Conference wrap-up, Alliance video, a thyroid ‘cancer’ reclassified

April 28, 2016

In order to bring you more of the news you want to read, RightCare Weekly summarizes and interprets three important articles and provides headlines linking to the many other articles and editorials you’ll find interesting. As always, RightCare Weekly presents articles related to moving our healthcare system toward the right care for all patients.

Join the conversation: Post your comments in our new section at the bottom of this page. 


Thanks to the attendees and speakers, our 4th Annual Conference in Chicago was a huge success, with our attendance numbers far exceeding our projections, and the conference getting rave reviews. If you were with us, you already heard from an array of eloquent and provocative speakers. If you weren’t there, take a look at these video clips of Jeffrey Brenner, MD, John Ioannidis, MD, Joanne Lynn, MD, Eliseo Medina and Phillip Thompson, PhD.  You can view full remarks by Shannon Brownlee, MSc, and Vikas Saini, MD. Here’s a short summary of the amazing event. Our first Research Day on Friday included panel discussions, abstract slams, and poster presentations. Special kudos go out to the Abstract Award recipients: Eric Coon, MD, pediatric hospitalist, University of Utah School of Medicine; and Kendra Lawrence, RN, BSN, MHLP student, University of British Columbia; and to Right Care Vignette Competition Winners: Stephanie Cull, MD, MSc, resident, Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Ploa Desforges, MD, resident, internal medicine, McGill University Health Center. On Saturday, attendees took advantage of the several skills-building workshops. The conference was kindly supported by several funders, most generously the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. Watch for details about our 2017 conference, scheduled for April in Boston.

On Sunday at the conference, individual Right Care Alliance councils met in sessions, planned their agendas for the year, and ratified their mission and vision statement. The Alliance is pleased to share this new video, produced pro bono for us by Epipheo, which juxtaposes the ideals of the Hippocratic oath with the eroding social mission of medicine. Please share this widely via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail! Help change the national conversation about health care. Join the Right Care Alliance and ask three friends or colleagues to do the same this weekHere’s how to join.

The incidence of thyroid cancers in the United States and elsewhere has been rising, partly due to early detection of tumors, the vast majority of which are indolent. Last year, Sang Won Shin, MD, wrote about the over-diagnosis and overtreatment of thyroid “cancers” in Korea for our blog. Recently, an international panel of clinicians, as reported in JAMA OncologyThe New York Times and Science Daily, reclassified one type of thyroid cancer that is non-invasive and has little risk of recurrence so that it is no longer labeled as “cancer.” The panel downgraded what was once “encapsulated follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma” to “noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like features,” or NIFTP. In doing so, the panel hopes that thousands of people around the world will be thyroid removal, radioactive iodine treatments and ongoing follow-ups for a condition that is unlikely to cause them harm. Yuri Nikiforov, MD, of University of Pittsburgh’s Division of Molecular and Genomic Pathology, who spearheaded the effort that included 24 pathologists from seven countries and 13 institutions, believes treating NIFTP as if it were invasive cancer puts people at risk for unnecessary complications of thyroid removal and treatments, as well adding to health care costs. Nikiforov told the Science Daily, “To my knowledge, this is the first time in the modern era that a type of cancer is being reclassified as a non-cancer. I hope it will set an example for other expert groups to address nomenclature of various cancer types that have indolent behavior to prevent inappropriate and costly treatment.”


The Right Care Alliance is seeking an enthusiastic individual to help collect and organize educational resources for the Health Care Education Council. A central aim of this council is to connect clinical trainees with knowledge that will promote provision of Right Care. For details, see the bottom of this page.




4th Annual Lown Institute Conference




Primary care


Social determinants


Mental health


Med ed




Quality and safety




End of life




RightCare Weekly is made possible through the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation