Let’s make ‘Domestic Health’ as Cool as Global Health

Medical schools can better mobilize students to fix U.S. healthcare problems. U.S. healthcare is undergoing a sea change of transformation. The ACA (how ever you feel about it) was a major step in focusing our attention on issues like streamlining care, improving value, and expanding access. Yet, as these issues of domestic healthcare come front and center in the minds of many Americans, an increasing number of U.S. medical students are looking to solve health problems in countries abroad. This is not only manifesting as a shortage of physicians interested in practicing in underserved populations of the U.S., but also a dearth of innovation in our healthcare, compared to what we’re seeing in global health. The way our medical schools are currently going about cultivating and mobilizing student interest in innovating solutions to domestic health issues is misguided and can be improved to follow a similar model of global health. Student interest in global health has been rising for at least a quarter of a century. Compared to 1978 when only 5% of medical students participated in international health experiences, 30.5% of graduating medical students now participate in a health project abroad. When polled in 2013, 63% of matriculating medical students said they expected to participate in global health education or service experiences at their medical schools, and 46% talked about global health issues in their applications. Medical schools...

Has “The Natural Effect” Outsmarted You?

Odds are, if you’re an almost doc, you are relatively intelligent…. But, false advertising may have gotten the best of you: “The classic before and after…and who doesn’t want a big d!*k?” We’ve all fallen for it at least once before – med students and premeds are human too – but  after countless hours of learning and studying about health and nutrition, did “the natural effect” outsmart you?     Featured image is screenshot from above...

#NotMatched2014: Number of Residency Slots Hasn’t Changed in 17 Years

The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 capped residency slots at 100,000. As more students graduate from medical school, there are many left unmatched and without the proper training to become practicing physicians. So, how will America address the physician shortage? Learn more at...

Top 3 Coolest Medical Innovations of March

Here are the 3 latest innovations in medicine that will be sure to make a difference in clinical practices of the future: 1. Evoked Potential Assessment Device Prevents Arms and Legs from Falling Asleep During Surgery Often during surgery, arms or legs may be in positions for long periods of time. Nerves and blood vessels may be stretched and squeezed, and if a patient’s position is not adjusted in time, permanent tissue damage, compartment syndrome, and other risk factors may occur. SafeOp, a Maryland company has developed The Evoked Potential Assessment Device, which uses SSEPs (somatosensory evoked potentials) to detect abnormal nerve signaling that is indicative of poor patient positioning, to warn clinicians to reposition a patient in need.     Additional features include: – Wireless tablet control and display with wired backup – Real waveform data and graphical displays – Integrated neuromuscular junction testing including train of four, single simulation and post-tetanic count – Convenient easy clean, easy place headbox that can be rotated for supine or prone surgeries – Patent pending electro-cautery recognition and removal from averaged signals – Patent Pending distributed ground to reduce stimulus artifact – Single 6 layer board for durability and tight integration of functions – Simple and easy snap-on cable connection – Unified flat lying, fully shielded cables to minimize clutter and block out electrical interference – Easy place and connect surface electrodes...

5 Lessons From Medical Student Entrepreneurs

“You have an idea and the company becomes the oxygen for that idea. In these times, a company is the best way to spread that idea” – Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter  Would you take a year off from medical school to launch a startup? For many medical students, the idea of running a business as a doctor, let alone as a student, is a terrifying thought. We are trained in pathology and best-practice guidelines, not spreadsheets and business plans. A group of trailblazing medical student entrepreneurs, however, are breaking the traditional medical career mold. I recently interviewed four entrepreneurs who took time off from medical school in order to run a startup. Each at different parts of the startup process, they had lots to say about the steps leading up to their companies, juggling coursework and running a business, deciding to take time-off from school, and how they thought residencies would view them. The interviewees included: Adeel Yang of Picmonic Shiv Gaglani and Ryan Haynes of Osmosis Craig Monsen of Symcat   1. Launching a startup takes more than a great idea A common misconception about starting a company is that the key to success lies in just finding a great idea. The backgrounds of these medical students shows otherwise. Yang worked for a venture capital firm where he met with entrepreneurs and reviewed business plans, Monsen used his...

Top 10 Most Annoying Comments I’ve Heard From a Gunner

The following were told to me by a friend who recently completed medical school and is currently in his intern year. A recollection of his favorite (ie: most annoying) comments he heard while in medical school from a gunner. Note: Some of these were actually Facebook statuses, as denoted by the asterisks. Just let that sink in.   10. “I swear if they give me a B I’m gonna have my mom talk to a dean.” Your mom? I thought gunners were spawn of the devil?   9. “Dude, it’s Thrombotic thrombocytopenic pupura! You gotta learn to say it clearly, bro.” Dude, ok, we’ll see how clearly you say it when I knock yo’ teeth out.   8. “I’m fairly certain I’m going to match at Johns Hopkins (or insert other top program in the country). It would really suck to end up at _______ (insert other amazing, but perhaps slightly lower ranked program). They just aren’t in the same league.” All hail you, gunner, you deserve the best.   7. “Oh you guys went out last night? How was that. You realize we have a test coming up in 5 weeks, right? Just checking.” Yes, I went out. And yes, it was glorious. And yes, I will do it again tonight. And yes, I will regret it. Oh screw you gunner! why must you always be right?  ...

3D-Printed Tracheal Splint Implant Saves This Baby’s Life

Born with Tetralogy of Fallot with absent pulmonary valve, a condition that leads to severe pulmonary regurgitation and dilation of pulmonary arteries, 18-month-old Garrett Peterson developed severe tracheobronchomalacia, leading to airway collapse and trouble breathing even on a ventilator. Using polycaprolactone, a biodegradable polyester, University of Michigan doctors and engineers worked together to 3-D print a biodegradable splint and implant it into the airway. Although doctors received FDA clearance to perform the surgery, the procedure itself has not received FDA approval. Garrett’s doctors hope that after the surgery, naturally occurring tissue will form over the splint, growing a fully functioning airway by the time the splint dissolves. For more on the 3D printing system that was used to print the tracheal splint watch the video...

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