Top 10 Mnemonics to Get You Through Med School

Sometimes even after reading over the same paragraph multiple times, the material just doesn’t stick. These mnemonics will help you effortlessly master important concepts that are high yield on the boards and guarantee your succes. 1) 5 parameters of the HPI (history of present illness): 2) Encapsulated organisms: 3) Inhibitors of Cytochrome P450: 4) To remember that the right lung is tri-lobed and the right side of the heart contains the tricuspid valve while the left lung is bi-lobed and the left side of the heart contains the bicuspid valve: 5) 12 Cranial Nerves (in consecutive order): 6) Branches of the Brachial Plexus: 7) X-linked Immunodeficiencies: 8) Most Common Symptoms and Bacterial Causes of Meningitis: 9) Anterior pituitary hormones: 10) Precursors in neurotransmitter synthesis (steps in order):     Featured image from Flickr / digiart2001 jason.kuffer   Correction: July 19, 2013 An earlier version of this post used incorrect wording for the third cranial nerve. This error has been...

ZDoggMD on MSNBC Live!

A Talking (Bald) Head Move over, Fareed Zakaria and Malcolm Gladwell…there’s a new fancy-pants policy wonk in town! One who gets a whopping 3 awkward minutes to ramble on national TV with MSNBC anchor Richard Lui…LIVE! Props were given to Turntable Health and disses to Jenny McCarthy, so I believe I can say with fair confidence: mission...

Chinese Researchers 3D Print Living Kidneys

Researchers at a university in eastern Zhejiang Province have used a 3D printer to create living kidneys, which are expected to be used for transplants in the...

Benefits of a Good Ol’ Fashion Vaginal Birth

The debate between natural delivery versus a cesarean delivery has been going on for centuries. Early references to the c-section appear in ancient texts, mythology and Roman history; though, not usually coupled with a glistening seal of approval. C-sections were, initially, a last ditch effort to save a baby in countries with dwindling populations; it was better to save the child and let the mother die an agonizing death. Although the term “cesarean section” is generally thought to have originated from the story of the birth of Julius Caesar, much about the origin of the nomenclature remains a mystery. For present-day expectant mothers, c-sections are no longer so mythical and, more importantly, so dangerous. Modern medicine has allowed not only for the procedure to be safe for mom, but more or less safe for baby as well (forgiving, of course, the occasional nick on the baby’s brow by the surgeon’s blade, as was the case with my nephew). C-sections have proliferated in modern culture to become a matter of preference rather than necessity. They are no longer reserved solely for emergencies; some moms may choose to schedule their cesarean purely for the convenience, or, as is sometimes noted about the stars in glossy tabloids, because they are “too posh to push.”  But just because we have the technology to allow c-sections to be more commonplace, science is still trying...

Every Career in Medicine Begins With a Story…Here’s Mine

In his book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee says, “Medicine … begins with storytelling. Patients tell stories to describe illness; doctors tell stories to understand it. Science tells its own story to explain diseases.” It is stories that give meaning to what we do, and so, I wish to tell you my grandmother’s story. I could barely recognize my grandmother’s frail body as she lay on a hospital bed in the room that was once her dining room. She asked what the weather was like outside. Fighting back tears, I told her it was a nice sunny day and there were robins on the bird feeders that she liked to watch on her deck. It was comforting to see her face light up at the thought, but I knew it was really a gloomy April day with no birds in sight. I did everything that I could to not think of the tumor growing in her bladder that day, but like a tumor in my mind, the realization that this was her end was growing into an overwhelming force. Each time she exhaled, there would be a long pause where I would stroke her hand fearing she would never breathe again. Her sister told her what I did not have the strength to: “You are dying.” The family knew since her diagnosis that...

A Muggle’s Guide to Med School

Did you ever think that medical school seemed very much like Hogwarts when it came right down to it? Pay attention muggles, we’re about to expectorate sputonum up in here.     Featured image from Flickr | Edmond...

First, Do No Harm: An Oath for Patients?

Should there be a Hippocratic Oath for patients? This week NPR reported on increased violence against doctors in hospitals in China, the climax of which resulted in a fatal stabbing at a hospital in the province of Zhejiang. Nurses and doctors from the facility donned surgical masks and took to the courtyard to protest the violence. The masks were not so much a symbol of solidarity as yet another layer of protection: this time, not from their patients, but from their own government. This attack against doctors by angry patients is not the first one in China this year; there were also stabbings and beatings in Harbin and Guangdong provinces that resulted in two more dead doctors. The culture between doctor and patient is built on an unstable rift: it is hardly uncommon for patients to insult and in some cases manhandle their physician if they are unhappy with the outcomes of their treatment or diagnosis. In these Chinese hospitals, the security guards are untrained to protect the physicians, and as a result, the violence has been allowed to escalate. The Chinese Hospital Association released a survey that said patients and/or their family members have assaulted staff at more than 60% of hospitals, supporting the idea that there is some cultural basis for the growing violence. The NPR article reports that, ironically, in the last few years, several health...

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