Four Reasons to Love your Nurses

There are hundreds of reasons to thank our nurses every day, and not just for National #NursesWeek. Nurses are on the front lines and are often the first to meet our patients. We rely on them to be efficient, brilliant and caring – all at the same time.   Here are our Top Four Reasons to Love Nurses:   They are caretakers – Most nurses enter the nursing profession, not because it is glamorous or pays well, but because they truly compassionate. They want to help sick people get well, but they also want to help doctors to do their job as best they can. Nurses go the extra mile after our patients when we can’t always be there. They are educators – In his book, “Kill as Few Patients as Possible,” Dr. Oscar London explains that “working with a good nurse is one of the great joys of being a doctor. I cannot understand physicians who adopt an adversarial relationship with nurses. They are depriving themselves of an education in hospital wisdom.” Nursing school is not easy, and, just like medical school, it takes a smart and driven person to succeed. Through their broad range of experiences and close contact with patients, nurses have a lot to teach both doctors and almost-doctors. They listen – Usually, our patients’ first interactions are with our nurses. Whether someone walks in with...

QUIZ: Brush Up Your Skills and Knowledge on First Aid!

Test your knowledge on how well you know first aid! You could save a life! First aid is one of the most important skills you can have. Just by performing some basic procedures or following best advice, you can save someone’s life. You may have learned some first aid at school, but is your knowledge up to date? Would you know what to do in an emergency? Yes, it can be very scary when a medical emergency happens in front of you, but if you know how to handle the situation and keep a person alive and calm until an ambulance arrives, then you could save a life or prevent more serious injuries from occurring. So many deaths and injuries can be prevented, so isn’t it worth brushing up those skills? Source:...

Trumpcare Is Bad For Mental Health Coverage

On May 4, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the Republican regime’s new health plan, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), or Trumpcare. This is a win for Republicans, many of whom promised their constituents that they would finally repeal Obamacare. The AHCA is different from Obamacare in many ways, and NPR does a great job of breaking down the main provisions of the new health care bill. One of the ways the AHCA is so different from Obamacare is by how it addresses mental health.   One of the provisions of the AHCA permits states to apply for waivers that allow insurers in their state to eliminate Obamacare-required “essential health benefits” from their plans. The removal of required essential health benefits, which include mental health and addiction services, will likely lead to cheaper, and therefore more affordable, health plans. But, of course, it comes at a cost—while these cheaper plans seem like a good deal for consumers, they actually provide barebones coverage that excludes mental health care. The sad thing is that many consumers aren’t fully aware of the barebones coverage their more ‘affordable’ plan provides. This isn’t necessarily the consumer’s fault, considering how complicated insurance language is….but, that’s a story for another day. The exclusion of behavioral health care is crippling, considering 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness within a given year. The loss of...

From SXSW to SHM: Our Tour to Promote Value Conversations Between Doctors & Patients

At a movie premiere for the new Terrence Malick flick, “Song to Song”, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, and Rooney Mara walked the red carpet to flashing cameras and screaming fans in front of the famous Paramount Theatre in Austin. The next day, down the street, to a lot less fanfare, our Costs of Care team – Neel Shah and both of us – took the stage at the annual SXSW festival for own version of a premiere. We were about to step out of the normal medical conference crowd (i.e. no screaming fans but some with #pinksocks on) and see for the first time if videos we made depicting scenarios of doctors and patients confronting healthcare costs would translate to the real world. Would it work, or would the critics, like with the “Song to Song” premier, give us a rotten tomato? Luckily, we had a very positive response, and our session was dubbed one of the most interactive on Twitter and even garnered a tremendously generous “Best Picture” nod from the healthcare round-up by Medical Marketing & Media (not exactly the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, but we will take it!). In our first “public”-facing debut, it was clear that the public increasingly wants physicians to address costs of care with them – conversations that have been historically controversial. The patients in the room wanted to...

Is alcohol now a better pain reliever than Acetaminophen‬‬?

Well here’s something to drink to: a new study from the University of Greenwich’s Journal of Pain suggests that alcohol might be a better pain reliever than Acetaminophen‬‬ and other common pain relievers. The study suggests that alcohol contained analgesic, or pain relieving effects. According to their researchers, a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08%, or three to four standard drinks, provides a small increase in pain threshold. The research also suggests that “higher blood alcohol content is associated with greater analgesia”, and “a moderate decrease in pain ratings was also observed”. From the Journal of Pain study, titled Analgesic Effects of Alcohol: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Controlled Experimental Studies in Healthy Participants: Despite the long-standing belief in the analgesic properties of alcohol, experimental studies have produced mixed results. This meta-analysis aimed to clarify whether alcohol produces a decrease in experimentally-induced pain and to determine the magnitude of any such effect. PubMed, PsycINFO, and Embase databases were searched from inception until April 21, 2016 for controlled studies examining the effect of quantified dosages of alcohol on pain response to noxious stimulation. Some evidence of publication bias emerged, but statistical correction methods suggested minimal impact on effect size. Taken together, findings suggest that alcohol is an effective analgesic that delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity, which could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain despite its potential consequences for...

Why is this med student marrying her diploma?

Higher education is a demanding commitment, and graduating medical school is quite an achievement. While many medical student graduates go unto their medical track, business as usual, Angie Hamouie did something unique upon receiving of her diploma. Angie has a public website, showcasing the inspiration and details of her “Graduwedding”. She describes her idea in the home page: Imagine a graduation party that’s as EXTRA as a wedding. That’s a Graduwedding. It’s unlike any graduation party ever. A graduation is a person walking across a stage and accepting a really expensive piece of paper. But a ~Graduwedding~ is so much more– It’s the union of two souls, in this case Angie and her Medical Degree (MD).   The idea for the Graduwedding occurred after Angie discovered the results of her match into residency (read that story on the Enmatchment page!) She was so elated, she wanted to celebrate with literally anyone and everyone she’d ever met, and even people she hadn’t. This was such a big deal for her, because it was the culmination of 3 degrees and 9 years of higher education. Her match represented everything she had worked toward. Angie realized this graduation would only happen once in her life. She wondered, why is it that no one really celebrates their graduation? And if she threw a party, how could she convey that this party was a Big Deal?  ...

QUIZ: Medical Practices of the Past

How well do you know history’s important medical practices? Test your knowledge of how medical practices have evolved over time! Medical practices we use now have been reached by a wealth of knowledge gained over many years, tests and experiments and the study of data. Medicine in the 21st Century is based on scientific knowledge. So, when you realize what practices were used as little as 50 or 60 years ago, it seems amazing that we’ve come so far ever since! It also makes you thank God you weren’t alive in those times, for the treatment may have been worse than the illness. Try our quiz and see if you can guess which practices are fact and which are fiction. Source:...