J Lyle Bootman

J. Lyle Bootman Empathizes with Medical Students who’ve Seen Careers put on Pause

Much has been said about how COVID-19 has disrupted the academic year of traditional colleges. These students are now learning from home and using technology to continue their education. J. Lyle Bootman, who for nearly 30 years as dean of the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, wants people to consider the plight of medical school students. Mr. Bootman was a faculty member with The University of Arizona for 40 years and as such, was closely involved with the efforts of students looking to break into fulfilling medical careers. The quality of education that medical students receive should be of interest to the general public; it is these individuals who go on to be doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and technicians who may one day treat them.

j lyle bootman

In an April 2020 article from the American Medical Association, we hear from a number of medical schools that are still accepting applicants and conducting interviews. The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, for example, is using Zoom and GoToMeeting to arrange online interviews. Moreover, the admissions dean at the Ohio school tells prospects to “prepare as if it were in person, which means dress for success.” To those who move forward, a hurdle soon appears and that’s a pause on the 2021 medical school application cycle. J. Lyle Bootman, who received his pharmacy education at The University of Arizona and his doctorate at The University of Minnesota, knows the bond that students develop with the schools that accept them. It is highly unfortunate that the future has been put on hold, but Mr. Bootman wants these students to know that things will return to normal eventually.

The pain extends to current medical school students who, according to the AMA, are seeing volunteer and “shadow” opportunities dry up. Social distancing has obviously affected those roles and to those who worry about how it will reflect on their pre-med transcripts, an associate dean of admissions of a college in Utah says “everyone is in the same boat … This pandemic is an international crisis. We are all going through it together. So future students, your application is going to be impacted like everyone else’s.” This shared sacrifice is something that admissions departments around the country need to take into account in the coming years. When J. Lyle Bootman was senior vice president of health sciences for Arizona Health Sciences Center, four health colleges and a medical center were under his guidance. This level of decision-making showed Mr. Bootman the wide-ranging impact that each and every choice brings. In the future when all is well again, he hopes that medical school students are able to fully immerse themselves in the training that sets them up for success.

J. Lyle Bootman’s Data-Driven Healthcare Career tells him Doctor Shortage can be Solved

Jesse Lyle Bootman

From income inequality to means of mass production, the coronavirus has taught the entire planet lessons about issues unrelated to health. Of course, the COVID-19 flu pandemic has also shed light on long-simmering topics within the health community and a supposed “doctor shortage” is among them. As a former professor of pharmacy, medicine and public health at the University of Arizona, J. Lyle Bootman was responsible for overseeing the education of medical experts in training. His vision and direction were also put to use while assisting the Arizona Health Sciences Center as a senior vice president for health services. In this role, Mr. Bootman helped guide four health professions colleges during a transition period. Since he is already well-versed in academia and its issues – and since no doctor lands that job without extensive schooling – Jesse Lyle Bootman is closely following recent headlines related to a “doctor shortage.” 

According to an April 2020 article from the magazine Washingtonian, the number of doctors entering employment in the U.S. is directly tied to payments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to hospitals. Those funds are used to hire “resident” doctors and this is a “crucial bridge” crossed before becoming a licensed physician. In short, the funding to increase the total number of doctors isn’t there and as such, “the federal government has enormous leverage over the number of new physicians that enter medicine each year.” By no means is this a nefarious way of controlling the medical field in the U.S., says J. Lyle Bootman, but it is something that has been made worse by the coronavirus. Currently,  Mr. Bootman is the senior vice president for global health and consumer initiatives for a New Jersey-based healthcare company. Wrangling data to help make informed decisions is what he has spent decades doing and to help stem a shortage in doctors is going to require educated anticipation. 

A recent Consumer Affairs article points out that 18 percent of doctors who responded to a recent U.S. survey plan to retire in the near term. This would place increased strain on a shortage – but there are silver linings to be seen, says J. Lyle Bootman. “The coronavirus has led to a huge increase in the number of physicians who are using telemedicine to treat patients remotely,” the article states, and that’s innovation in action. Mr. Bootman has authored hundreds of research articles and looked at big issues at a very granular level. As one of the 50 most influential pharmacists in the U.S., according to American Druggist, J. Lyle Bootman has shown that studying the issues we are faced with and then rolling out plans to solve them is the logical path forward. COVID-19 has tested so many societal structures but data, when used correctly, can steer us toward better days.