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.

Defining the Growth of a Physician in Two Words

  You start as a measly kid from a small town, Dreaming a dream of wearing a surgical gown. If only you could be a physician someday, Wearing that white coat and screaming “hooray!”   But what really defines one’s growth in medicine? Is it whether you are talented or your demeanor genuine? From my experience as a lowly undergraduate student, Here’s what I have gathered that is good to know and prudent.   As you start as a medical student seeing your first patients, You are very thorough, whether in your exams or explanations. While a patient may come in with a mild headache cured by a Motrin, You never get tired, running more tests and doing more doctoring. And that’s the way it should be as you begin your journey, Better to be safe and sound than to need an attorney (Yikes!).   As you progress further and gain more and more experience, You realize that maybe you could save time and project some brilliance. Rather than gathering information both necessary and not, You start picking up clues and making diagnoses on the dot. Your patient interviews are brief and you think much faster, Who knows, maybe you were a pupil before but now the master?   This interplay between thoroughness and skill is what defines a physician, Marking your growth as an experienced and astute clinician....

Oh Medicine…Why Art Thou So Subtle?

It’s a sunny day. You are out walking in the park when you see a kid of about 12 years old sitting on a bench. He has a rash on both arms and legs and is leaning over with hands on his knees. What do you do? If you were to open the medical chart of any patient in any hospital in the world today, you would easily find at least one allergy in their record. Whether it is to penicillin, aspirin, latex, or something else, patients often become victims of numerous allergies. While most have mild allergic reactions when encountering their dreaded agents, some are unfortunate enough to develop full-blown anaphylaxis every time they see a banana! But how do we differentiate a mild allergic reaction from the life-threatening condition of anaphylaxis? It all boils down to the clinical presentation.   Scenario 1 A 45-year-old male presents with a chief complaint of a rash on his right arm that started developing about two hours ago. Patient states that he was cleaning his basement when he started to have some itching in his right hand. The rash grew in diameter to the present state of about 20 centimeters in length. Patient denies any pain in the area. He has a past medical history hypertension, for which he takes 5 mg of Lisinopril. Patient is allergic to dust. Patient’s last...

Lethal Cardiac Rhythms That Everyone Should Know

Walking down the street, taking in the sun’s ray, Everything is calm and cool, wishing it were like this everyday. You suddenly notice a commotion, people are gathering around, Sirens are blaring loudly, while people stare at the ground. As you get closer, you see a man down, And discover that this is apparently how he was found. What is going on? You don’t know. But you will be aware, when I will show.   Cardiac arrests are the stressful phenomena of medical science, But what exactly leads to this end of life defiance? What happens in the heart that is so lethal? And makes the doctors useless, while spectators create upheaval?   There are two cardiac rhythms that bring a person’s demise, Vfib is one, and pulseless VTach the other surprise. Ventricular Fibrillation and Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia are their names, Both a result of electrical dysfunction, rendering the heart to flames. An example of ventricular fibrillation. Consists of erratic electrical activity. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:De-Rhythm_ventricular_fibrillation_%28CardioNetworks_ECGpedia%29.png   In this EKG, the sawtooth-shaped waves in Lead II most accurately represent the most common pattern seen in Ventricular Tachycardia. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Torsades_de_Pointes_TdP.png   As the ventricles contract ineffectively and blood remains still, Perfusion is compromised, the body like a useless water mill. It could be a clot or an overdose, including a range of reasons, But we know not the exact cause, oh such a treason!...

The Must Have Clinical Skills For Medical School

As a curious freshman on a large college campus, it can get quickly intimidating when it comes time to pick your major. Should you do Neuroscience and follow the bold or stick to the generic Biology concentration along with the crowd? Both are viable options, but which major will truly prepare you for a long and arduous career in the medical field? As undergraduate students, we do everything in our power to get as much clinical experience as possible, including involvement in research projects or job shadowing across various medical specialties. While all these avenues serve to boost our resume in a considerable manner, allowing us to showcase our clinical exposure to medical schools, there is one up and coming major that will completely blow your mind in all these arenas: Emergency Medicine. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “I thought that was a professional field. How can it be an undergraduate major?” Well, it turns out that it CAN be an area of study in today’s brave new world. There are few schools in the United States who have embraced this field for their students, but it is undoubtedly growing in renown and recognition. In its essence, an Emergency Medicine major trains you to become a paramedic, which marks the highest level of pre-hospital care. As you see those ambulances whiz by in full throttle and adrenaline on...

I Call Dibs On That Liver!

During a medical school interview, there are many questions asked of the applicant, including common queries such as “Why do you want to become a doctor?” and “Tell me about the time you volunteered at your local hospital.” However, there are also some unusual questions asked that center around controversial issues, such as organ transplantation, that push the applicant to think critically and justify his position. Imagine you have one kidney that has been procured by a team of transplant surgeons from a healthy, 20-year old male who has been declared dead in a car crash and holds a designated status of an organ donor. There are two prospective recipients in dire need for the organ: 1) A single mother of two children living in Louisville, Kentucky, struggling to survive and fulfill the needs of her family, 2) A medical researcher at the National Institute of Health on the verge of a possible breakthrough in finding a cure for cancer. To which recipient will you choose to give the organ? For questions such as this one, there is rarely a right or wrong answer. Medical school applicants are primarily asked these thought-provoking queries to see how well they handle controversial issues and whether they are aware of current arguments around the topic in society today. However, looking beyond the interview, such questions offer a unique opportunity to ponder the...

The Medyssey (A Thought Provoking Odyssey on Medicine)

An ode of old, that is not often told, This is a story to make the human body unfold. Healing is an art, a practice for the bold, Where have we come, in this journey untold? Are we at a place where human suffering has been curtailed? Or have we promoted a culture where we might have failed? Stretching back to the ancient times of Mesopotamian rule, Medicine has been practiced relentlessly, be it as a skill or a tool. The herbal recipes of old subside the pain for some of us, While religious rituals might work as well, so what’s the big fuss? People are dying everyday as epidemics abound, What can we do as we see our neighbors fall to the ground? As we fast forward to the last three hundred years, Medical care is scattered in the globe, like a child’s tears. While advances are made in many areas of the field, We still lack an understanding of the dead and the healed. Ambulances are formed and hospitals too, But patients are many and doctors very few. Into the 1900s, a turbulent time for the world, Medicine transforms, taking off with wings unfurled. Penicillin is discovered, it is a joyous day indeed! But polio remains with us, an irremovable weed. We need a new direction, a new guidance for all, To progress forward in the field,...

The Rare Rarity of a Ravenous Condition

Dear Sam, First of all, let me start by answering the question in your last letter. I am not well or unwell, just different. I am in a state of mind and body so rare that it is inconceivable for the everyday human being. I was about to say “normal” rather than “everyday,” but what exactly is normal? Is being able to sleep for seven hours at a stretch normal? Maybe for people without insomnia. What about being able to feel pain? Clearly I am one of the few lucky (or unlucky) ones who would be considered abnormal by that standard! Yes, you’ve guessed it right. I have Hereditary Sensory Neuropathy Type I (HSN Type I). Here’s what my hotshot neurologist stated as he triumphantly claimed the diagnosis of my condition: “Chris, based on the multitude of tests we have run and the differential diagnoses we have ruled out, it appears to me that you may have Hereditary Sensory Neuropathy Type I. It is a rare, genetic condition. The reason you are unable to feel pain or temperature changes in your extremities is because the nerves in the area have degenerated. Our main cause of concern is maintaining your health as it stands and preventing any grave injuries than may result from your pain insensitivity. In patients like you, it is not uncommon to have injuries that go undetected...