Top 10 Hardcore Grey’s Anatomy Moments – #2

Believe it or not, medicine is a career filled with drama. From the closest of saves to those fastidious concerns for protocol implementation, we are no strangers to the loud proclamations of physicians, residents, nurses, and the rest of the staff in the hallways and operating rooms. Translating this very sense of excitement to the medical TV shows out there, Grey’s Anatomy is one of the notable and long-running ones that fit this characterization in the perfect manner.   For my fellow Grey’s Anatomy fans out there, this is my tribute to you. Join along as we watch some of the most hardcore moments from the show, displaying the rigor, emergency, and adrenaline-rush of our beloved medical profession.   2. The “everyday” emergency Surgery is a field that teeters on the edge of life and death. There is an emergent situation just waiting to pounce on you as you turn a corner. Thus, this profession is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are willing to challenge themselves to the breaking point and face the mantle of saving human lives on a daily basis.       Featured Image:...

Have Medical Degree – Will Travel

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Can Punishing Medical Errors Make Hospitals Safer?

In January, Medicare cut federal payments to 769 hospitals, continuing a program of punishing hospitals for errors and avoidable complications, such as blood clots, falls and bed sores. For the first time these penalties also included hospital-acquired antibiotic-resistant infections. Mandated by the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is required to penalize the bottom 25% of the worst performing hospitals, even if they’ve shown a reduced rate of incidents from year to year. In the years since the penalties took effect, they had the unintended consequence of disproportionately reducing funding in teaching hospitals and for patients in low-income areas with limited access to services. This prompted congress to legislate a socioeconomic adjustment when evaluating hospital performance.   While the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates that hospital-acquired conditions have declined 21% from 2010 to 2015, there were still an estimated 3.8 million hospital injuries in 2016: 115 injuries for every 1,000 patient stays. Specialized hospitals, such as those for children, rehabilitation, cancer, veterans and psychiatric treatment are exempt from the financial penalties.   Reporting by the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that readmission rates started falling in 2012 and have continued, suggesting that more hospitals have taken up preventative measures for hospital acquired infections and preventable readmissions, and that overall the impact of the penalties is less than 1% of the reimbursable amount for a re-admission.   Image:...

Diagnosing Genetic Disorders with Facial Recognition Technology

With advancing technology, you can see a doctor from home using FaceTime or send a pic of your mole for a cancer diagnosis. And now, the same technology that automatically tags your photos on Facebook can help doctors diagnose rare genetic diseases.   Facial recognition technology dates all the way back to 1964, when computer programmers starting teaching their computers how to recognize human faces. Early operations could process about 40 pictures an hour in an attempt to match similar features using coordinates between pupils, outside corners of the eyes, hairline, etc. Early attempts struggled to cope with variations from photo to photo if the subject wasn’t posed in exactly the same position. In the mid-2000s, the Face Recognition Grand Challenge was sponsored by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, among others, to bring attention and innovation to facial recognition technology.   Image: Source   Now, researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) have produced software that uses facial recognition technology to help diagnose DiGeorge syndrome. A rare genetic disease, DiGeorge syndrome is caused by a defect in chromosome 22. Although its effects vary from person to person, the syndrome can result in cleft palate, low calcium levels, heart defects and a weakened immune system. There is no cure, but early interventions can improve the patient’s outlook through relevant treatments.   The breakthrough is particularly important...

What Is The Best Way To Understand The Opioid Epidemic?

We’ve all heard it repeatedly in the news, on the internet, and every which way we turn. The opioid epidemic has been one of the most prevalent issues in the world in the recent past. Our efforts to understand this growing concern are overshadowed by its complexity. We may even be tempted to write it off as irrelevant to us. However, given its expansive reach, it is becoming increasing hard to avoid it. So how do we really wrap our minds around this issue? What is the first step?   As a first year medical student, I started a podcast series to talk about issues in medicine by bringing together a group of 3-4 of my peers every few weeks for discussion. Just recently, we took on the grand task of trying to dissect the opioid epidemic. After the recording, many thoughts rushed to my mind. I knew that this issue was big. I knew that it was real. And I knew that it was important.   However, I eventually realized that beyond knowing all the statistics and treatment modalities, the first step in trying to understand and manage this issue was to develop the right mindset. This is something that stands with specific importance for current and future medical providers. Opioid use disorder warrants an approach that puts the patient at the center with consideration but without judgment....

Med School Teaching Innovations

Until recent years, the whole concept of medical school has remained largely unchanged – 2 years of basic science and 2 years of clinical practice with many teachers working off the experiential education model of “see one, do one, teach one.” But advances in education theory and the shifting nature of the medical profession have prompted medical schools to re-evaluate the standard educational program in order to achieve better learning outcomes and to reflect the experience of being a doctor in the real world. Here are some things they are trying:   Flipping the classroom In a typical course, students go to class, sit through a few hours of lectures and then go home to do coursework such as solving practice problems or writing papers on their own time. In the “flipped” classroom, students listen to or watch lectures on their own time, via video clips online or podcasts, before attending class. This allows classroom time to be spent tackling practice problems through group work, guided discussions or debates. Research has shown that this flipped system results in “significant learning gains when compared to traditional instruction.” One theory is that after watching lectures at home, students can immediately apply what they’ve learned the night before, which increases uptake and processing of the desired skills. It’s also a chance for professors to provide feedback on any questions or misconceptions about...

Benefits of MD/MPH programs

What is an MPH? While medical training emphasizes clinical skills to treat individual patients, training in public health allows students to study ways to improve community health. Students pursuing a masters in public health (MPH) degree gain knowledge about the various threats to population health and learn ways to promote health and prevent disease.   The MD/MPH dual degree has become quite popular, as over 80 medical schools currently offer it. Some medical schools allow their students to complete both MD and MPH degrees concurrently. Others offer their students a leave of absence between their third and fourth years of medical school to complete their MPH degree.   Although an MPH is useful, it costs a lot of money, like other degrees. And, you can explore public health without pursuing an MPH—for example, as an MD student, you can still certainly help out in a public health research lab, if you’re interested. That’s why, before deciding to pursue an MPH, you have to consider how an MPH will enrich your medical education and how you’ll use it in your career. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself: how will I benefit from pursuing an MPH?     Benefit: In-depth training in research methodology As I mentioned earlier, you can do public health research without pursuing an MPH. However, an MPH will provide you with the skills needed to create and...