Synthetic Cadavers, Because Innovations in Medical Education Aren’t Always Digital

Although there exists no reliable government database about demand for cadavers, sources like National Geographic and The Economist have reported on data compiled from individual agencies about shortages of donor bodies, as well as new fields beyond medical education beginning to use cadavers. SynDaver Labs is attempting to ease the possible strain on demand by producing incredibly accurate artificial human and animal bodies – synthetic cadavers. These synthetic cadavers are constructed from thousands of parts by six specialized teams; skeletal, skin, muscles, organs, vasculature, and final assembly. All of this detail allows the cadavers to mimic organic bodies by simulating breathing, bleeding, and closely replicating the textures of individual body parts. When they’re not in use, they must be stored in water because they are composed primarily of water, just like us. Click here to learn more about this medical education tool from SynDaver Labs. This line ranges from educational models for anatomical reference to advanced surgical simulators which breathe, bleed and react like live patients. Our synthetic humans are tailored to meet a wide range of needs and can be customized with variety of pathologies and injuries based on patient images, CAD drawings or simple descriptions. Individual tissues have been developed over the course of the last two decades to accurately mimic the interaction between tissue tools and live tissue. Because of this, they are an ideal substitute...

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your Medical TV Shows?

Are you a fan of medical dramas on TV? Do you look forward to hospital based movies? Then let’s find out just how knowledgeable you are with our Medical TV Shows Quiz, courtesy of GapMedics! Your check-up is due! Fans of Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, ER, Children’s Hospital, and House encouraged to take the quiz! Medical shows give a sense of drama and realism for healthcare professionals. Yash Pandya writes his previous article on “Medical Shows to Remember“: I just had to start with this one. Grey’s Anatomy is one of the most well-known, long-running series on TV. Beyond the relationships and the medical talk, the one key facet that truly struck me and made me stay with the show is the physician-patient encounters. The creator, Shonda Rhimes, does a phenomenal job of bringing forth the many nuances of patient backgrounds, experiences, and impressions in order to make us question our preconceived notions. We start to think – perhaps it’s not as black and white as it may seem? But let’s remember: television is still fiction. Elizabeth writes on “The Danger in Hollywood’s Favorite Medical Myths“ Television has no shortage of doctor dramas. Whether you’re an avid House fan or dedicated to Grey’s Anatomy, you are familiar with the miraculous phenomena that occur every day in these hospitals. Contrary to popular belief, real hospitals are not the abundance of diagnostic mysteries...

Don’t Get Sick: Four Pet Diseases To Watch For

With diligent care and cleaning of your pets, along with regular checkups at the vet’s office, it’s pretty unlikely that you would contract a disease from your pet. However, all animals are potential carriers of zoonotic diseases. Here are four pet diseases to watch for: Cats – Toxoplasmosis You could contract this parasite from your cat if you aren’t careful to wash your hands after cleaning out your kitty’s litterbox. Although an estimated 60 million people in the US carry the Toxoplasma parasite, most don’t show symptoms. However, in pregnant women and those with compromised immunity, Toxoplasma could cause serious health problems. Tips from the CDC to avoid bringing toxoplasmosis home include changing the litterbox daily, keeping your cat indoors and feeding cats canned or dried commercial food or well-cooked meats – not raw or undercooked food. Dogs – Bubonic Plague While you can’t get the plague directly from Fido, you could get it from one of his fleas, if that flea is carrying the bacterium Yersinia pestis. In humans, the Bubonic Plague can cause headache, chills, fever, weakness and swollen lymph nodes. Treat promptly with antibiotics, and make sure you keep your pets free of fleas. Cases of Bubonic Plague are very rare, with only about 7 reported cases per year in the US. Birds – Parrot Fever Parrot Fever, or Psittacosis, comes from infection from the bacteria...

How To Be More Confident In The Medical Field

The most important task for every premed and medical student is learning how to appear confident. If we want the privilege of cutting people open and prescribing potentially lethal drugs, we need steady hands. But confidence is something I’ve always struggled with, particularly in my academic life. The common theme in my feedback from faculty, bosses, and attendings has been: be more confident. This is a great problem to have. Presumably they all see a reason for me to be confident (who would tell an incompetent person to have confidence?). But it is a problem. Here’s what happens: a faculty member tells me to be more confident, and my first thought is always, Yeah, but… Yeah, but I’m not sure that what I’m saying is right. Yeah, but there’s more than one answer. Yeah, but I don’t feel confident. But what really prompts me to think, “Yeah, but”? Stephen Hawking famously said, “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” And it’s quite pleasant and intelligent-sounding to argue that my resistance stems from my internalization of the imperative to question one’s own knowledge. But that’s BS. In truth, my feelings stem from a much less pleasant reality, which became impossible to ignore when I was studying for Step 1: I don’t trust myself. And no situation better exemplifies this lack of trust than...

Chef Uy Presents: Orange, Mint, and Blueberry Infused Water

Natalie Uy is a resident in Internal Medicine who loves to eat and doodle. Her food blog, Obsessive Cooking Disorder, is a collection of recipes she made during her study breaks and stories on my medical / life adventures. Here is her recipe on how to prepare Orange, Mint, and Blueberry Infused Water. Some exciting news – I’ve officially moved into my new apartment, and this is the first recipe from my new kitchen! My kitchen is disproportionately large (it’s literally the same size as my entire living room), but I can live with that. Moving was not easy – it was towards the end of my q4 28 hour call month (which means 28 hours straight in the hospital every 4 days), so I was already fatigued at baseline, but with the help of many wonderful friends and, of course B, we did it! B had a golden weekend thank goodness, so he could come up to Connecticut and move things while I was at work. Fortunately, I married a very tall, strong man to make up for my rather petite size (and also my equally, if not even more petite friends whom I had recruited, as B pointed out with a facepalm). B wanted to pay for packers/movers 100% but I’m more of a DIY person, especially since we’re moving my studio just a few blocks over, so we compromised with...

Why I Don’t Wear Scrubs

Some of the nurses at work were talking about a sale on scrubs.  I was listening in, because I only have one pair of scrubs that I wear on call and they’re awful.  The top is so big that it could be a dress on me. Nurse: “Actually, I’ve never seen you in scrubs, Dr. McFizz.  You never wear them!” They pointed out that a few of the other doctors do sometimes wear scrubs during 9-5 business hours, but some of us don’t.  Here’s why I don’t: When I was an intern, I worked at a county hospital, serving a very poor population.  Intern year is hard, and I wanted nothing more than to live my life in scrubs–basically, nonstop pajamas.  But our program director said to us, “You know, these patients may be very poor and not speak English, but they should be treated with respect. And that means they deserve a doctor who is well dressed.” Some of the other interns wore scrubs every day anyway, but I didn’t.  On non-call days, I wore “nice” clothes. Those words really stuck with me, even now, over ten years later.  I feel like it’s more respectful to dress in nice clothes when I see patients. You can find Dr. Fizzy’s newest book, The Devil You Know on Amazon. Read an excerpt here. She’s got a great job at a VA Hospital,...

Describing the Brain’s Encoding Process

Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) are studying brain activity in the hopes of deciphering the mechanisms behind the brain’s decision-making process. By monitoring the activity of neurons directly after a stimulus, and using algebraic topology to visualize that activity, computers are able to recognize patterns in the overwhelming amount of data. Kathryn Hess Bellwood, PhD describes how the research output seems to show a clear delineation between when the brain is processing the stimuli and the exact moment a decision is made. This research will help us determine the brain’s encoding process, how bits of information gets transferred throughout the body. From EPFL’s Article: Brains of healthy rats that are the same age share many features, such as similar numbers and types of neurons present in the six layers of the cortex. But how do neurons exchange information? Which neurons are activated? How does this change with time? To answer these questions, a team of scientists led by EPFL’s Blue Brain Project used the mathematical language of algebraic topology to describe just how rat neurons connect to each other – and respond to stimuli – providing the first geometrical insight into how information is processed in a rodent brain. The results are published 12 June 2017 in the open-access journal Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. “Our previous mathematical approaches struggled to make sense of the activity generated...

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