Leana Wen

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Leana Sheryle Wen
Dr Leana Wen Jan 2013.jpg
Born (1983-01-27) January 27, 1983 (age 34)
Shanghai, China
Nationality American
Education MD, MSc
Alma mater California State University, Los Angeles; Washington University; Merton College, Oxford
Occupation Physician, health commissioner, author
Notable work When Doctors Don't Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests
Spouse(s) Sebastian Walker (m. 2012)
Website www.drleanawen.com

Leana Sheryle Wen (born January 27, 1983), is a physician, public health advocate, and the health commissioner of Baltimore City, Maryland, USA. She is the author of the book When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests.[1] Prior to this, she was an emergency physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.[2] She also served as the national president of the American Medical Student Association and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine/Resident and Student Association.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Shanghai, China on January 27, 1983,[4] to Ying Sandy Zhang and Xiaolu Wen,[5] Leana Sheryle Wen[6] moved with her parents to the U.S. when she was eight years old and grew up in Los Angeles, California.[7] Her mother was an elementary school teacher before she died from breast cancer in 2010[6][8] and her father is retired from his job as a technology manager for The Chinese Daily News in Los Angeles.[2]

Wen attended California State University, Los Angeles and in 2001, she graduated summa cum laude at age 18 with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry.[5][7] She received a Doctor of Medicine from Washington University School of Medicine and has two master's degrees, one in Modern Chinese studies[9] and the other in economic and social history from the University of Oxford in England where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She also met her future husband, Sebastian Walker, during her time in England.[2]

In 2005, Wen took a one-year leave of absence from medical school to serve as the national president of the American Medical Student Association,[5] where she led campaigns to increase healthcare access, decrease health disparities, and combat conflicts of interest between physicians and the pharmaceutical companies who notoriously use attractive sales representatives and free gifts to influence doctors, especially young interns and medical residents.[10][11] Wen became involved in U.S. and international health policy during medical school, serving in Geneva, Switzerland as a fellow for the World Health Organization and in Rwanda as a fellow for the U.S. Department of Defense.[5] In addition, she advised the U.S. Congress on physician workforce and medical education through her appointment on the Council on Graduate Medical Education by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.[7][12]

Career[edit]

Following medical school, Wen completed residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General) and a clinical fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Boston. She is board certified in emergency medicine.[13] She was married to South Africa native, Sebastian Neil Walker, in February 2012,[2] and started working in emergency medicine at BWH and Mass General before moving to the ER at the George Washington University (GW) in Washington, DC,[9] where she became a professor in emergency and health policy, and the Director of Patient-Centered Care Research.[14] She served as a consultant to the Brookings Institution and the China Medical Board, and conducted international health systems research including in South Africa, Slovenia, Nigeria, Singapore, and China.[15]

Patient advocacy[edit]

In 2013, St. Martin’s Press published her book, When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests.[16] It is about how patients can take control of their health to advocate for better care for themselves.[17][18]

Wen wrote a blog, The Doctor is Listening.[19] She has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and Psychology Today on patient empowerment and healthcare reform.[20][21] She has been an advisor to the newly established Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute,[22] and an advisor to the Lown Institute and the Medical Education Futures Study.[23] She is the founder of a Who's My Doctor, an international campaign that calls for transparency in medicine.[24]

Wen is a frequent keynote speaker on healthcare reform, education, and leadership, and has given several TED Talks. Her TED talk on transparency in medicine has been viewed over 1.5 million times.[14][25][26][27]

Baltimore City health commissioner[edit]

In January 2015, Wen was appointed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to serve as the health commissioner. In this role, she oversees the Baltimore City Health Department, an agency of 1,100 employees and $130 million annual budget with wide-ranging responsibilities including management of acute communicable diseases, animal control, chronic disease prevention, emergency preparedness, food service inspections, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, maternal-child health, school health, senior services, and youth violence issues.

She directed the city’s public health recovery efforts after the 2015 Baltimore protests, including ensuring prescription medication access to seniors after the closure of 13 pharmacies and developing the Mental Health/Trauma Recovery Plan, with 24/7 crisis counseling and healing circles and group counseling in schools, community groups, and churches.[28][29] In the wake of the 2015 Baltimore protests, the Baltimore City Health Department team launched numerous campaigns, including a citywide trauma response plan, youth health and wellness strategy, violence prevention programs, B’Healthy in B’More blog, and B’More Health Talks, a biweekly town hall and podcast series on health disparities.[7][30][31][32][33]

Opioid overdose[edit]

Wen has led implementation of the Baltimore opioid overdose prevention and response plan, which includes “hotspotting” and street outreach teams to target individuals most at risk, training family/friends on naloxone use, and launching a new public education campaign.[34] Wen testified to the U.S. Senate HELP Committee and U.S. House Oversight Committee on Baltimore's overdose prevention efforts. She led a group of state and city health officials to petition the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on adding black box warnings to opioids and benzodiazepines.[35][36] In March 2016, she was invited by the White House to join President Barack Obama and CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta on a panel discussion, where she spoke about Baltimore's response.[37] She convened doctors and public health leaders to sign the Baltimore Statement on the Importance of Childhood Vaccinations[38] and to successfully advocate to ban the sale of powdered alcohol in Maryland and synthetic drugs in Baltimore.[39][40] In May 2016, she served as the commencement speaker for the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Notre Dame of Maryland University, where she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.[41][42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Leana Wen". The GW Medical Faculty Associates. Retrieved 14 Apr 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Mallozzi, Vincent (12 February 2012). "Leana Wen, Sebastian Walker--Weddings". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Tanner, Lindsay (2 September 2013). "Forget Marcus Welby: Today's Docs Want a Real Life". AP News. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Wen, Leana, "I'm Your Doctor: Total Transparency Manifesto for Leana Wen, M.D.", DrLeanaWen.com, retrieved 13 Apr 2016 
  5. ^ a b c d "Wen Takes Rhodes Scholarship for Return to Oxford". 27 Nov 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Kristof, Nicholas D. (27 Jun 2007), "Sheryl and Sheryle", The New York Times 
  7. ^ a b c d "The Atlantic: Working a million hours to heal a city". Retrieved 13 Apr 2016. 
  8. ^ Wen, Leana, "Tribute to My Mother", DrLeanaWen.com, retrieved 14 Apr 2016 
  9. ^ a b Shesgreen, Deirdre (6 Mar 2016), "Doctor wants overdose antidote in every medicine cabinet", USA Today 
  10. ^ McDonald, G (6 November 2005), "Fighting the Freebies", TIME, retrieved 17 January 2013 
  11. ^ Romano, Michael (30 Jan 2006), "Fighting graft--it's academic", Modern Healthcare, 36 (5): 8–10, ISSN 0160-7480, PMID 16479773 
  12. ^ Council on Graduate Medical Education (2010), Twentieth Report: Advancing Primary Care (PDF), retrieved 14 Apr 2016 
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference gw was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ a b "What Your Doctor Won't Disclose". Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, to Deliver Graduation Address to University of Maryland School of Medicine's 207th Graduating Class". somvweb.som.umaryland.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  16. ^ Leana S. Wen, M.D., MSc., FAAEM: Health Commissioner, Baltimore City, Baltimore City Health Department, retrieved 13 Apr 2016 
  17. ^ "MacMillan". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  18. ^ Wen, Leana (2013). When Doctors Don't Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312594917. 
  19. ^ Goldberg, Carey (11 January 2013). "When Doctors Don't Listen, and Hangover Leads to Spinal Tap". Common Health NPR. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Huffington Post". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "Psychology Today". Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  22. ^ "PCORI". Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Medical Education Futures". Retrieved 13 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Who's My Doctor". Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  25. ^ "Wharton Center for Performing Arts at Michigan State University". Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Speaker Testimonials". Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Low-Tech Revolution to Healthcare Reform". Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  28. ^ Wenger, Yvonne (15 December 2014). "New city health commissioner to wage campaign against substance abuse". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  29. ^ Wen, Leana (15 January 2015). "Why I left the ER to run Baltimore's health department". National Public Radio. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "Triage and Treatment: Untold Stories from Baltimore's Unrest". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  31. ^ "Unrest in Baltimore: the Role of Public Health". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  32. ^ "Prescription help available as damaged pharmacies remain closed". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  33. ^ "Mental health help for residents affected by turmoil". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ "Senate HELP Committee Testimony". Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  36. ^ Dennis, Brady (22 February 2016). "Health officials push FDA to add 'black box' warnings about using opioids, benzodiazepines together". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  37. ^ CNN, Nadia Kounang. "Obama: Addiction is a preventable disease". CNN. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  38. ^ Wen, Leana; Czinn, Steven; Dover, George (12 Nov 2015), "Vaccines are safe, effective and life-saving", The Baltimore Sun 
  39. ^ McDaniels, Andrea K (26 Mar 2015), "Health concerns spur ban on powdered alcohol", The Baltimore Sun 
  40. ^ Barnett, Gigi. "New City Law Punishing Stores That Sell Synthetic Drugs". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  41. ^ "Saying Farewell to the Class of 2016 Graduates". somvweb.som.umaryland.edu. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  42. ^ "Commencement 2016". Notre Dame of Maryland University. Retrieved 2016-06-12. 

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