Diane Harper, MD, the Rowntree Professor and Endowed Chair of Family and Geriatric Medicine in UofL’s Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, has been named a “Thought Leader-Plus” by MedPageToday.com.
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As a Thought Leader-Plus, Harper is called upon to provide expert commentary on topics in her field — primarily health care for women — as well as topics that do not have a strict medical focus. Most recently, Harper was asked to comment on physicians making diagnoses of famous people without seeing them face-to-face.
“(Physicians) have trained powers of observation to aid us in diagnosing illnesses. But powers of observation alone can be inaccurate or inaccurately interpreted. Without having the person be a part of the shared person-doctor relationship, harmful misdiagnoses will occur. Speculation about someone’s health, in the parlance of physicians, often causes more harm than benefit,” she said in the article posted Sept. 13 in the wake of news reports about the pneumonia and dehydration diagnoses of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In addition to holding an endowed professorship and chair, Harper also serves as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health; a professor of bioengineering at the Speed School of Engineering; and a professor of epidemiology and population health and of health promotion and behavioral health sciences in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Her expertise and primary research focus is prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to human papillomavirus. She joined the UofL faculty in 2013.
Harper was one of the United States clinician scientists leading the global research effort for prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to control cervical cancer. She has been a lead author in the multiple Lancet publications and co-author of more than 100 additional articles on cervical cancer prevention. She has helped establish U.S. national guidelines for the nomenclature of cervical cytology and the screening and management strategies for women with abnormal cytology and histology. She also has consulted for and published with the World Health Organization on the use of prophylactic HPV vaccines.
She is currently a member of the NIH’s Population Sciences and Epidemiology Integrated Review Group of the Epidemiology of Cancer Study Section and an active grant reviewer for many national organizations. In February, she was appointed to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an appointed panel that issues evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.