While we are still tuning up our blog (I feel President Obama’s pain with the healthcare roll out) this came from Dr. Kate Gold. We always love good news in the gun violence struggle. -Jerry
The Institute of Medicine held their annual meeting in Washington DC on October 21, 2013. Each year, the meeting is convened around a certain theme: in 2011 the focus was on vaccines and in 2012 on health professions education. This year, the meeting was entitled: “The Science of Violence: Causation, Mitigation, and Prevention.” We heard from more than a dozen researchers who talked about the history of lobbyist opposition to public health research (going so far as to shut down our early sections of the CDC focused on gun violence), mental health and violence, violence prevention programs that work, the impact of recurrent exposure to violence, and different types of violence including a large focus on gun violence. There was also some interesting discussion about the “contagious” nature of violence and how in some ways it should be viewed more like an infectious disease. During the Q/A period, one IOM member reported she mentored a young physician-research who had been told that focusing a career on gun violence would be career-suicide, and another member countered that when he found himself on the NRA target list of violence researchers, he immediately put that honor on his CV! All in all, it was a fascinating day and encouraging to see so many diverse members of the IOM being exposed to the issues of violence research and see so much energy around such a critical public health issue.
A link to the day’s agenda is below and the site also has videos of all the talks:
Katherine Gold MD MSW MS
Department of Family Medicine
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
University of Michigan