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The Best Biomedical Research Journals for Staying Informed

In medicine, things are always rapidly changing, and the influx of research often leaves most of us toppling over data, articles, and new ideas to comb through. It’s important for the future healthcare professional and medical scientist to stay up-to-date on the latest advances, changes, and revolutions in biomedical science. For example, the boom of cancer immunotherapies over the past two years has overwhelmed the scientific literature and has been a hot topic of discussion in popular media outlets such as the New York Times. While these articles are often easier to read, highlighting anecdotal stories among interviews with important physicians and scientists involved in the research, they often fail to include primary research and the details of mechanism behind the science. Consequently, reading these articles featured in the media are intellectually interesting, yet lack the “meat” of the primary research. Instead of blasting a search on PubMed to find the latest news in research, I’ve compiled a list of the most relevant, highly esteemed, and trustworthy journals that are necessary in the arsenal of the future doctor and medical researcher. Most of them have highlights sections, editorials, and reviews as well to keep you informed on relevant topics without becoming tangled up in the depths of the original research article itself (though sometimes that is worth it and necessary). This is not a comprehensive list and is influenced...

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

The whole reason that e-cigarettes were invented was to provide a less harmful alternative to smoking – one which – unlike traditional NRT’s (Patches, gum etc) – actually feels like smoking, and gives you a genuinely satisfying nicotine hit. Something that is still actually pleasurable, but without the known problems associated with smoking. So naturally, ever since their conception there has been a great deal of debate over just how safe they really are. With well over a decade since the first generation of the humble e-cig hit the market we’ve seen a lot of good and a lot of bad research into vaping, vapor and the devices used to create it. In the following sections we’d like to try and sift the fact from fiction and provide you with a brief overview of the evidence that will answer is vaping safer than smoking. 1. The Basic Premise Since the 1950’s it has been increasingly well documented that it is the combustion of tobacco and the resultant smoke and tar inhaled, that cause the diseases associated with smoking. These include, lung cancer, COPD, cardiovascular disease, bronchitis, emphysema, and so on. One of the founding fathers of tobacco cessation, Professor Michael Russell, wrote: “People smoke for nicotine, but they die from the tar” There are over 5000 chemicals contained in cigarette smoke (source), over 70 of which are known carcinogens. Some...

What You Need To Do About Blood and Organ Donation

Blood and deceased-donor organ donation improves and saves the lives of thousands, if not millions, across the world each year, but there’s still many misconceptions about the process. Lack of education, fear and cultural factors greatly impede the amount of people signing up as organ donors or attending blood drives, and this shortage has a huge and long lasting effect on the health of those who need it, despite mounting efforts to encourage Americans to sign up for donation.   As a (current or future) medical professional, you are likely know more than most about the process of donating blood, or how organs are donated and transplanted upon a patient’s death—as well as how imperative donations of all types are to global health.   However, for the a cross-section of general public, the concept isn’t as simple.  Some of the most common concerns for potential donors include eligibility issues; including whether race, sexuality/sexual identity or age affects eligibility, to whether their religion will allow blood or organ donation in any form. Fortunately, Work the World have created a new infographic to mark National Donor Day (February 14th) that covers some of the most common myths and facts that potential donors need to know. For example, not many people know that you can become a donor even in your old age, as tissue and corneas are able to be donated...

Top Ten Anxiety Fighting Foods

The foods you eat play an important role in how effectively your nervous system operates and consequently how relaxed or stress you feel throughout the day. High sugar and refined grain foods negatively affect your blood sugar levels and can generally be considered stress promoting. Conversely, natural foods like vegetables, nuts and healthy protein sources are much slower digesting and usually provide a calmer and significantly more stable energy. Even eating a healthier diet though, there a certain anti-anxiety foods that are particularly good at reducing stress levels and relaxing your body and mind. Ahead are ten of the best and what makes them so good for relieving anxiety and tension. 10 Foods That Naturally Reduce Stress 1. Raw Pumpkin Seeds Raw and importantly unsalted pumpkin seeds are an amazing source of anti-anxiety nutrients. They are particularly effective if you replace sugary or salt laden junk food snacks with a small handful of pumpkin seeds (perhaps mixed with the two nuts coming up ahead). Pumpkin seeds are rich source of magnesium, a mineral vital for maintaining a healthy nervous system, regulating energy production and relaxing your body’s muscles. Many people are at least mildly deficient in magnesium as it is often processed out of packaged foods and soil levels are low in most Western countries. Magnesium deficiency may well contribute to anxiety and is known to stimulate food cravings...

Tracking the Flu, One Thermometer At A Time

Since 2014 Kinsa has been promoting and developing their smart thermometers – a thermometer that links to your smartphone, allowing patients, parents or other healthcare professionals to record and track their temperature data over time. With this year’s record-breaking flu season, Kinsa’s smart thermometer has achieved critical mass, with Kinsa reporting up to 25,000 readings per day. With all this real-time data, Kinsa is claiming to be able to track flu season faster and more accurately than public health authorities, such as the CDC. Once your child has registered a temperature, Kinsa’s smartphone app gives helpful tips about how to treat and manage fever. But who else now knows that your child is sick? A happy side effect of having 500,000 smart thermometers in American households is a glut of data about who has a fever and where. Kinsa has a very savvy marketing team, and the company is monetizing not only their devices, but also their data. For example, Kinsa has created a school program, called “FLUency,” to market the devices to schools and parents. The FLUency program includes a school-specific app for parents to share symptoms, such as if their children are exhibiting coughing, sore throat, earache, etc. Kinsa has also developed “Kinsa Insights,” a reportal that sells access to Kinsa’s anonymized data, with the promise that Insights clients are getting the data directly from sick households, before...

History’s Worst Healthcare Practices

Healthcare has come a long way since the beginning of time. One-hundred years ago, mercury was used to treat irregular bowel movements, not knowing its insane long term health repercussions. Luckily, we are at a time in modern medicine that allows us to discern which practices work and which ones don’t. Thanks to healthcare policy and reform, medical students and aspiring healthcare professionals have an easier time distinguishing which practices are good and which one’s aren’t. However, it begs the questions: what were the worst healthcare practices throughout history? This infographic details such practices that were once prescribed by health professionals in the past for cures. If you’re interested to see what the future of healthcare looks like, check out what the future hospitals have that other’s don’t! Many leading hospitals are already making profound changes and improvements that could not even have been imagined a decade ago. Science and technology working together are bringing hope and progress to patients and medical staff alike. What does the future of hospitals look? Some are incredibly optimistic, with hospitals developing more specialized technologies and groups to optimize their systems and to tread as many patients as possible. Even in 2015, we saw developments in prosthetics. Futurism reported that by 2030, hospitals may be a thing of the past: Predictions from the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Future Council, Melanie Walker, say we’ll soon enter a post-hospital world due to advances...

Here’s How To Deal With Hospital Bullies

Individuals often need to develop stronger self-esteem and be more accountable for their words and actions; both can feel emotionally risky since they each require assuming more power and personal agency. Dealing with hospital bullies can be scary if we lack confidence; it can also exacerbate other insecure feelings (eg: being uncertain whether we’re right, or worrying about someone judging us). In addition, the workplace culture needs to be a safe environment for speaking up. Related: Five Ways To Keep Social Media From Hurting Your Career A confident person in a safe culture will feel comfortable saying, “I don’t know,” whereas a person with low or fragile self-esteem working in a culture where blaming or bullying exist may feel intimidated. For better or worse, this combination of individual and organizational behavior are ongoing and interrelated phenomena that impact communication. I’m always amazed at how powerful some toxic behaviors are and how unaware some professionals are of how their behavior impacts others. In my classes or workshops on organizational conflict, communication, and leadership, there always seems to be one or two notorious people; everyone in the organization knows them. They may be physicians, nurses, or administrative leaders; they may have a tendency towards aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviors, and no one knows quite what to do in response. Generally, such individuals constitute a relatively small number of people with a disproportionate amount of power....

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