In Light of Recent Events: How CPR Can Help With Saving Lives

As a writer for this blog, I’m going to take this opportunity to discuss a topic that is not covered enough at most schools, and in society in general. I’m sure as most of you know, since the beginning of the year 2000, the United States has had a stunning increase in annual terrorist attacks, i.e. mass casualty incidents, in the eyes of health care providers. There have been over 400 documented terrorism-related cases and charges since 9/11/2001. Terrorist attacks such as the Virginia Tech, Columbine, San Bernardino, and Sandy Hook school shootings have left this country in a state of shock. Horrifyingly enough, the two deadliest shootings in modern U.S. history have occurred on 6/12/2016 and 10/1/2017, both in the past two years. The Pulse Night Club shooting led to the loss of at least 49 lives, with over 50 others injured. The Las Vegas shooting, which happened recently, left at least 58 people dead, and over 515 others injured. Take a moment and just re-read those last few sentences, let it sink in. Situations like these overwhelm the country, from both a medical and emotional standpoint, on a basis that is way to frequent for comfort. Many people will tell us that there’s really nothing we can do as “just pre-med students”, and they’re completely wrong. As a paramedic, there are 3 life-saving techniques that I think every...

QUIZ: Learn To Stay In Shape With The Right Exercise Program

So, you’re thinking of getting into shape. There are plenty of options available ranging from the rush of competitive sports to the tranquillity of yoga. Not everything is going to be a perfect match for you and it’s best to do some research before you dive head first into a new fitness regime. Whatever your personality, it’s vitally important to keep fit and make sure you exercise regularly. This quiz will help you decide which type of physical activity is right for you. Find Your Ideal Exercise Match Group Activities You’re a competitive, spontaneous exercise machine. You thrive testing your abilities against others whether it be on the track or at the gym. Recommended Workouts: – Team Sports – Competitive Running – Martial Arts – Zumba – Spinning Solo Workouts You’re confident in your abilities and don’t mind being around others when working out but prefer to focus on your own development. Recommended Workouts: – Weight Training – Jogging – Mountain Biking – Skiing – Cardio Conditioning Calming Exercises You prefer to be alone when you exercise and predominantly use it as a way to decrease stress. The perfect work out is one that not only keeps you fit but also centres you. Recommended Workouts: – Yoga – Thai-Chi – Swimming – Cycling – Walking Do you like to be spontaneous? What is your biggest motivation to exercise? Would...

There Are More Jobs At Hospitals Than Just Doctors

People are coming into the healthcare system by droves because of the Affordable Care Act and the aging population. Hence, the demand for advanced educated nurses to take the reins on caring for a big portion of them has grown immensely. That means that nurse practitioner (NP) and physician’s assistant (PA) are two professions playing a vital role in America’s changing healthcare panorama. These two positions make up a lot of jobs at hospitals. NPs and PAs include direct patient care at the advanced practice level, including working independently or collaboratively. With so many baby boomers aging, the need for more graduate level health care providers is increasing by the day. Plus, the need for these professions have escalated because of the Affordable Care Act with more than 40 million more people added to the primary care systems after finally getting health insurance in the last two years. “Physician assistants and nurse practitioners are more cost effective in a health care system, and there has been an amazing up swell interest in how to integrate them into hospital systems in more and more ways,” says Jonathan Bowser, director and associate dean of the Physician Assistant Program at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Read about what nurses can do that doctor’s can’t.  Here is a look at the growth outlook, salary range, strengths and advancements of a PA and...

Why I Didn’t Do Dermatology

I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I had good grades and scores in med school, although not freaking awesome. So it seems like the reason I didn’t do dermatology should be obvious: I wasn’t freaking awesome. And that’s what you need to be to match in derm these days. But between you and me, I actually did have a possible opportunity to do derm. My cousin is a big cheese dermatologist and assured me multiple times that he’d get me a residency spot if I wanted it. I don’t know if this was a true offer, but needless to say, I didn’t take him up on it. It was tempting, for sure. Dermatologists make good money and have a great lifestyle. I like procedures and dermatologist get to do lots of those. Part of the reason I didn’t try was because of location (yet again), but there were some other reasons: 1) I looked at the people in my class who matched in derm and I thought about those people being my colleagues for the rest of my life, and I felt ill. 2) I felt that as a dermatologist, the pressure to have perfect skin would be too intense, and would cause me to break out. 3) I have a slight inherited tremor in my hands that I worry might get worse with age and keep me...

Want to Improve Fitness? Make it a Game

From studying, to exercising, to cleaning up, and yes, fitness – how do you make yourself do something that you don’t want to do? Make it a game! Even Mary Poppins tells us that “in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun,” and apps like Streaks are popping up all over the place to make a game out of any mundane activity. But does it work? Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University set out to test the theory that participants could be incentivized to increase their physical activity through the gamification of exercise. All participants in the study wore step counters to measure their daily activity and received feedback each day on their achievements. However, those in the intervention group were given the opportunity to earn points and progress through reward levels as they increased their physical activity. Image: Fitbit by Hamaza Butt / CC by 2.0 The designers of the study took special care to incorporate principles from behavioral economics to augment social incentives and overcome participation barriers. Studies have shown that people tend to be more motivated to avoid losses, and that good habits are better sustained with variable reinforcement. Participants were enrolled with their entire families, and asked to sign a commitment pledge to do their best during the trial. Each week the family was awarded 70 points,...

5+ Tricks Every Medico Must Know: How to Become Competitive Expert

Getting into medical school is not easy, but it is definitely doable. Many have done it and there is no reason why you could not do it as well. It is all about following the right strategies and making sure that your application has all the necessary requirements. If your goal is to get into a fellowship program, you need to understand that the competition is tough, but that does not mean that the other applicants are better than you. Here are some of the best tips to help you gain a competitive advantage as a medico. Do additional work When you are in med school, one of the best things you can do is to work on a side project in your field. You can use this project as an addition to your application. If you decide to go this route, it is important to find a great mentor to work with. This can be someone who is an expert in the field you are trying to work on, or a fellow student. Getting a publication in your field is a great advantage and allows you to use some of your connections to write you letters of recommendation. To do a gastroenterology fellowship personal statement might seem like a difficult task, but with the backup of some great recommendation letters, you might make your job a little easier....

Robot Therapy: Can a Software Program Treat Depression?

Although traditional talk-therapy sessions are conducted face-to-face, advances in smartphone technology and video-calling have significantly altered the age old “therapy couch” model and brought talk therapy into the lives of people who aren’t able to visit a therapist regularly. Further advances in artificial intelligence may mean that someday patients might not need a therapist at all – just a computer program. Image: The Doctor Is In Your Pocket by Juhan Sonin /CC by 2.0 Researchers at Northeastern University in Boston have developed and tested a computer program that directly interacts with patients, in between their regular therapy sessions, that helps to reinforce outcomes from the group therapy and teach techniques to manage stress. Advances in conversational artificial intelligence have enabled computer scientists to develop software programs that interact with patients, either through voice or text, in such a natural way that some patients’ brains respond to these programs the same way they would when talking to a human. These programs are known as “conversational agents,” and they have been particularly successful at psychological evaluations, as studies have shown that patients may be more likely to give open and honest responses when they believe they are speaking to a computer program rather than a human. The researchers at Northeastern found that, when combined with group therapy visits, patients who used the conversational agent along with their group sessions had significantly better...

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