Could Hibernating Improve Surgical Outcomes?

If I could be a western fat-tailed dwarf lemur – I wouldn’t . But they are really cute and funny little creatures, and we do happen to have one thing in common. We’re both super good at sleeping. The lemur is the closest genetic cousin of humans that hibernates for long periods. And, while humans are not able to hibernate just yet, researchers at Duke University studying these animals believe that by identifying the mechanism these animals use, it could one day be possible AND could have significant health applications. Everyone can appreciate a good night’s sleep – especially med students. And, it’s well known that being well rested provides multiple health benefits: improved cognitive functioning, increased longevity, reduction of inflammation, healthy weight maintenance, stress reduction etc. So what if humans could hibernate? Researchers at Duke University believe that inducing a torpid state in humans could become a good practice in surgeries. Many organs, especially the brain, are extremely sensitive to hypoxia which often occurs when undergoing surgery. In a torpid state, temperature is often reduced during REM sleep, lowering metabolic rate, leading to decreased cellular demand for oxygen. This decreased demand for oxygen could thus reduce the risk of damaging the organs and translate into safer surgeries with more beneficial outcomes. Sounds great. Now how do hibernate? When studying the lemur, researchers discovered that they are the only...

A Prayer that Every AlmostDoc Should Know

John Abele, Co-founder & Director of Boston Scientific, explains how The Serenity Prayer applies to many things in life. He describes its importance and relevance in public health and personal medicine, as the prayer asks for wisdom that is useful in triaging. Read more about John Abele. Videotaped at FutureMed, in February, 2013, at Singularity University.   Featured image taken from Flickr | manoj...

Surgeon Finds Some Patients Don’t Appreciate His Little Experiment With Hugs

Photo by Michaela Kobyakov NORTHBINGER, CA – General Surgeon Jeff Britley, M.D., is touching patients in ways they never imagined.  After last year’s survey at the Northbinger Surgical Center indicated that he seemed “distant” or “rushed” during many patient visits, Dr. Britley made some dramatic changes to his bedside manner and patients have definitely noticed. “I decided I just needed to get in there and get friendly,” says Dr. Britley from his West Covina home where he is currently waiting for the California Medical Board to review complaints made about his new style.  ”Over the past 6 months I’ve revolutionized my bedside manner, making it a point to include healing touch and spacial intimacy in every moment I spend with my patients.” He says he courageously pushed the boundaries of human proximity – a sort of pioneer on the frontiers of physical awkwardness. “I made it my mission to step inside of each patient’s unique comfort zone and linger there… turning a simple hug or handshake into a truly magical and enduring experience.” Those wonderfully tenacious touches have been a source of deep satisfaction to Dr. Britley in his practice of medicine, but have generated no small amount of controversy amongst clinic patients. One patient reported being “very disturbed” by his attempt to lie in the hospital bed beside him while they talked. “He put his arms around me and...

Crohnology: Bringing Together a World of Crohn’s Patients

Sean Ahrens, co-founder of Crohnology, discusses how he brought a community of Crohn’s and Colitis patients together to share  their collective knowledge and track their disease. Sean was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when he was 12 years old, and was inspired to create a platform where patients could learn from each other and collect data on western and alternative treatment options. Read more about Crohnology. Filmed at FutureMed, in February, 2013, at Singularity...

Lies You’ll Tell as a Med Student (And Maybe Beyond)

Telling a lie for the sake of medical training? Fair game. Am I right? AM I RIGHT?  Check out more from Dr. Fizzy...

New Phone App May Just Be the Cheat Sheet Every Doctor Needs

Epocrates is offering their amazing app to medical students for free ($159 value)! The app provides information about drug indications, drug interactions, health insurance plans and much more. Check out the demo video below and click here to get the app for FREE.     Featured image is screen shot taken from video...

Mental Health in the Poverty Stricken Population

I’ve been hanging out at the wrong Starbucks, apparently. Last weekend, I was having a nice Saturday morning coffee with a fine gentleman outside of a New York City Starbucks, enjoying the beautiful weather and the lovely conversation. All of a sudden I hear a large “BANG” behind me and I see a look of udder shock on said gentleman’s face. “That man just punched the wall [the outside wall, mind you. aka, the brick facade of the building.] right behind your head!” Fast forward a few days and I’m sitting at the very same Starbucks with a fine young lady, both of us pouring over our medical school applications. I am sitting with my back to the glass window behind me. All of a sudden I see a look of bewilderment on my friend’s face. “A homeless man was just walking by, made eye contact with me, and literally hacked a loogie and spit it at me into the window.” Have I been hanging out at the wrong Starbucks? Or is there something bigger going on here? A few days after the first incident I talked to the same fine gentleman, a doctor himself. He had one sentence that I think explains all of these situations that I’m sure I am not the first to experience: “The poor are not getting the mental health care they need and deserve.” And...

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