Opening Lines

We all can benefit from a fresh perspective from time to time.

When attempting to solve a problem, success—or even progress—sometimes can prove elusive until we try a new approach or consider the issue from a different angle. When assessing a situation or set of data that seems routine, familiarity has the potential to keep us from generating new insights.

The source of a fresh perspective could be a second opinion, another “set of eyes,” or a colleague whose feedback sparks creativity. But the source does not need to be external. A change in mindset or a commitment to dig deeper can also do the trick. In the laboratory, multidisciplinary research collaborations lend added potency to the expertise of all involved. In the clinic or at the bedside, a caregiver who can see the world through the eyes of a patient becomes a more empathetic, effective provider.

The three feature stories in this issue of Medicine Iowa demonstrate various examples of how a fresh perspective can make a big difference. You will see how computer science is helping bring new ideas to hospital epidemiology research at the University of Iowa, deploying video game technology in the quest to halt the spread of dangerous pathogens in health care settings. You will read about how the Iowa Medical Innovation Group at the University of Iowa connects medical students with business, engineering, and law students to share ideas and create proposals for new medical devices that potentially can be brought to market. And you will learn about how taking a new tack on test results enabled researchers in the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics to spot a rare genetic deficiency in a child with epilepsy, providing the child’s family with solutions to questions they thought might never be answered.

Whether generated by special expertise, an altered point of view, or even just an active imagination, a fresh perspective enriches our efforts to advance medicine and deliver better care to our patients.

Jean RobillardRobilliard-sig

Jean E. Robillard, MD
University of Iowa Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean, UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine