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.

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....

How Crazy Can Psychiatry Really Get?

When we think about psychiatric disorders, usually one word comes to our minds: Crazy! From the madly rushing lunatics to the mellow social outcasts, psychiatric patients are a part of a field that encompasses a wide range of neuropsychological disorders. While conditions such as schizophrenia are commonly used words among the general population, the distinguishing features of these ailments are often overlooked. Rather than focusing on the physiological aspect of disease etiology and pathophysiology, let’s make an attempt to get a hands-on view of this intriguing field of medicine. Here are three of the most common psychiatric disorders with a focus on their individual clinical features: 1.     Schizophrenia Literally speaking, schizophrenia means “splitting of the mind.” It is a disorder that results in the splitting of thoughts in the affected individual’s brain, resulting in an inability to maintain a clear train of thought. Some of the clinical hallmarks of the disorder include: A)   Primarily auditory hallucinations (possible visual hallucinations) B)   Forming illogical associations (such as “the foot I put out the door will determine whether or not it will rain today”) C)   Social decline and isolation (inability to hold a stable position in society) D)   Negative symptoms (lack of normal functioning abilities, such as clear communication with others) E)    Positive symptoms (characteristics that add to the neurological functioning of a normal individual in order to affect thought processes; these...

How Do You Save a Life with the ABCs?

Imagine you are walking down the street and you see two cars collide head-on right before your eyes. The fronts are crumpled, smoke is coming out of the vehicles, and airbags have been deployed. After confirming that the scene is safe and traffic has been halted or rerouted to prevent further accidents, you approach the two cars and see two people inside of each one. They are all bloodied up and unconscious. What do you do?   As a future medical professional, having a sense of how to deal with an emergency situation is a vital skill to possess. While you may not have all the tools of a paramedic in the trucks or a physician in the hospital, having a basic awareness and understanding of survival can go a long way.   Rather than explain it in a monotonous paragraph format, let’s spice things up a bit!   Walking down the path to the midday crash, You see four patients as you make a dash, You open the doors to the crumpled up cars, And try to look for deformities, wounds, and scars. But wait! Think about the body and its complexity, What should really concern you as a necessity?   Let’s go back to the alphabet that you learned in school, From the A to the B to the C as a rule. A is for Airway,...

Wait! I Need Some Time To Think About It

Dear Adam, Ideally speaking, I should say that I am happy to hear back from you. However, I am genuinely sorry to hear about your newfound condition of Hereditary Sensory Neuropathy Type I (HSN Type I). Based on what I know about the disorder, which is obviously quite limited due to the ailment’s nature, the best treatment is indeed symptomatic therapy coupled with optimism for your health. The questions that you posed in your letter bring up crucial points. I agree with you that while we have funds from national institutes devoted towards the development of therapies for disorders commonly found in the populace, the rarest of medical conditions often go unnoticed due to the overshadowing influence of diseases such as diabetes and coronary artery disease. The study of the most unique of disorders serves the dual purpose of helping a select group of individuals suffering from incurable as well as unmanageable diseases and of expanding our knowledge about the intricacies of the human body. There are many scientists out there who are passionate about pursuing a career in finding out more about these rare medical conditions. However, national and government institutes that provide the funds for their work would rather boost their public image by providing their financial support to investigations of widespread diseases. It is a reality that is hard to face yet inescapable. Whether one looks...

Just How Poetic Can You Get with a Medical Disease?

Bright was the day and dark was the night, When I first lost the distinction between wrong and right. What am I thinking, what am I doing? Formulating strange thoughts with delusional ideas brewing. Is this what it has come to in pursuit of my dream? Making me question myself, demanding a loud scream?   Some call me a hypochondriac, others call me crazy, But what truly is happening to me, is it maybe just a doozy? Looking in the annals of psychiatry, I see one condition, Medical Student Syndrome, what a pertinent addition!   Here I am living, every day of my life, Thinking, “What is this headache, could it be a surgical knife?!” From the skin to the gut, my body is an infectious sore, Crawling with bacteria and viruses, as I am no more. Schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, or anorexia, Let it be anything else, even my avant-garde intelligentsia.   Every minute of every day, I learn a new disease, Ingraining a new pathophysiology with unnerving ease. I go from neoplastic meningitis to basal cell carcinoma, Dreading my demise at the hands of a freakin’ coma!   The days as a medical student are stretching hard and long, Testing my will to survive and come out of it strong. But will I make it with so many disorders? So many risks teetering on their borders? What will...

These People are Just Doing Their Jobs, But Here’s Why I’m Thankful They’re Good at It

6:20 PM “Ok everyone. We’ve got eyes. Sir, my name is Dr. Hanger. Can you hear me? You were in an accident earlier today and you are in the ER right now. We’re gonna take good care of you. Just stay with us, ok?” That is undoubtedly something no one wants to hear when they open their eyes. I struggled to remember how I had ended up in the ER when I should have taken bus 71B and headed straight home to finish my long-overdue calculus homework. It took a moment for me to recall the details, but it all finally came rushing back to me.   5:00 PM “That physiology exam…I wonder if the professor just likes to torture us for fun,” I thought to myself as I walked out of the exam room. It was sunny out today. I could see everyone sitting in the lawn, relaxing under the shade of the sun that had appeared after countless months, and all I could think about was how I had just screwed up on my test. “If this is undergrad, med school’s going to be a treat.” I just kept on walking, approaching the intersection on Fifth and Bigelow. I was distracted, thinking about my plummeting grade in physiology class, when I was swept off my feet (literally) and thrown to the ground 10 feet away from the...

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