medschool

Virtual Reality is the Future of Medicine

What does it really feel like to manage an emergency in the operating room? The Cleveland Clinic Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery is using virtual reality (VR) simulations of OR cardiac emergencies to replicate the experience as closely as possible and train cardiac surgery residents. “The two-minute video shows how Cleveland Clinic is using virtual reality scenarios to teach cardiac surgery residents how to maintain ideal performance under the pressure of OR crises.” The VR simulations incorporate scenarios from real operations to create an immersive, realistic, 360-degree experience that includes the viewpoints of multiple members of the surgical team. The scenarios map right decisions, wrong decisions, and their consequences. This video, narrated by Douglas Johnston, MD, the cardiac surgeon who heads the program, shows the scenario of a patient who has gone into ventricular fibrillation as seen through the VR headset of a surgical resident. From the study on pubmed.gov: The traditional system of clinical education in emergency medicine relies on practicing diagnostic, therapeutic, and procedural skills on live patients. The ethical, financial, and practical weaknesses of this system are well recognized, but the alternatives that have been explored to date have shown even greater flaws. However, ongoing progress in the area of virtual reality and computer-enhanced simulation is now providing educational applications that show tremendous promise in overcoming most of the deficiencies associated with live-patient training. It will...

Science Classes Too Boring? Applying What We Learn In the Real World

As pre-med students, about ninety percent of our time is spent in classrooms, lecture halls and the library learning about the numerous, obscure laws of nature. The remaining ten percent of our time is divided between eating, sleeping and breathing. We take classes such as physics, organic, general and biochemistry, biology, statistics, upper level math and psychology and often wonder, well when the heck are we ever going to use something like this as doctors? Are the science classes we take too boring? How can we apply physics, chemistry, and biology to the real world? Through my first three years of college, I had the same recurring thoughts, making me lose motivation in school because nothing I was doing seemed directly applicable to a clinical setting. Now I’ll give it to you, many of the dense specifics that we cram into our heads are omitted and irrelevant to a degree when it comes to practicing medicine. After going through paramedic school, I see where I was wrong. I know this is easier for me to realize and say, but every treatment that I perform in the field, in one way or another, relates back to these classes. It just takes a little time to think that way. A good way to think about it is using what’s called the bottom-up process. This is a processing method done by the...

Managing Stress In The Fast-Paced Medical Field

The other day I cried in front of my attending in the little office we share at an adult outpatient practice. We had only worked together once so were still somewhat uncomfortable around each other – still learning about each other and feeling out our individual expectations. I started crying because I was a few minutes late which normally wouldn’t have stressed me out enough to begin weeping but I had been dealing with some pretty heavy personal stuff that had completely sapped all of my emotional energy. When I arrived at the office, worn out after staying up all night trying to deal with what was going on, I couldn’t handle the crushing guilt I felt over my tardiness. Managing stress, especially in health and medicine, is tough. It’s important to be honest here so I will also say I was considerably upset about my attending seeing me this way – emotional, not in control, allowing my personal life to affect my work. I apologized over and over as I blotted my tears with the Kleenex he held out to me with a sympathetic look on his face. “I’m not usually like this” I remember saying at least three times. He commiserated. He understood what I was going through. He normalized it for me and told me everything would be ok. He suggested I take the rest of...

Top 5 Reasons Why Studying Medicine in Israel is Sababa (Hebrew for: Awesome)

Many people often would study abroad for medical school, especially if they want a different experience. Dahlia Pasik lists the best reasons why studying medicine in Israel is a unique and fulfilling experience.  Kosher Food. And a lot of it – Whether you are Jewish, Italian, Christian, or perhaps a bit of all three, there is one thing Israel is in no shortage of for one to enjoy – and that’s kosher food. Sure, you will likely find kosher products distributed amongst various supermarkets in countries in the USA and in Canada, but not close to the proportion that Israel has to offer. So whether it’s falafel, shawarma, or just a good taste of steamy fresh potato kugel (Yiddish for pudding) you’re craving, the Holy Land has got you covered. More Hands-On Medical Experience – Israeli culture is quite different than typical American/Canadian culture. I remember when I was a premed and was looking to shadow a doctor in a locally based hospital in NY, there were so many permission forms to fill out and medical records to be tracked, I might have been better off just never shadowing. Once approved to follow this particular doctor, the hospital was so stringent about non-medical professionals being able to observe medically related procedures, I probably would’ve gained more exposure from watching a few melodramatic Greys Anatomy episodes. Well, Israel is different in...

The Importance of Patient Contact

Adrusht Madapoosi writes on the importance of patient contact as a pre-med student.  Ever since high school, I had this dream of becoming a physician. I didn’t really know much as a high school student, so before applying to college, I participated in a lot of diverse programs. I took an “anatomy and physiology” class my junior year, excelled in it, which pretty much was one of the reasons I decided that medicine was for me. My father is a physician and set me up in a neuroscience laboratory, which made me decide that I wanted to pursue a major in neuroscience.   Ever since I received my acceptance letter from the University of Pittsburgh, I had a dream that I would attend as a pre-medicine student for one of the most prestigious neuroscience programs in the country. I naively thought it would be a very unique road to follow, but little did I know that I would be joining almost two-thousand other pre-medicine students from my freshman class, almost seventy percent of them of whom would also be majoring in one of the natural sciences. Time progressed and I completed the prerequisites and began my neuroscience courses over the first two years. I joined pre-med clubs, tutored, and volunteered in hospitals, but it was not as fulfilling as I had expected. I was craving experience, something that I was...

Tips and Tricks for Your Next USMLE Step 1 Test

First of all I’d like to say that I am not the expert. I’m not even AN expert (of anything). Reading this article will not magically make you score a 260+ on Step 1. However, it might help to quell some rising panic which will DEFINITELY improve your chances because less stress = increased ability to relax and allow your brain to do its thing! With that said, here is some advice I found helpful during the dark period that was Dedicated Study Period. It’s ok to not use First Aid. I know saying this basically borders on blasphemy and that First Aid is literally “the bible” of step studying but it is simply one resource among many and it will work for some and not for others. Some people will swear by First Aid, others don’t even read through more than a few pages. I think it’s really up to you and whether or not you find it helpful. I personally found that reading straight through as had been recommended to me was a waste of time. Instead, I ended up using it more as a summary review after I had already gone over the concepts to help cement some of the more-high yield details. Set a goal. I don’t mean in a vague way like ‘ OMG I have to do better than the 240s or my...

QUIZ: Brush Up Your Skills and Knowledge on First Aid!

Test your knowledge on how well you know first aid! You could save a life! First aid is one of the most important skills you can have. Just by performing some basic procedures or following best advice, you can save someone’s life. You may have learned some first aid at school, but is your knowledge up to date? Would you know what to do in an emergency? Yes, it can be very scary when a medical emergency happens in front of you, but if you know how to handle the situation and keep a person alive and calm until an ambulance arrives, then you could save a life or prevent more serious injuries from occurring. So many deaths and injuries can be prevented, so isn’t it worth brushing up those skills? Source:...