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.

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...

The Number One Rule of an Obstetric Emergency

The gift of life is one to behold, It is a blessed story, one to be told. A mother and child sharing a life force, The child is the gift, and the mother the source. Yet complications arise in this natural process, What to do when we encounter possible losses? Obstetrics is a field for the bold and the brave, Handling two lives, a family to save. A normal delivery is an outcome treasured, Though a C-section is also well measured!   The rules of the game are clear for one, A condition to dread, as feared as a gun. Ectopic pregnancy is the name to remember, Adding a spark to a suppressed ember. A woman has it, until proven otherwise, One that surprises and everyone despises. What does it look like, how to manage it? Is there a panacea, or a handy kit?   Ectopia is a misimplatation of the fertilized egg, In the fallopian tubes, uterus, or abdominal keg. The fetus develops and the blood supplies grow, Until the pain rises, and the mother turns slow. Abdominal pain and missed periods are the telltale signs, When the rupture happens, that’s when the patient declines. Symptoms of shock are what to look for, Tachycardia, diaphoresis, and hemorrhage make the gore.   Get help right away, surgery is what you need, Experienced hands delve deep into the peritoneal weed....

Breaking the Bad News…How Do Clinicians Do It?

I was working in the ER a few days ago when we received a call from the city medics: Mercy, this is Medic 2. Coming in with a 62-year-old male in cardiac arrest. Patient is intubated and is undergoing chest compressions since the past 25 minutes. 4 rounds of epi and 2 rounds of amio have been given with no return of spontaneous circulation. En route to your facility, ETA 10 minutes.     As the new kid on the block, a cardiac arrest was a big deal for me. However, as I saw the physicians, nurses, and technicians preparing themselves and their equipment for arrival of the EMS crew, a sense of calmness washed over me. Everyone was focused and ready to receive the patient. A pulmonologist (equipped with gloves and a mask) positioned herself at the head of the bed while the trauma surgeon stood beside her. Two nurses were setting up a 1-liter pressure-infused saline bag and the IV equipment. The suction and bag valve mask were being checked. A line of three individuals was set up by the room entrance for CPR. Everything was ready. Now, as the EMS crew entered the ER doors, the moment of truth came… “Hello everyone. This is Mr. John Smith. 62-year-old male found unconscious in his home 45 minutes ago by his family, who had initiated CPR before we...

Man! That Went South Very Fast…

Imagine you are a paramedic responding to a call for a 75-year-old male who is having abdominal pain. You get out of the recliner that you have been sitting in for the past 2 hours, waiting for a cool call, and you get this: an old man with a belly ache. Great. You get into the truck with your partner and drive down the road at a standard pace, arriving on scene after 10 minutes. You walk to the door with your equipment bag and knock. A worried woman answers the door and leads you to the bedroom upstairs to her husband, who is lying curled up on bed with his hands over his belly. “Hi Sir. What’s going on today?” “My belly hurts,” he says. You approach the patient and lift up his shirt to do an abdominal exam, palpating the four quadrants for any distention, rigidity, guarding, bruising, etc. You find nothing notable. “How about we get you to the hospital, get you checked out?” “Ok.” After transporting the patient to the back of the truck, you and your partner get set up. Patient is hooked up to the EKG monitor, an initial set of vitals is being taken, and an IV is started. You continue along with a more focused assessment, asking specific questions about what’s been going on recently with the patient, past medical history,...

What is the Most Complex Surgical Procedure?

Surgery…How would you define it? In an eloquent fashion, it can be described as the act of invasively treating a patient’s problem by dissecting into their body in order to access the source of concern and rectify the anatomy. As more simply described by my grandfather, a physician himself, “Surgery is nothing more than ‘cut and suture’.”   Having gone through the numerous years of rigorous training, from medical school to residency and fellowship, surgeons finally emerge equipped with the foundation needed to treat patients surgically. Whether it is vascular surgery or neurosurgery, surgeons perform highly intricate procedures everyday. Their level of skill is truly unmatched by any other, requiring them to maintain their focus and dedication for the preservation of human life. But how complex can surgery really be? As a prospective medical student myself, I wondered whether there was a procedure that could be labeled as the most complex of them all.   So I did some research. Only one out of the innumerable ones out there fit the bill: Pancreatoduodenectomy.   Falling in the area of expertise of a general surgeon, pancreatoduodenectomy is also commonly known as the “Whipple” (after one of its founders). It is a highly intricate surgical procedure involving great level of skill and experience. The operation is performed in order to resect pancreatic tumors commonly found on the head of the pancreas....