global

Healthcare Around The World #2: Mexico

Mexico appears in the news a lot, especially recently due to the upcoming presidential election. However, healthcare is not one of the topics typically associated with the country. I found myself wondering what policies does Mexico follow?   As a pre-med student, I feel as though it is important to understand other countries’ healthcare systems. Maybe we can learn something from other countries and see how their policies may affect the U.S. Furthermore, these policies may be reflected in our own system later down the line and greatly impact our practices once in the field.     2. Mexico After taking a look at our neighbor to the north in the first article, let’s look to our neighbor to the south. As shown in the video below, Mexico’s much more affordable healthcare system presents itself as an enticing alternative to the expensive healthcare costs of the American model. Especially for individuals who live close to the border, a short drive to Mexico is much less expensive than grappling with the higher costs here at home. But how exactly do the standard of services compare? And how does Mexico’s system survive with such low costs?   Video: Source   Featured Image:...

Healthcare Around The World #1: Canada

To at least some degree, we are all aware of the dynamics surrounding healthcare in the United States, centering around the struggle to make services affordable, to ensure equal access to care, and to balance the politics of party-line views between private and federally-sponsored healthcare (with everything along the middle of that spectrum). But how do other countries around the world offer healthcare to its people? Can their models provide us with some insight into how to modify our system to make it better?   Over the course of the next several articles, we will be viewing some interesting clips on the general model of healthcare in select countries across the globe. While this sampling is in no way representative of all possible models out there, it undoubtedly provides us with intriguing information.   Also, a disclaimer before we start. Some of the videos may be presenting biased opinions about the superiority of certain healthcare systems. My intention is to simply deliver the information without advocating for any particular viewpoint.   1. Canada   Contrary to popular belief, Canada does not have a socialized medicine system, but rather a single-payer system. As shown in the video below, the Canadian system of healthcare for all its populations is comparable to the Medicare program we have here in the United States for the elderly.   Being our neighbors to the north, Canada has been...

Medical TEDx Talks Worth Watching #9: Medicine & Leadership

A lot of medical school involves learning about diagnosis and treatment on a case-by-case basis, treating each patient differently. And, unless you are going into emergency medicine, you will have plenty of time to examine a patient thoroughly before diagnosis. However, when disaster strikes, doctors must be able to act quickly and calmly in order to save as many lives as possible, which requires not only medical knowledge, but also leadership.   In this moving TEDx Talk, General Itzik Kreiss discusses his leadership efforts in assisting Haiti’s earthquake victims in 2010.     In the event you haven’t heard of them yet, TEDx Talks are a great resource for students in all disciplines—from business to science to criminal justice. Each Talk introduces novel and thought-provoking ideas in a succinct presentation, delivered with impact and authority.   This series of TEDx Talks will focus on the finer aspects of medicine in context of the larger scope of the field. What are some key situations and instances in medicine that warrant an in-depth investigation? Are there any particular discoveries or experiences in the medical field that you would like to learn more about?   TEDx Talks are a great way to gather insight on countless noteworthy topics and ideas.   9. A Story of Medicine and Leadership The primary motivation for anyone to go into medicine is their love for the science. However, the field...

6 Things That Might Kill You in Rio

With just 4 days until the XXXI Olympic Games, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there are many pressing issues that have yet to be resolved. If you are planning on traveling to Rio, you should definitely proceed with caution, as there are numerous health and safety risks that could kill you.   Mosquitoes   Yes, we have been dealing with these pests for centuries. Although mosquitoes may not be a new threat, they are a still a major threat to humans, as well as dogs and horses. Zika is the latest mosquito-borne disease that has been especially prominent in Central and South America. Pregnant women are at the highest risk, as Zika can cause severe birth defects in children, however anyone can become infected with the virus.   Furthermore, let’s not forget the cornucopia of other diseases that mosquitoes carry, such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, West Nile Virus, and more. And, due to Brazil’s hot and humid climate, the mosquito population is much larger than other countries, increasing your risk of infection. All things considered, I’d stay away from Brazil for a while, pregnant or not!   Source   Water   Some of the most beloved sports in the Olympics— such as swimming, rowing, sailing, windsurfing—all have one major element in common: water. Alarming reports have confirmed that the water in Rio is much more contaminated than previously thought. According to the NY...

The Most Recent Epidemics Around The World – #1

  Human beings are social creatures. Along with our tendency to form groups and communities comes the inherent risk of disease transmission. The closer we live and the more derelict we tend to be in our duties towards maintaining sanitary living conditions, the more openly we can invite some of the worst pathogens we never want to see.   Thus, let’s take a stroll down the past 15 years and recall some of the most crucial diseases that delivered a substantial blow to human society, reminding us of the cunningness of virology and taking us back to our humble beginnings.   Over the past several weeks, I have dedicated one article each to the top 10 most recent disease outbreaks around the world. This is going to be the last installment in the series at #1. Hope you all had a great time reading the articles!   1. Zika Whether you like listening to NPR, casually browsing through your CNN app, or checking Facebook like most people, the dawn of the Zika virus was the headline on almost every news source a few weeks ago. So what exactly is it?   Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of infection include muscle pains, joint pains, headache, pain behind the eyes, and conjunctivitis. In and of itself, the zika...

The Most Recent Epidemics Around The World – #2

Human beings are social creatures. Along with our tendency to form groups and communities comes the inherent risk of disease transmission. The closer we live and the more derelict we tend to be in our duties towards maintaining sanitary living conditions, the more openly we can invite some of the worst pathogens we never want to see.   Thus, let’s take a stroll down the past 15 years and recall some of the most crucial diseases that delivered a substantial blow to human society, reminding us of the cunningness of virology and taking us back to our humble beginnings.   Over the next several weeks, I will be dedicating one article each to the top 10 most recent disease outbreaks around the world, with our last one here at #2.   2. Chikungunya Chikungunya is a viral infection that is spread by mosquitoes. It is an ailment characterized by fever and joint pain as the most common symptoms, followed by the potential development of headaches, muscle pains, joint swelling, and rashes. The primary mode of viral transmission is through mosquito bites, with rare chances for mother to child dissemination or through infected blood from one individual to another. As it is a viral infection, treatment therapies are mainly symptomatic, with plenty of rest and fluids recommended.   While chikungunya has primarily targeted regions in the eastern hemisphere, including Asia...

The Most Recent Epidemics Around The World – #3

Human beings are social creatures. Along with our tendency to form groups and communities comes the inherent risk of disease transmission. The closer we live and the more derelict we tend to be in our duties towards maintaining sanitary living conditions, the more openly we can invite some of the worst pathogens we never want to see.   Thus, let’s take a stroll down the past 15 years and recall some of the most crucial diseases that delivered a substantial blow to human society, reminding us of the cunningness of virology and taking us back to our humble beginnings.   Over the next several weeks, I will be dedicating one article each to the top 10 most recent disease outbreaks around the world, with our next one here at #3.   3. Ebola More specifically known as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Ebola is a fatal hemorrhagic viral infection. Direct contact with the blood, secretions, and body fluids of infected individuals is thought to be the primary mode of transmission, with initial spread purported to originate through contact with wild animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, and fruit bats. Spreading the virus by sexual contact is still questionable.   Patients are only contagious after the development of symptoms, which include vomiting, diarrhea, and rash, along with severe internal and external bleeding in the most severe cases. In terms of treatment, while...