yash-pandya

Yash Pandya

Yash Pandya is a science writer at The "Almost" Doctor's Channel. He is a rising third-year student at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Emergency Medicine with minors in Neuroscience and Chemistry. Yash plans on attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Fall 2016 with guaranteed admission. In addition to the usual humdrum of academic involvement, Yash loves to play Ping Pong, catch up on the latest "Big Bang Theory," and travel. Having lived in India for half his lifetime, Yash aspires to expand his horizons into international healthcare by practicing medicine globally.

So How Long Will You Live As A Doctor?

If you’re in medicine, the question has probably crossed your mind at one point or another – “How long will I actually live to work in this field?”   With 4 years of undergraduate, 4 years of medical school, 3-5 years of residency, and 1-2 years of fellowship (and maybe several fellowships if you’re a rockstar), you are easily in your mid-30s before you start practicing as an independent physician. And if you factor in the general twists and turns of life, including family, kids, and career moves, life can truly take a toll on you.   This also revives the crucial question of physician burnout, an ever-present phenomenon that is receiving greater attention from the medical community and the world. On the one hand, better work hours can ensure a more manageable workload and productive work environment for physicians in an effort to ensure better patient care. On the other hand, for a specialty such as surgery, less time in the ORs leads to lesser preparedness for independent practice at the end of residency.   So for medical students like myself at this point in my career, this may be worthwhile to think about. Do I really want to pursue a high-stress career that comes with its fair share of adrenaline-filled moments and sleepless nights or a relatively less demanding field that allows me to achieve a better...

Medical Advancements To Look Forward To This Year #5: Telemedicine

5. Telemedicine The medical field is always at the heels of innovation. There is rarely a dull moment. Some new discovery or invention always grips our imagination and intrigue as passionate followers of this developing art. However, every advancement undoubtedly carries with it a risk of taking away something else. After all, this is human beings we are talking about – the most complex creatures in the world that excel in their ability to think, feel, and rationalize their existence amidst the every-growing complexity around them. Most recently, the concept of telemedicine has invited significant discussion as well as skepticism from the medical community and the world as a whole.     In essence, telemedicine can be simply described as an effort to remove the physical boundaries of medicine and equip healthcare providers with the capacity to deliver care in any corner of the world with the use of communication technologies. While the practice has already been applied in its initial stages in some sectors of medicine (such as dermatology), it is still in its infancy. The benefits are obviously numerous. The immediate access to an advanced level of care has the unique potential to improve outcomes. For instance, if a patient has stroke-like symptoms, a family member can get in touch with a stroke neurologist through a video call. He/she may be able to help determine the emergent...

Medical Advancements To Look Forward To This Year #4: Bioabsorbable Stents

4. Bioabsorbable Stents Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the most common cardiovascular disorders that carry a high risk of morbidity and mortality if left untreated. Patients usually present with a sudden onset of severe chest pain and possible difficulty breathing, among other symptoms. Many of these individuals suffer from a host of comorbidities, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, COPD, and diabetes. Stable angina, comprising of chest pain on exertion that subsides on resting, eventually progresses to unstable angina in these patients due to complete closure of one or more coronary arteries in the heart, impeding blood flow.     The current standard of treatment for these patients is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The procedure involves threading a catheter up through the patient’s femoral artery in the groin to the coronary artery in question in order to carry out a balloon angioplasty to expand the arterial diameter followed by potential deployment of a metallic stent that keeps the artery expanded to allow proper blood flow. However, this procedure does come with substantial risks and post-operative complications, such as the need to stay on anticoagulant drugs for prevention of blood clot formation, restenosis of the artery, stroke, and death.   Since 2011, there has been a surge of interest in bioabsorbable stents, which are made from biodegradable polymers that eventually leave the body as foreign material after they have run their...

Medical Advancements To Look Forward To This Year #3: Holograms

3. Holograms in Medical Education Along with the fast-paced growth of technologies and initiatives taking place for the enhanced expertise and patient care of currently practicing physicians in the field, growth is likewise comparable for our up and coming medical students.   Medical education has changed quite significantly over the decades, from a system of apprenticeship to a widely renowned infrastructure of accredited education. However, the invention of 3D holograms and their potential applicability in teaching young physicians-to-be may likely rise as one of the most exciting avenues in existence today. Human anatomy is one of the primary fields that has been investigated for the use of 3D holograms as an added supplement to enhance the understanding and preparation of students.     In addition to carrying out dissections on cadavers in formaldehyde-scented laboratories, students have the opportunity to manipulate and view the human body in various dimensions, from different angles, and in unique planes previously impossible without the hologram interface. Case Western Reserve University Medical School has been one of the biggest proponents of this initiative, hoping to incorporate 3D holograms into their curriculum as early as 2019. And human anatomy is just a starting point!   However, along with every invention comes certain skepticism. While this novel, cutting-edge technology may perhaps prove to be a superior tool over the long-established dissection-based practice, will our next generation of...

TED Talks For Food Lovers #10: What’s Wrong With What We Eat

There’s no better way to bring it all home with a talk that reviews some of the basic facts behind what we eat, why it’s bad, and the need to change. TED speaker Mark Bittman brings his wealth of knowledge from years of experience as a New York Times food writer, pointing to the necessary changes that need to be implemented in order to save human society from itself.     Diet and health are highly interdependent. The food people eat over the course of a lifetime often plays a huge role in determining many of the ailments they incur. Referring to some recent exploration into the field of microbiomics, the large quantity and variety of bacteria in our body may likewise be acutely as well as chronically transforming due to the food we eat and the changes we make to our diets. Lastly, for aspiring medical personnel, quick food sources such as cold pizzas, Chipotle veggie bowls, and espresso shots often make up our daily sustenance. What effect do these have on our health?   Over the course of the next several articles, I would like to take you all on a run through some of the most interesting TED talks on food, some quite interesting and others downright genius. As you watch these videos, reflect on the close ties between nutrition and medicine, and what we can...

TED Talks For Food Lovers #9: The Art of Baking Bread

Ah, bread! One of the most basic foods for today’s generation. From the wide varieties in the market to the soft and scrumptious taste that hits our taste buds, bread instills a sense of satisfaction often unmatched by any other food. In this TED talk, bread savant Peter Reinhart talks about bread and how it comes to be in all its melodious mixtures.     Diet and health are highly interdependent. The food people eat over the course of a lifetime often plays a huge role in determining many of the ailments they incur. Referring to some recent exploration into the field of microbiomics, the large quantity and variety of bacteria in our body may likewise be acutely as well as chronically transforming due to the food we eat and the changes we make to our diets. Lastly, for aspiring medical personnel, quick food sources such as cold pizzas, Chipotle veggie bowls, and espresso shots often make up our daily sustenance. What effect do these have on our health?   Over the course of the next several articles, I would like to take you all on a run through some of the most interesting TED talks on food, some quite interesting and others downright genius. As you watch these videos, reflect on the close ties between nutrition and medicine, and what we can due as future clinicians to best...

Medical Advancements To Look Forward To This Year #2: Precision Medicine

2. Precision Medicine On January 20, 2015 in his State of the Union address, President Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative, which laid out an endeavor to improve health care for the better. As I sat there listening to his speech, I asked myself: “So what exactly is precision medicine?” Let’s try to understand it with an example.   A large majority of people in the medical community and the populated world recognize that the obesity epidemic is real. Compared to 10 or 20 years ago, human beings are on a much more accelerated track towards cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancers, and many other grave conditions. Conventional management of obesity focuses on losing weight by eating less and exercising more, simple as that. After all, that must be the one answer to solve this seemingly humongous global problem? Perhaps not.   Precision medicine advocates for a different approach. Rather than painting the whole world in such broad strokes, the initiative strives to integrate genetics, lifestyle, environmental factors, and any other such crucial contributors in order to develop a model that best predicts the reasons behind disease and consequently how best to tackle it. As we already know, most people who try to lose weight gain it back soon afterwards. So there must be a reason (or perhaps multiple) behind this conundrum that expands beyond the mere fact of calorie control....