Issues Medical Students Should Be Aware Of #1: Abortion

  Med Student: Henry Burton has von Hippel-Lindau disease and a pheochromocytoma. It’s extremely rare, causing blood pressures to skyrocket and it’s treated with alpha blockers. Cristina: Oh look at that. He reads. Med Student: Sorry, should I… Cristina: Med students are like children at the dinner table, to be seen and not heard. – Grey’s Anatomy Season 7 Episode 12   If you are a medical student who has gone through clinical rotations, you might likely have had this experience (especially on the surgical floors). If you are just starting medical school, it’s something to look forward to!   With this pleasant perspective in mind, I want to actually talk about some of the key medical issues that you should be aware of as a prospective or current medical student. Beyond the technical medical knowledge, I want to express the crucial importance of being aware of controversial topics that come up repeatedly and consistently in the medical field. As someone who will be holding the mantle as the future of medicine, medical students should be cognizant of current controversies that are garnering attention, forcing us future physicians to take a stand as the appointed leaders.   Over the course of the next several articles, I will be presenting unique perspectives delivered by experts on intriguing medical issues. And to make it even more interesting, they will be TED Talks! My...

Healthcare Around The World #2: Mexico

Mexico appears in the news a lot, especially recently due to the upcoming presidential election. However, healthcare is not one of the topics typically associated with the country. I found myself wondering what policies does Mexico follow?   As a pre-med student, I feel as though it is important to understand other countries’ healthcare systems. Maybe we can learn something from other countries and see how their policies may affect the U.S. Furthermore, these policies may be reflected in our own system later down the line and greatly impact our practices once in the field.     2. Mexico After taking a look at our neighbor to the north in the first article, let’s look to our neighbor to the south. As shown in the video below, Mexico’s much more affordable healthcare system presents itself as an enticing alternative to the expensive healthcare costs of the American model. Especially for individuals who live close to the border, a short drive to Mexico is much less expensive than grappling with the higher costs here at home. But how exactly do the standard of services compare? And how does Mexico’s system survive with such low costs?   Video: Source   Featured Image:...

The 10 Biggest Myths About Getting into Medical School (Part 1)

“I’ve heard that medical schools…” “My friend says that…” “I read online that…”   In our work with pre-meds, we hear all kinds of crazy claims. About 95% of the time we hear one of the above phrases, what follows is false. No, you don’t need 400 hours of shadowing to get into medical school. No, it doesn’t help to finish college in three years. And when you get a rejection letter, you shouldn’t call the medical school and plead to be given a second chance.   The myth-making process is completely understandable. Pre-meds are competitive people, so they pounce on any piece of information–no matter how unreliable the source–to help them gain an edge. Medical schools don’t make this any easier; resources about how to get in are often vague, with little to no tangible details about how medical schools ACTUALLY choose applicants. And given that any idiot with a computer can post his “knowledge” to a message board, well… you get a lot of people who have heard a lot of things.   In the following post, we hope to tackle some of the most insidious rumors in the medical school admissions process and lay out our best representation of the truth, as seen from our perspective of working with hundreds of pre-meds.     Medical School Myth #1 The science GPA IS THE ONLY GPA med...

So What’s Wrong With This Patient? – #1

  The medical field is full of variety and complexity. From the simplest of disorders to the most complex diseases, you will be hard pressed to find a dull moment as a healthcare provider.   Over the past year of training to become a paramedic, I have had the fortunate opportunity to come across various different patients with a multitude of complaints, allowing me to muster my skills of patient assessment and physical examination in order to determine the root cause of the clinical problems.   I would like to take this opportunity and invite you all to recognize the intricacies of medical disorders and how to manage them on an emergent basis. Over the last several weeks, I have been going over some of the classic patient cases that I have come across in my short career as a part of the medical field. While the encounters have been momentary, they have left a deep impact on my learning and outlook towards this noble profession.   So what are we waiting for? Let the problem solving continue on! We will conclude with our last case here at #1.   1. The Mysterious Diagnosis History of Present Illness: Patient is a 34-year-old male who calls EMS with a chief complaint of fatigue and not feeling too well for the past several days.   Physical Examination: On further questioning, the...

Healthcare Around The World #1: Canada

To at least some degree, we are all aware of the dynamics surrounding healthcare in the United States, centering around the struggle to make services affordable, to ensure equal access to care, and to balance the politics of party-line views between private and federally-sponsored healthcare (with everything along the middle of that spectrum). But how do other countries around the world offer healthcare to its people? Can their models provide us with some insight into how to modify our system to make it better?   Over the course of the next several articles, we will be viewing some interesting clips on the general model of healthcare in select countries across the globe. While this sampling is in no way representative of all possible models out there, it undoubtedly provides us with intriguing information.   Also, a disclaimer before we start. Some of the videos may be presenting biased opinions about the superiority of certain healthcare systems. My intention is to simply deliver the information without advocating for any particular viewpoint.   1. Canada   Contrary to popular belief, Canada does not have a socialized medicine system, but rather a single-payer system. As shown in the video below, the Canadian system of healthcare for all its populations is comparable to the Medicare program we have here in the United States for the elderly.   Being our neighbors to the north, Canada has been...

Popular Alternative Medical Therapies #6: Hypnosis

We’ve all heard of hypnosis usually in TV shows or movies for comedic purposes. When a character hears a certain trigger word or sound, they start doing something silly, maybe the chicken dance, for instance. The character then comes back to reality without having any knowledge of their previous actions. While this is can be a form of comedy as a spectator, hypnosis can actually be used to help people in more ways than one.     Most people know about medicine as viewed through the lens of biomedicine, drug therapies, evidence-based treatments, and the like. However, there is a whole area of study that addresses ailments with a quite different approach. We have all likely heard of it as alternative medicine.   There are many reasons to take an interest in this field. However, for us prospective as well as current clinicians, this field holds particular value as a future approach that could likely be incorporated into common practice. Despite of our most cutting edge tools in today’s day and age, we are nowhere close to curing the wide variety of diseases in existence. This is where alternative medical therapies offer a different look at problems and open up a new playing field to develop a holistic approach to benefit patients.   So, in an effort to make us all more informed, I will be going over some of...

Medical TEDx Talks Worth Watching #10: The Future of Medicine

What better way to end my series of TEDx talks than with a presentation on the future of medicine? In this TEDx Talk, Leroy Hood discusses what he believes will be the future of medicine or, as he calls it, “P4 Medicine.”   He believes medicine will involve 4 P’s: predictive, personalized, preventative, and participatory. Medicine, Hood believes, will be highly specialized for each and every individual patient and the focus will be on preventing disease before it happens.     In the event you haven’t heard of them yet, TEDx Talks are a great resource for students in all disciplines—from business to science to criminal justice. Each Talk introduces novel and thought-provoking ideas in a succinct presentation, delivered with impact and authority.   This series of TEDx Talks will focus on the finer aspects of medicine in context of the larger scope of the field. What are some key situations and instances in medicine that warrant an in-depth investigation? Are there any particular discoveries or experiences in the medical field that you would like to learn more about?   TEDx Talks are a great way to gather insight on countless noteworthy topics and ideas.   10. Future of Medicine – Leroy Hood Listen in as Leroy Hood lays out a comprehensive visual of the most important caveats that the medical field may represent as we move into the future. At the...

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