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May 2017

Increasing Clinical Faculty Engagement in Problem-Driven Research: The “Magic Wand” Initiative at Massachusetts General Hospital

Author Affiliations
  • 1Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(5):375-376. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.0286

Problem-driven innovation is a highly successful model in medicine. It starts with the identification of an unmet clinical problem and proceeds through formulation of a plan to study that problem and ultimately to the development of potential solutions that can improve the health of patients. This is in contrast to technology-driven innovation, which begins with a new tool and then attempts to determine where it can be applied in medicine. Arguably, the success of the problem-based approach rests largely on the identification of well-defined problems faced by clinicians in medical practice. Given the critical importance of correctly characterizing unmet needs and the requirements for a practical solution, clinicians play an invaluable role in this innovation model. In addition, clinicians have the unique position of being able to also engage patients throughout the process and solicit their valuable input as the end users of medical solutions.

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