Improving medical students

Archive for August, 2009

Down & Dirty Tips for the Wards

Posted by medliorator on August 6, 2009

  • Buy one of those clipboard/organizer deals. Unless your hospital has a full EMR, you will be filling out forms. A clipboard with storage lets you carry around forms so you don’t have to hunt for them
  • Find out where the good/clean restrooms are.
  • Keep snacks in your pockets. You will need them at some point.
  • Don’t stress too much. Things could be worse – at least you’re not the one who is sick in the hospital, right?

10 Tips To Survive Wards [Scrub Notes]

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How to Start the Day Right

Posted by medliorator on August 5, 2009

Get Enough Sleep:

  • Going to bed earlier (set an alarm to remind you to go to bed, if necessary!)
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening
  • Switching off the computer and television and reading for an hour or so before bed – bright screens can prevent you from getting sleepy

Drink Water and Eat (a Healthy) Breakfast:

  • I’d suggest holding off on the coffee for at least a little while after waking up, and drinking a big glass of water instead: being slightly dehydrated will knock your concentration levels right down.
  • healthy breakfast like baked beans on wholewheat toast, or oatmeal, will give you slow-release energy to see you through the morning.

How to Get Your Morning Off to a Great Start [Life Optimizer]

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How to Read a CXR

Posted by medliorator on August 4, 2009

The first thing to always check is that the film is associated with the correct patient. After doing so, to read a PA view, I utilize a mnemonic called RIP ABCDEFGH. Here is how it works:

  • Rotation: Check to see that the patient is not rotated. You can look at the clavicles and make sure the vertebral processes line up nicely in between them.
  • Inspiration: Check to see that you can see about 9 ribs on each side. Less than 8? It is likely poor inspiration.
  • Penetration: You should be able to see lucencies in the middle of the film representing the intervertebral discs. If there are none, the film is over-penetrated; if they are too well-defined, the film is under-penetrated.
  • Airway: Trace the lucency from the neck down towards the carina. It should be midline and you should be able to see two bronchi splitting from it.
  • Bones: Look at the shoulder joint and trace out each rib contour to check for fractures or other abnormalities.
  • Cardiac Silhouette: Check the right and left heart borders.
  • Diaphragms: These should be well-defined with no obscuration of their margins.
  • Empty Space Fields: Look at the lung fields bilaterally and compare. Don’t forget the apices.
  • Gastric Bubble: Check for a lucency in the left upper abdominal quadrant.
  • Hardware: Make sure the placement of any lines or other hardware is appropriate.

How To Read A Chest X-Ray [The Radiology Blog]

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Saxagliptin Approved (DPP4 inhibitor)

Posted by medliorator on August 3, 2009


[Saxagliptin] which will be sold under the brand name Onglyza, is in a relatively new class, called DPP-4 inhibitors, that can be taken along with older diabetes drugs.

Until now, Merck’s Januvia has been the only drug in the class on the market in this country.

Saxagliptin Approval: Finally, Competition for Merck’s Januvia [WSJ Health Blog

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Case Study: New Strain of HIV

Posted by medliorator on August 3, 2009


researchers have now discovered an HIV infection in a Cameroonian woman which is clearly linked to a gorilla strain, Nature Medicine reports.

HIV originated from a similar virus in chimpanzees called Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV).

French doctors treating the 62-year-old Cameroonian woman who was living in Paris said they initially spotted some discrepancies in routine viral load tests.

Further analysis of the HIV strain she was infected with showed it was more closely related to SIV from gorillas than HIV from humans.

She is the only person known to be infected with the new strain but the researchers expect to find other cases.

Before moving to Paris, she had lived in a semi-urban area of Cameroon and had no contact with gorillas or bush meat, suggesting she caught the virus from someone else who was carrying the gorilla strain.

Scientists find new strain of HIV [BBC News]

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