The Prevalence of Munchausen Syndrome or Factitious Disorder in Medical Professionals

Munchausen Syndrome, sometimes known as Factitious Disorder, is a mental illness in which the sufferer acts as if s/he has a physical or mental disease when in fact the symptoms are self-inflicted (Cleveland Clinic). The ways in which those with Factitious Disorder fake illness include faking symptoms, making up medical histories, causing self-harm, and tampering with medical instruments and tests (Mayo Clinic). More women than men suffer from Factitious Disorder, and there is research showing an increased representation of the disorder in medical professionals (Burnel). Because one of the main warning signs of Factitious Disorder is extensive knowledge of medical terminology, hospitals, etc., it may be more difficult to diagnose among healthcare workers who would already possess such knowledge. In addition, medical workers have an understanding of and access to resources that they may use to further the fiction of their illness. For example, tampering with medical equipment and lab tests to skew the results of diagnostic procedures is very common. Healthcare workers with Factitious Disorder may contaminate their own urine samples with blood or other substances to alter results, or may heat up thermometers to fake a fever (Mayo Clinic). Those in the medical field have direct access to a number of other resources that they may use to. One study found that a significant subgroup of those with Factitious Disorder is made up of female healthcare workers...

This Year’s Match Week Broke The Record Books

Match Week has always been a stressful time for medical students looking for their next big break — after all, why would this many people put in countless hours of studying, volunteer work, and resume building in the medical field if you didn’t think it was for you? Many apply, yet few get in. Last year’s Match Week broke a number of records, but this year broke the ceiling. We break down the numbers and see why we received the most Match registrants in history, and which specialties they matched on. Match Week, By The Numbers 37,103 applicants submitted program choices for 33,167 positions. The number of available first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 30,232, an increase of 1,383 over 2017. The number of Match registrants was the highest ever at 43,909. The increase was due primarily to students/graduates of U.S. osteopathic medical schools, whose numbers grew by 1,054 over 2017 to 6,054 this year. Seniors Lead The Way In Match Week Every student, regardless of year or experience, wants to get the match. Despite the heavy competition, seniors were able to fill the most positions. According the NRMP, U.S. allopathic seniors filled more than 90% of most positions, mostly in Integrated Interventional Radiology (95.5%), Orthopedic Surgery (93.1%), Integrated Plastic Surgery (92.9%), Radiation Oncology (91.5%), Neurological Surgery (90.2%), and Otolaryngology (90.2%). Specialties with more than 30 positions that filled less than 45 percent with U.S....

5 Things You Need To Get Into Medical School

How do you get into medical school? Below I will go over the top 5 things that everyone medical school applicant should have on their application.   1. A Legitimate “Why” I’m not just talking about your personal statement. To get into medical school, your “why” should be all throughout your application. In reality, not one medical student has only one reason to become a doctor. We’re influenced by a variety of experience to pursue medicine. So the real question is, what are your “whys”? If you first, second, and third answers are “I want to help people”, try again. Everyone wants to help people. You can become a stockbroker and “help people” become rich (or try to). But do you also want to become a stockbroker? Of course, you don’t. (Maybe you do) What is it about becoming a physician that attracts you? Is it the leadership? Is it the lifelong learning? Is it the privilege to work with sick patients and their families? Once you come up with you “whys”, try to convince yourself.  Do you believe it when you hear yourself saying “I want to become a doctor because of X, Y, and Z”? Are those reasons truly your “whys”? Only you will know. 2. Shadowing Experience: Too often students try to get into medical school with limited shadowing experience. You can’t just shadow a doctor once or twice and make a life...

Harnessing Brainwaves to Treat Dyslexia: Fact or Fiction

Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders in America, but also one of the most mysterious and under-diagnosed. Estimates put the rate of dyslexia in the U.S. at 10%, but because it often goes undetected, the rate may be as high as 17% of the population. Dyslexia may be detected even before a child learns to read, if she is exhibiting behaviors such as struggling to learn rhyming words or to develop letter recognition at the same rate as her peers. However, there are interventions and strategies that can be implemented at any age. With such a high incidence rate, it’s understandable that neuroscientists are searching high and low for the causes and effects of dyslexia. Although there have been incredible advances in research around learning disorders it is still unclear just how brainwaves are associated with the brain activity used for reading. Over the last two decades, researchers have used MRIs and fMRIs to monitor the activity of a dyslexic brain. They have found that in dyslexic patients, the areas typically used in reading, writing, visual recognition, or often a combination of all of these, are underdeveloped. But with intensive training or tutoring, other areas of the brain can essentially grow to compensate for these underdeveloped areas. Thus, in young students with intensive reading tutoring, we can see an improvement in their symptoms, similar to how...

Here’s How To Survive A Sleepover

Many parents are caught in two minds when it comes to the issue of a sleepover. On the one hand, they’re exciting for the children. On the other hand, the list of things that can go wrong is lengthy! Is the reward really worth the effort and the energy? If you’re babysitting children for some extra dollars, or gathering friends of your own for a sleepover, this infographic is for you. With a bit of careful planning and some ground rules, a sleepover need not be as taxing as it may often appear. Follow our guide and ensure you’ll be a Sleepover Party Survivor, this time and every time. How to Survive a Sleepover Infographic by Mattress Online. Here are more insights on sleep just for you: Polyphasic Sleep – A Boon For Modern Humans? As students, we all experience a lack of time at one point or another. There are just so many things on our plate that we must achieve in a short lifespan! Our decisions regarding priorities eventually boil down to a balancing act of the three-legged stool – education, social life, and sleep – with the last one ending up usually being cut. But what if I were to say that there is an alternative to the recommended 8 hours of sleep? Would you go for it? Looking around the world, people usually engage in monophasic sleep,...

This Health and Wellness Podcast Will Help You Get Through Med School

A new addition to the Alternative Health category on iTunes is Well Now, a health and wellness podcast by Saje Natural Wellness. The podcast was launched February 2018. As not only an avid podcast listener, but also a student in the health profession with a strong scientific background, I can say the podcast does not disappoint. The content is not only scientifically sound and reliable, but the patient stories are heart-warming and informative. The podcast is a new venture for the retail company. Saje Natural Wellness is a retail company based in Vancouver, Canada. It started in 1992 by a husband and wife team, Jean-Pierre LeBlanc and Kate Rose LeBlanc. They had a vision to introduce 100 percent natural, plant-based wellness products to the market. According to their website, the products contain pure ingredients from nature. The lavender they use in their products, for example, is grown in the hills of Provence. The company offers a wide range of products with the Saje label: massage oils, face and body mists, essential oils, and bath soaks. Saje introduces Well Now as one that helps listeners “discover the hidden side of health.” Having enjoyed the first two episodes and listened to them both in its entirety in one sitting, I can attest that this description is as an accurate one. Conventionally, a podcast will have a teaser or introductory episode. Sometimes...

5 Reasons Why Hospital Queues Are So Long

There is no question that every patient dreads having to wait in a hospital emergency department queue. It can be a frustrating, time-consuming, and confusing process. Research backs up this experience: a study by Bleustein et al found that patient satisfaction is negatively correlated with longer wait times for provider care. Furthermore, physicians and other caregivers also perceive longer waits to represent lesser quality information and treatment. So why are the hospital queues so long? Patient urgency is decided by triage. Because patients come into emergency departments with varying needs, the order in which patients are moved to a care room is determined by the seriousness of their injury or illness. Triage comes from the French word for ‘to sort’ and has been the system in place for medical care since the late 1700s. Immediate, urgent, and non-urgent remain the three main categories for patients, and patients who are non-urgent may experience significantly longer wait times than those who have more pressing needs. Administrative information must be gathered prior to treatment. Anyone who has been to a hospital knows that a major portion of time before treatment is spent filling out paperwork, providing documents and insurance information, and working with administrative personnel to make sure payment is covered for the services that will be provided. One study on wait times for German hospitals by Kuchinke et al found that...