global

What I Learned The Last Summer Of My Life…

Feels kind of odd to think about the last summer of your life. You never think the last will ever be your last. However, as a first year medical student, the 3 summer months before your second year are truly the last months of sweet freedom. After that, all you have to look forward to is Step 1 (yikes!) and two glorious years of core clerkships and electives before you start residency. So, I put a lot of thought into my summer plans, which ended up being more of a dilemma really. “Should I be the classic gunner and do research all three months or should I take a nice vacation?” In the end, I made the clichéd middle of the road choice of doing a little bit of research and taking a trip down memory lane to India. After wrapping up my research work, I took a flight out on August 1st and landed straight in Ahmedabad, the hopping city in the quaint, peninsular state of Gujarat. A lot had changed since the last time I was there, but the one thing that truly blew me away was health care. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – I probably went there to shadow. However, I didn’t need to. The sources that informed me about the state of medicine in India were composed of an eclectic cohort consisting of...

Which Country is the Best For Your Medical Career?

It is important to know where you would like to plant your roots in your career. There are so many options, but we don’t always know which one will be the best option. Even though I understand that most medical staff do not choose their career path purely based on financial gain, it is still an important factor to consider. You worked hard in medical school and you deserve to be compensated accordingly. Working abroad is more than just financial gain, as it offers so much more value. After working abroad, you will experience a lot of personal growth as well as new professional skills. This is a life changing experience and should definitely be considered. Remember, how difficult it was to get that cardiology fellowship personal statement done? Well, now you are at the point to find your dream job. Here are some of the highest paying countries for medical professionals. Netherlands The Netherlands are a beautiful country and has so much to offer. With great remuneration for doctors, this is definitely the number one choice. If you are able to secure a position in the Netherlands, you would be living a very comfortable life. The only challenge will be to actually find a job. With the small population, there might not be many opportunities available, but it is definitely worth a try. Australia This is a favourite...

Be Wary of Exotic Diseases During Your Medical Elective Placement Overseas

As a heads up for medical students seeking elective placement abroad, be ready to treat patients with exotic diseases. These can be found in poor rural places that were neglected by healthcare services with the worst surroundings in the world. For a hotbed of unimaginable diseases, the health radar is directed towards Southern Sudan. Situated in northeast Africa, the country was divided into Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan by the civil war in 1955. The economy of Northern Sudan is at par with its developed neighbors. However, the south has been ignored and considered underdeveloped even by African standards. According to a health specialist at the World Bank, Francois Decaillet, said, “This really is the forgotten front line when it comes to health.” Malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition, and respiratory infections are the highest killers in most of Africa. Double the count of afflicted persons and you will know the health condition in Southern Sudan. Aside from these, the country is saddled with the existence of horrifying exotic diseases that were exterminated in most of the world. Are you freaked out? Don’t be because GEP’s destination countries were assessed and safety checks are in place to ensure that medical students are out of harm’s way. In case a sufferer with an exotic disease checks in for treatment, you will be shadowed by our local medical partners. If you get goose bumps,...

Remembering Charlie Gard

Charles Gard did not live long enough to celebrate his first birthday, yet captured the world’s attention with his memorable courage and strength. He was born August 4, 2016 and died this year just days before his birthday on July 28. For those unfamiliar with the highly debated medical-legal case, Baby Charles was born to Connie Yates and Chris Gard. Shortly after birth, Charles’ health was declining to the point that he required medical attention. In October, he was admitted to a hospital in London, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. Charles was the 16th person ever to be diagnosed with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome – a rare inherited condition causing muscle weakness and brain damage. Physicians at the London hospital refused to let Mr. and Mrs. Gard fly Charles to New York City for an experimental treatment offered to the family at Columbia University. Despite raising $1.5 million dollars to transport him from London to New York, physicians at the London hospital also urged Mr. and Mrs. Gard to get Charles off life support. This sparked severe controversy because many argued that doctors should not decide if Charlie’s life was worth living. The news event was not just an unrelated event to me. It definitely struck a cord with me. In fact, this scenario lead me to thinking – how would I handle such a situation as a doctor?...

What Are the Effects of CTE in Football Players?

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a progressive degenerative brain disease associated with repetitive head trauma. Currently, CTE can only be confirmed post-mortem. In a new study from JAMA, researchers examined the brains of 202 deceased former football players — more than half of them from the NFL — and talked to their family members to identify pathological and clinical features of CTE. CTE has affected football players of all ages, including a player student athlete that committed suicide because he had known about the condition: Whilst perusing Instagram in the days following Madison’s incident, I came across a powerful statement written by another female athlete whom I had known in college: After experiencing two suicides in the athletic community at Penn within four years, my stance on the matter remains clear: universities need to do a better job at providing supports for student athletes and educating them on mental health. We have strength coaches, nutritionists, tutors, etc. But we continue to neglect mental health as a society, and regard it as a ‘touchy’ subject. Athletes, coaches, and administrators should feel safe to discuss these pressing matters that often affect too many of us student athletes. Keeping Penn athletics, friends and family in my thoughts. The other suicide to which she is referring is that of Owen Thomas who, within weeks of being made captain of UPenn’s football team,...

Make the Right Choice: Best Paying Healthcare Careers in 2017

Choosing to go into healthcare has always been an admirable career decision, but you need money to make it through every day. The industry pays well and might be the motivation behind some individuals choosing to take this route. If you are going to study to become a professional, you might as well do it in the direction of the highest paying jobs. Here is a list of the healthcare careers that could help you earn good money. Surgeons A surgeon has an earning potential of around $187 000, which is not a small amount of money at all. It does take some time to become a surgeon, but I would say that it is completely worth it. Perhaps it’s time to work on that residency personal statement. Dentists I have seen a lot of jokes going around stating that dentists are people who failed at becoming doctors. Well, if their salaries is anything to go by, I’d reconsider that joke. Dentists can earn around $155 000, which is enough to live a comfortable lifestyle. Pharmacists Prescribing medicines to patients is a very important part of the healthcare industry and without pharmacists, the industry would not function at all. With earnings around $120 000 and many jobs available for pharmacists, this would be a wise career choice. Podiatrists Podiatrists are usually required to do their residencies earlier than some physicians. Research some...

Cultural Competency in Healthcare: What Is It and Why Do We Need It?

I was walking along a crowded street when a skinny, darkly colored man entered the flow of traffic in front of me. Looking back to see where he came from, I noticed a seemingly insignificant door at the base of a tall, weathered building. The scene wouldn’t have caught me off guard – a man simply exiting his workplace or home, perhaps – except for the blue and white NHS sign that was displayed on the brick exterior. I was in London, visiting a Bangladeshi community to learn about the social environment of this marginalized population. The man I had seen enter the street was most likely of Bangladeshi nationality given the brown color of his skin and his dark eyes. I was more interested in the building where he came from, though. The NHS label stood for National Health Service, the governing body that provides healthcare for the United Kingdom’s residents. My tour guide later explained that the building housed a free clinic for the homeless and low-income people in the area. Government-funded dollars provided access to healthcare, and I thought that was incredible. This ordinary scene on a rainy day in London, surrounded by people that look and speak very differently than me, started a cascade of thoughts on culture, health, and medical practice. I wanted to learn more about how culture influences healthcare. So, I did...