robert Veatch., PhD.
  • Adolescent confidentiality is a special case, with reason—to protect the health of minors—a difficult concept for some (such as parents) to grasp, as Pablo Rodriguez del Pozo, MD, JD, explains.
  • Sharing research into the history of medical confidentiality, Angus H. Ferguson, PhD, shows that in the western tradition it is an “enduring ideal” that has survived challenges in every era.

Click here to read the issue. It will be the featured issue through the end of September, after that it will be available in the archives of the journal.

VM is the American Medical Association's online ethics journal. The journal is open-access and advertisement-free. The journal is student- and resident-driven. Theme issue editors are selected in November of each year through a competitive process. The issue editors meet annually with VM editorial staff in Chicago, and each editor identifies a theme and month of publication for his or her issue and then solicits articles and case commentary from experienced physicians and other experts in the field who can help VM readers think productively about the topic under discussion.