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The Doctor's Channel

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Virtual Reality Could Replace Anesthesia

While the idea of using virtual reality (VR) tools in medical training and patient treatment has been around since the inception of the technology, Dr. José Luis Mosso Vazquez, research professor at the Universidad Panamericana and accomplished surgeon, has been actively using VR in surgery for over a decade already. After purchasing his son a low-tech VR game featuring Spiderman back in 2004, Dr. Vasquez realized the tech’s potential for immersion and distraction. Since many areas of Mexico lack access to the latest medical technology and professionals, ailments requiring surgery can be prohibitively expensive for patients. Even in Mexico City the hospitals are considered to be largely underfunded, so surgical suites may be under-equipped or understaffed. Dr. Vasquez’s virtual reality solution allows surgery to be performed using only local anesthetics while the patient’s attention is focused on an immersive digital experience. In geographically difficult to reach areas, this innovative surgical approach has helped many hundreds of patients to date. VR is already being used in medical schools for surgical training. Read more about it: 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...

Expanding Medical Education to Address Physician Shortages

The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted policy at its Annual Meeting reaffirming the need for an increased number of medical residency slots to ensure that patients have access to an adequate physician workforce. As new medical schools have been established and enrollment in existing schools has expanded in recent years to help ease existing and predicted physician shortages, the new policy calls on legislators, private sector partnerships, and existing and planned medical schools to create and fund graduate medical education (GME) programs that can accommodate the equivalent number of additional medical school graduates, consistent with U.S. workforce needs. “Current data show that the number of U.S. medical student graduates is growing at a higher rate than the number of residency slots. Without expanding the number of residency positions available to future classes of medical school graduates, the number of graduates seeking positions will eventually exceed what is available,” said AMA Board Member and medical student Karthik V. Sarma, M.S. “The AMA will continue to vigorously advocate for the continued and expanded contribution by all health care payers at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as private sources, to adequately fund GME. We believe that it is imperative that efforts to expand the number of medical school graduates also address the need to ensure the availability of an adequate number of GME slots to meet the newly created...

Medical Students Facing Challenges With Classroom Robotics

Robotics have been making big changes to many industries including construction, manufacturing, and healthcare. In fact, healthcare was one of the first industries to see robotics at work. Arm-like automatons first made their big debut in the 1960s and 1970s. Robots like the Shakey (1966) and the Stanford Arm (1969) assisted surgeons when performing complicated surgeries. Since then, robots in the medical field have become faster, better, stronger, and more affordable. Today, one-third of American hospitals have at least one surgical robot. It’s no secret robotics have had a positive impact on the medical field. They help to identify health risks in patients and reduce the need for invasive procedures. But just as engineers and manufacturers need to adapt to advancing AI, medical professionals need to face the hurdles that come with robotics in the healthcare industry. Shifting Tides: The Challenge Of Classroom Robotics In The Medical Field Medical students, or surgical trainees, need training on proper medical procedures. They also need training on how to conduct these procedures using, or in tandem with, robotic systems. Unfortunately, these robotic systems don’t always go hand in hand with conventionally approved approaches. One of the norms of surgical training is that students cooperate with a senior surgeon. Students watch and assist during traditional open surgeries. This way they receive hands-on training in real time. Yet, today’s medical students aren’t receiving the...

I’m A Doctor, Not A Robot: How Medical Robots Are Changing The Medical Field

Robots are everywhere, which is why it’s not surprising to hear the good they’re doing for the medical world. Medical robots and AI are helping medical students and professionals conduct procedures and tend to patients with greater and more precise care. Advancements in robotics are being made to pave the way for a future of new medical possibilities. AI and robotics are already helping patients on a financial level by reducing the cost of medical procedures and making surgery safer with fewer consequences. Aside from precision and cost, how are robots changing the medical field and medical schools for the better? As it turns out, there are a number of benefits the medical world will soon be taking advantage of. How Are Medical Robots Changing The Medical Field? From robotic medical assistants to giving massage therapists a literal helping hand, robotics are changing the way we receive healthcare. To learn more, consider the following facts about modern technology’s growing beneficial role in the medical field. Robots are helping to reduce stress in patients. Humans are fiercely social animals. In fact, we can ease the pain of our loved ones simply by holding hands. It turns out there’s science behind wanting your mom when you get hurt. To reduce stress in patients, the leading Japanese industrial automation pioneer AIST has developed PARO, a robotic baby harp seal that encourages relaxation...

The Top Instagram Profiles Medical Students Should Follow

Being a medical student is one of the most challenging, fascinating, motivating and involving things you’ll ever do. Every day brings new problems to solve, new facts to learn, and new cases to investigate but that doesn’t mean you don’t occasionally find yourself lacking a bit of inspiration. However, thanks to the advent of social media, you can not only gain moments of much-needed inspiration from your mobile device, but you can also top up your knowledge while on the go! What are the best practices medical students should follow on social media? Better yet, what are the best Instagram profiles medical students should follow? All over the world, medical institutions and forward-thinking individuals in your field are using Instagram to sow seeds of brilliance across the internet, and the following Instagram accounts aimed directly at medical students are sure to provide real moments of wonder and academic curiosity. These social media accounts are ideal for browsing when on your way to college, sitting on a bus, waiting for a friend at a cafe, or during any other downtime you experience in your busy day. Fun, exciting, and full of surprising facts and unique cases, they can help with your academic performance and problem-solving skills, too. Who’d have thought procrastinating on Instagram could be so useful?  The awesome team at @essentialsofem asked me to make some notes for their...

Medical Students Graduate Under Transformative National Curricula Redesign Initiative

CHICAGO — With five medical schools this year graduating their first classes of students fully trained under a transformative national curricula redesign initiative, the American Medical Association (AMA) is highlighting innovations from recent years that have better trained the next generation of physicians. Launched five years ago, the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium includes 32 of the country’s leading medical schools working together to create the medical school of the future. The first medical students to graduate after receiving full training using the Consortium’s innovative curricula include, NYU School of Medicine, Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine, and Penn State College of Medicine. These schools were among the 11 founding medical schools to receive $1 million AMA grants to develop curricula to reimagine medical education and join the AMA Consortium. “Through our work over the past five years, we have made significant progress in a short amount of time toward ensuring future physicians are prepared to meet the needs of patients in the modern health system,” said AMA CEO & Executive Vice President James L. Madara, M.D. “Today, the foundation we created is producing real results through the trail-blazing advancements in medical education developed by the Consortium. These future physicians will be better equipped to provide care in a practice environment of rapid progress, new...

How Teleconferencing Is Being Used Treat Mental Health Patients

Due to a shortage of psychiatrists in the healthcare service, doctors are trying new and innovative ways of providing their patients with the support they need. This can be a challenge since certain factors such as the location of the patient and the doctor make it impossible for patients to get the medical care and psychological counseling they need. To solve this problem, Michele Casoli-Reardon, MD, of Arcadian Telepsychiatry, has come up with a new way of getting assessments and treating patients. This new technology being used makes it easy for patients to consult with their doctors regardless of their physical location. The new teleconferencing technology also makes it easy to set appointments for sessions at times that previously would have been unlikely. The patient also does not need to travel to the hospital or healthcare center for each session. Telepsychiatry is also covered by most health insurance, which improves access to mental health services. The only downside at the moment when it comes to telepsychiatry is that in many states in the US, both the doctor and the patient have to be present in the same state for it to be legal. The good news is, some of those laws are being amended for the benefit of those in need of psychiatric care so that they can get the therapy they need. The field of psychiatry is constantly changing,...