Quiz: Medical Instrument or Torture Device?

Featured From Gap Medics US   QUIZ – Medical Instrument or Torture Device?     Featured Image:...

6 Books For Future Doctors To Read

  “Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America” by Robert Whitaker (Image of Cover) Although the U.S. has made advances in psychiatric treatments, the number of disabled mentally ill has tripled over the past twenty years. In “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” Robert Whitaker tries to make sense of this paradox. Using scientific evidence as his tool, Whitaker provides a surgical analysis of the problem….and the results will shock you. By tracing the history of psychiatric treatments, Whitaker questions our current biological understanding of psychiatric disorders, and posits that the long-term effects of psychiatric drugs may actually be doing more harm than good—worsening the prognosis of the mentally ill.   “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat” by Oliver Sacks (Image of Cover) Oliver Sacks was a prolific writer, authoring fifteen books. “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat” may be his best. Sacks, a neurologist, illustrates the art of medicine using vignettes of his clinical experiences with patients, as well as references from your favorite philosophers. Not only does Sacks humanize his patients, but he also reflects on their neurological afflictions to answer questions on memory, consciousness and, ultimately, what it means to be human.   “America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System” by Steven Brill ...

Influential Women in Medicine: Gertrude B. Elion

Although she never obtained an M.D. or a formal Ph.D., Gertrude Belle Elion’s influence on medicine is indisputable. A biochemist and pharmacologist, her work paved the way for breakthroughs in cancer and leukemia medication that would save thousands of lives.   Image: Source   Elion was born in New York in 1918 to Polish and Lithuanian immigrant parents. When she was 15, her grandfather died from cancer, which gave her the drive to want to cure diseases. In 1937, at age 19, she graduated from Hunter College with an undergrad degree in chemistry. Although she applied for fifteen graduate school fellowships, she was rejected from all of them.   Eventually she landed a position as a chemistry lab assistant. After saving some money from this position, Elion enrolled in grad school at New York University and was the only woman in her class. She worked during the day as a substitute teacher and studied at night, earning an MSc in chemistry in 1941.   After holding a few laboratory jobs that didn’t really fuel her interests, Elion was offered an assistant position by George Hitchings at Burroughs-Wellcome (later GlaxoSmithKline). Elion was excited by the opportunities to use her knowledge, not only in chemistry, but also biochemistry, pharmacology, immunology and virology. While working on antagonists of nucleic acid building blocks by day, she commuted to night school to earn her...

The Language of Transplanted Organs

Researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre have discovered a cellular structure that could potentially revolutionize organ transplantation. Mélanie Dieudé, PhD, and Marie-Josée Hébert, MD, identified apoptotic exosome-like vesicles, which, when injected into mice, stimulate autoantibody production and increase the risk of graft rejection after transplantation. They also identified a novel concept: The transplanted organ “talks” to the immune system. As Dr. Hébert explains, “It’s not only the immune system of the recipient of the organ that sees the organ as foreign, the organ shouts to the immune system ‘I may be detrimental to you.’ This starts a feud between the immune system and the recipient.” This feud may end in rejection of the graft.   Video: Source   How to interrupt this feud? Dr. Dieudé and Dr. Hébert have identified a way to block the enzyme activity of apoptotic exosome-like vesicles through the administration of bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor currently approved for the treatment of certain bone marrow cancers. Results are preliminary and phase 3 trials are underway, but this research suggests new ways to anticipate and control organ rejection after transplantation. Click here to review the article published in Science Translational Magazine.   Featured From The Doctor’s Channel   Featured Image:...

OTC Painkillers: How Dangerous Are They?

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or “NSAIDs” are sold over the counter in grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies, even though research has long shown that they can be dangerous for people with kidney disease, heart failure or high blood pressure. NSAIDs can also produce adverse reactions when they interact with other medications, both prescription and non-prescription, including antidepressants, antihypertensives, alcohol or aspirin.   However, two new studies, one from BMJ and the other from the European Heart Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy have shown again that NSAIDs may be associated with increased risk of heart failure and cardiac arrest. In BMJ, Arfe et all utilized healthcare databases from four European countries to find adults who began NSAID treatment between 2000-2010. The authors found that the use of any NSAID was associated with a 19% increase of risk of hospital admission for heart failure, with some variation for the type of NSAID and the dosage.   Image: Source   Sondergaard et al utilized the Danish Cardiac Arrest Registry to identify patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and identified patients who had used an NSAID within the 30 days before their cardiac arrest. They found that ibuprofen and diclofenac were associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiac arrest.   Image: Source   This new evidence, along with other studies that have shown the potential for gastric damage and impaired ability to recover after...

Influential Women in Medicine: Elizabeth Blackwell

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States. She graduated from Geneva Medical College in New York in 1849 and later co-founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.   Image: Source   Originally from Gloucestershire, England, Elizabeth grew up in a large family. Her father had a liberal view of education and believed that all his children, including the girls, should be well educated and so Elizabeth grew up with a governess and private tutors. After her family moved to Cincinnati, Elizabeth became a teacher herself, got involved in local politics and began to advocate for women’s rights.   Eventually, Elizabeth grew weary of teaching positions and resolved to save enough money for medical school, around $3,000. She even moved to Philadelphia in hopes of getting into a medical school there, but was unable to find one that would accept her. She was told over and over that her “inferior” female brain wasn’t up to the job, but, on the off chance she would be able to do it, the male physicians didn’t want the competition. One sympathetic physician suggested that she should disguise herself as a man to try to get in.   Image: Source Geneva Medical College, c. 1848   Finally, Hobart College in upstate New York, which was then called Geneva Medical College, decided to give her...

How Global Health Can Help With Student Loans

Match Day may have come and gone, with fourth year students having visions of residency dancing through their heads. Unfortunately, no such vision would be complete without the hulking monstrosity that is our loan burden. The Committee on Global and Public Health within the AMA-MSS has put together a piece about ways to address the elephant in the room, but first, credit where credit is due. This article would not have been possible without the work of Van Kenyon, Chethan Rao, Sagar Chawla, Morgan Hardy, Nafeeza Hussain, Josh Eikenberg, Allen Young, Tyson Schwab, Brian Yagi, and Stephen Belmustakov under the leadership of Divya Sharma (Chair), and Jessica Peterson (Vice Chair).   Now let’s dive in: With the ever-increasing interest in global health, students looking to assist international health care efforts may be searching for means to obtain financial support for their work.   Medical Scholars Program from the Infectious Diseases Society of America The Medical Scholars Program was established in 2002 and has awarded over 500 medical students interested in the sub-specialty of infectious diseases the opportunity to pursue independent clinical or research activities outside their institutional program and explore the field of infectious diseases. It helps attract the best and brightest to the field by giving medical students a first-hand look at the challenges and opportunities of working in infectious disease. Projects should be classified as belonging to...