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Mummified Fetus Discovered in Living 92 Year-Old Woman’s Abdomen

Doctors in Chile discovered a calcified and over fifty-year-old fetus inside the abdomen of 92-year-old patient, according to CBS News. Local reports speculated the cause to be related to a botched abortion or lies told to the woman regarding inoperable tumor. The woman, Estela Melendez, supported the claim that she was told she had a tumor in her stomach that couldn’t be removed. The condition, lithopedion translates in Ancient Greek to mean ‘stone baby’ and occurs when a fetus dies during abdominal pregnancy and is mummified outside of the uterus. The woman’s doctors said that removing the fetus would be too dangerous of a procedure given her age and will not attempt to remove it. There are only 300 known cases of this phenomenon, the earliest of which occurred in 1554 in France. The image featured below is a photograph of a preserved calcified fetus from the Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine.   Check out the complete article published by CBS...

Six Things I Know About Medical Training

1.   When you train a doctor, it doesn’t trickle down. It stops, right there, with her. That’s why you need to train nurses and the rest of the clinical team. 2.   If you teach new skills from a book and don’t include hands-on practice, it won’t stick. People will go right back to the old way of doing things. 3.   If you train clinicians and you don’t change the rules that govern their practice, it won’t change their behavior. 4.   Invest in good practice models. Better to break a mannequin than a newborn baby. 5.   Finding – or developing – good trainers isn’t easy, but it is essential. If you don’t make sure local trainers can continue the program after you leave, you are wasting a massive opportunity. 6.   Don’t develop your own training curriculum. Odds are overwhelming that there is already an evidence based curriculum out there that’s been developed by someone else. Spending your time finding, translating, and adapting the curriculum to your local...

How Doctors Can Combat the Violence Against Women Epidemic

In college, one of my best friends became an advocate for helping victims of sex trafficking and exposed me to the terrible reality that women all over the world are victims of violence. She felt and still feels strongly that violence against women is a huge problem and one that needs to be resolved immediately. After watching an extremely revealing documentary with my friend called “The Day My God Died”, I joined her in feeling that these violations of human rights are unjust, disgusting and needed to be put to an end. My friend introduced me to an organization she was helping, Friends of Maiti Nepal, and it gave me hope that something could be done. A few weeks ago, I was reminded that while many wonderful people and groups have taken a stand to end violence against women, the problem has not gone away. The World Health Organization, working in partnership with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council, released a new report revealing the disturbing epidemic of violence against women throughout the world. It’s estimated that 35% of all women will experience either non-partner violence or intimate partner violence, and that 30% of all women are affected by intimate partner violence. This should not be troubling for only women, but for all of society. And, this is not just a...

102 Year Old MD Finally Receives PhD Denied Her By Nazis

Seventy-seven years ago, Ingebort Rapoport had just completed a doctoral thesis on diphtheria at the University of Hamburg only to be denied an oral exam to defend her thesis and complete her doctoral degree because she was a “first degree cross-breed” (with a Jewish parent) according to Hitler’s racial laws. On May 13th 2015, the retired neonatologist, Ingebort Syllum-Rapoport, finally successfully defended her doctoral thesis becoming the oldest person ever, at age 102, to receive a PhD, reported the Wall Street Journal.   In 1938 after Mrs. Rapoport, then Ms. Syllum, was denied any further academic advancement, she emigrated to the United States where she was accepted into one of the 48 medical schools she applied to. During her time in the U.S. she met her husband, Samuel Rapoport while they both worked at a Cincinnati hospital. The two eventually moved back to East Germany in 1950 to raise their four children following tensions over communist speculation regarding the couple.   Rapoport never imagined she would be able to achieve the doctorate degree she had earned so many years ago until a colleague of her son shared her story with the current dean of the University of Hamburg’s medical faculty, who then took on the cause.   With the help of several friends, Rapoport studied up on the last seven decades advancements and discoveries regarding diphtheria to prepare for...

1961: Soviet Doctor Removes His Own Appendix

“On the morning of April 29th, 1961 I did not feel well,” noted Dr. Leonid Rogozov, a physician stationed in Antarctica for the Sixth Soviet Antarctic Expedition. This feeling eventually escalated to characteristic upper abdominal pain and a fever which Rogozov immediately recognized as appendicitis.   Both painfully and poetically, Rogozov described in his personal diary the night before: “I did not sleep at all last night. It hurts like the devil! A snowstorm whipping through my soul, wailing like a hundred jackals. Still no obvious symptoms that perforation is imminent, but an oppressive feeling of foreboding hangs over me… This is it… I have to think through the only possible way out: to operate on myself… It’s almost impossible… but I can’t just fold my arms and give up.” Glove-less and mostly blind–the mirrors Rogozov’s assistants offered he found more hindering than helpful–Rogozov initiated his own appendectomy after local application of novocaine. Describing just a portion of the hour and forty-five minute ordeal, he details: “The bleeding is quite heavy, but I take my time — I try to work surely. Opening the peritoneum, I injured the blind gut and had to sew it up. Suddenly it flashed through my mind: there are more injuries here and I didn’t notice them … I grow weaker and weaker, my head starts to spin. Every 4-5 minutes I rest for...

What Diseases Are We REALLY Donating To? The Results Are Shocking

Recently, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the social media world by storm, raising over $88.5 million (as of August 26). But ALS is just one deadly disease, and actually happens to be quite rare, especially when you compare it to heart disease. ALS kills 2 people per 100,000 in the U.S. population, while heart disease takes 179.8 lives per 100,000 Americans.   Below is an infographic that lists the diseases responsible for the most deaths, in contrast with the campaigns geared towards raising money in support of finding a cure. You’d be surprised how quickly people can get caught up in these social fads, and in doing so, neglect to pay attention to the diseases that pose the most immediate threat to all of our lives.     Check out the full article and...

Ancient Anatomy: Sketches of the Past

While we may enjoy (well, maybe the first or even tenth times we study them) perfect anatomical illustrations from our textbooks, there was a time when much less was known about the internal structure of the human body. These anatomical drawings were created by the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci, who was a painter, engineer, architect, and master of many other disciplines, as well. Hat is even more impressive is that Da Vinci illustrated these with the help of dissection of cadavers and almost nothing else, aside from the unrefined, older works of Mondino de Luzzi. Check out these breathtaking, revolutionary sketches by Da Vinci circa 1500: Tumblr | Science...