The Cockroach’s Unique Genome That Can Contribute to Medicine

Dr. Sheng Li, an entomologist and professor of life sciences at South China’s Normal University in Guangzhou, is leading research on the recently sequenced genome of the American cockroach. This species of insect is remarkable for its resiliency and ability to survive and thrive in many different environments, making it a compelling specimen for study in the quest for knowledge and compounds that can contribute to human medicine. The American cockroach has one of the longest insect genomes ever sequenced, second only to the locusta migratoria. While there exists an overwhelming amount of genes to examine and design potential experiments around, Dr. Li’s team is currently focusing on the regeneration capabilities of the American cockroach and how that may translate into therapies for humans. Click here to review the paper published in Nature Communications. Read more on The Doctor’s Channel. Read more on how insects are combating the battle on Malaria: These studies point toward the possible efficacy of paratransgenesis in the war against malaria, but the experiments were carried out in the laboratory. A big hurdle is how to introduce recombinant P. agglomerans into mosquitoes in the field. The authors indicate that they have had some success in dealing with this crucial problem by placing baiting stations consisting of clay pots containing cotton balls soaked with sugar and recombinant bacteria surrounding villages where malaria is prevalent. But we don’t yet know...

Is the Psychiatrist Shortage Linked to Mental Health Needs?

You can’t turn on the television anymore without watching some news of suicides or shootings. It is clear that there is currently a severe mental health crisis in the U.S. This is not just speculation. According to a recent AAMC article, there is a higher demand for mental health treatment than there are trained professionals. In light of recent Match Day for U.S. medical students, I was curious to discover the numbers related to students entering Psychiatry as a specialty in medicine. However, according to Residency Match Results and Data report from 2017, psychiatry positions have grown every year since 2008, and the 1,495 positions offered in 2017 was the highest on record. The 99.7 position fill rate also was the highest ever. The number of positions filled by psychiatry residencies has increased by 34 percent. Is the psychiatrist shortage linked to mental health needs? As a Psychology major in college and a long-time volunteer at Bellevue Hospital in NYC – renowned emergency psychiatric hospital – I have been curious about this field in medicine. Despite not choosing to pursue mental health further, I recognize it as an incredibly important area of medicine that has direct, positive impact on patients. Due to my curiosity, I looked up the results of Match Day to see how many students chose Psychiatry as a profession. There were several highlights this year, chief among...

What It’s Like as a Student in Your Thirties

Primarily most of us are medical students, mostly from different backgrounds, so it’s not surprising to be a student in your thirties when you’re in medical school. As a non-traditional student, and unlike a student on the traditional pre-medical track, I had the opportunity to explore other professions before entering the one I’m currently on. Post-baccalaureate programs make it easy to become a doctor without having a science education. In fact, I would highly encourage any student who is considering a post-baccalaureate program to pursue it. Looking back on my journey, I am convinced that taking time to pursue other interests and potential careers was incredibly worth it. Not only does your background enhance  your admissions interview, but it makes you a person with more depth. You’ll never regret the time you took off, but will always regret not taking any time off. I am amazed at students who decide to pursue combined or accelerated programs. Personally, that wasn’t the best choice for me. When I agree with my classmates about taking more time to discover whether this profession is the right fit, they remind me that I did have time to think about my options.  The truth is no matter how good your application essay and how convinced you think you sound about becoming a doctor, you truly don’t know what it is like unless and until you...

The Best And Most Consistent Method of Writing Notes

Do you ever get stressed out when you’re told to have your progress notes ready by a certain time? Do you ever spend more than 30 to 45 minutes doing your notes? Do you not know what to add and sometimes add too much? What’s a consistent method of writing notes in medical school anyway? In this post, I will go over a step-by-step approach to writing notes in medical school. This will be a technique that you can use every morning to not only have your notes in but to do them well. Develop a Structure Before You Begin Your Notes: I’m assuming we’re referring to writing notes on our patients before rounds. If you’re in clinic then the approach is similar. The first thing I do in the morning is to have a structured way of collecting overnight data. I open my progress note template. The template is something I’ve precreated and seperates my note into the typical SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment/Plan) format. Since I have a template I can just type in overnight events, new vitals, the physical exam that day, and the plan for the day. First I read the notes since my last progress note. I pay attention to any major events, new symptoms, or specialist recommendations in the subjective portion of my note. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling right now. We’ll make final...

10 Tips for Surviving Your First Clinical Rotation

Having just finished the first 6 weeks of my Intern year of Residency, I’ve become more reflective than ever. I can’t emphasize enough how different medicine is from what I had imagined it to be in the first two years of medical school preparing for my exams and my first clinical rotation, in both great ways and sometimes less than great ways. Beginning in a new hospital system in a new role these days opened the floodgates to the memories of how terrifying it was to begin in the hospital in my third year of medical school. I remember only knowing one route to the Emergency Department (no matter how long it was) and only taking that route because if I didn’t, I would get lost. I remember not knowing acronyms, workflow, the electronic medical record system, or even my role in this whole system. Did I mention the goofy short white coat…? In retrospect, some of these memories are HILARIOUS, but if I take a second to think about how terrified I was, I get anxiety all over again about starting my first rotation of third year of medical school. So, if you are about to begin or are already drowning in your first rotation of third year, take a seat, get your game face on and let’s talk about how to simply survive. 1. Find yourself. You may...

Can Google Replace A Medical Degree?

Patients are becoming more aware courtesy of the internet, as different forms of media and information continues to get pushed out, especially to us students and aspiring healthcare professionals. These days, it is uncommon for patients to bring their list of diagnosis and preferred medications to their medical visit. The internet can be a powerful tool, but also a dangerous one given the breadth and depth of false information. Can Google replace the importance of a medical degree? Despite its intelligence, it can’t replace it, nor can certain blogs  replace the importance of certain medical journals. I wanted to be a health journalist more than I wanted to be a doctor because I love story-telling. But, one of the reasons I decided to pursue medical training was because I did not want to be just another writer who writes about patient care, with no actual medical knowledge or training. There are only a handful of journalists in this niche media market who write for prestigious publications, but, ultimately, years of writing experience do not replace the credentials of a four year medical degree. Writing stories about actual patients who you have treated at the bedside/chairside is a more authentic representation of healthcare. As someone with background in both journalism and medicine, it is easy for me to differentiate between a reliable source from another. How do you know that the...

This Global Health Challenge is for Medical Students and Residents Serving Abroad

AMA Kicks-off 2018 Global Health Challenge for Medical Students and Residents to Help Underserved Patients Abroad Physicians-in-training and other health profession students are encouraged to submit essays before the May 14 contest deadline Chicago – The American Medical Association (AMA) and the AMA Insurance Agency today announced the launch of the 2018 AMA Global Health Challenge—an essay and video contest giving a team of physicians-in-training and students of other health care professions an opportunity to travel abroad to provide health care for underserved patients. The winning team will work alongside Timmy Global Health to care for populations in Ecuador, Guatemala or the Dominican Republic. “The AMA Global Health Challenge will allow aspiring physicians and health care professionals the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally while providing much needed care to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D. “The global health experiences that these future health care professionals will gain through their service trip abroad will help them foster a lifelong passion for service to the neediest populations, both at home and abroad, and develop a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health—leading to better health outcomes for all patients.” The AMA Global Health Challenge invites teams of at least two and up to five pre-medical and medical students, residents and students in allied health fields to submit an essay of 500 words or...