Improving medical students

Archive for May, 2010

Weekend Inspiration – Dr. Walter Watson

Posted by medliorator on May 30, 2010

“Papa Doc,” as he’s known to many, has delivered some 18,000 babies during his career.

Watson is thought to be the oldest practicing doctor in the world and, despite having turned 100 in February, still runs a full-time practice in Augusta, Ga.

Watson served in the Army before going to medical school and also spent seven years doing hard labor on a farm — for 50 cents a day — to save up for his education.

He did his residency at University Hospital in Augusta, and still works there to this day.

“I love medicine and I love having contact with people,” Watson said. “It gives me a reason to crawl out of bed in the mornings.”

After 18,000 Deliveries, Doctor, 100, Still Working [AOL News]

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How to Honor 3rd Year Rotations

Posted by medliorator on May 26, 2010

A few tips for your 3rd year rotations from Graham Walker, MD …

1. Be enthusiastic. Energy is contagious, and we all need more of it in medicine. Bring it to your rotations! Even if you’re not interested in, say, surgery, look for a particular aspect that you do find interesting. Help out where you can. Volunteer to do more. It goes a long way.

2. Avoid complaining. As hard as you’re working (and I’m sure you are!), your residents are working even harder (or at least have more responsibilities and are balancing more spinning plates). It’s fine to join in when people are venting about how big your team’s census is getting, but you won’t be winning any points by saying how rough your job is. (We all know scut sucks, but if you don’t do it, your resident will be doing it for you.)

3. Anticipate tasks that need to be done. Once you’ve spent a week or two on a service, you can start to see some patterns: calling for a nutrition consult, getting social work involved, collecting a patient’s list of home medications, and requesting the old chart. Surprise your resident by thinking ahead, and you’ll be at the head of the pack.

10. Come up with your own patient assessment and treatment plan. …show your colleagues that you’re thinking and learning. You’ll sometimes be wrong, but you’re supposed to be wrong, right? Otherwise there’d be no reason to go through medical school and residency.

How Can I Distinguish Myself on Clinical Rotations? [Medscape]

CorollaryClinical Years – Acting the Part

CorollaryHow to Master Humility on the Wards

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How to Earn Money Online During Medical School

Posted by medliorator on May 23, 2010

  • BuyMyTronics: Since students are usually huge gadget freaks, it is likely that they have a lot of unused gadgets lying around. The best use of such gadgets would be to sell them to BuyMyTronics. Yes, this is a site which purchases old gadgets and also offers free shipping. It couldn’t get better.
  • Ether: Here’s another unique site that could help you make some extra cash. Known as Ether, this site lets experts share their knowledge for a price. If you consider yourself well-versed in any subject or a field, you could sign up for the site and start taking calls at your will.
  • Crossloop: If you like helping people with their computer troubles then you might as well make money doing that. On Crossloop, you could create a profile, set your hourly rate and help people from all over the world in resolving their computer issues.
  • Pickydomains: Pickydomains might probably one of the best ways to earn $25. You just need to come up with a domain name for a client that isn’t registered yet. Yes, there are a ton of domain names that are yet to be taken up. Just fire up your imagination and get started.

10 Sites Where You Can Earn Some Extra Cash While You Are a Student [Dumb Little Man]

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WashU Neuromuscular Disease Center – The Ultimate Online Neurological Disease Database

Posted by medliorator on May 14, 2010

For thorough summaries of numerous neurological diseases, bookmark Washington University’s database on your mobile device before starting your neuro rotation/class.   Disorders & syndromes are searchable categorically or alphabetically.   The database is updated frequently; a detailed revision history is maintained on the database’s homepage.

Neuromuscular Disease Center [Washington University]

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The Association between Proton Pump Inhibitors and C. Difficile

Posted by medliorator on May 11, 2010

investigators conducted a secondary analysis of prospectively collected data from 101,796 patients who were discharged from a tertiary care medical center during a 5-year period. Acid suppression treatment was the primary exposure of interest, classified by intensity (no acid suppression, histamine2-receptor antagonist [H2RA] treatment, daily PPI use, and PPI use more often than daily).

The risk for nosocomial C difficile infection increased with increasing level of acid suppression. This risk was 0.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21% – 0.31%) in patients not receiving acid suppressive treatment, 0.6% (95% CI, 0.49% – 0.79%) in those receiving H2RA treatment, 0.9% (95% CI, 0.80% – 0.98%) in those using PPIs daily, and 1.4% (95% CI, 1.15% – 1.71%) in patients using PPIs more often than daily …The odds ratio was 1 for no acid suppression (reference), 1.53 for H2RA treatment (95% CI, 1.12 – 2.10), 1.74 for daily PPI use (95% CI, 1.39 – 2.18), and 2.36 for more frequent PPI use (95% CI, 1.79 – 3.11).

Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Linked to Clostridium Difficile Infection [Medscape]

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iPad for the Wards – A User’s Review

Posted by medliorator on May 9, 2010

The iPad should fit comfortably your white coat.

All iPhone apps will run, but unless they have been customized specifically, the screen resolution on the apps is pixilated and not aesthetically pleasing.

The keyboard was initially frustrating.  It feels awkward holding your fingers in traditional keyboard stance, and then not having feedback when you push down… With that said, after some use, I think the keyboard is relatively functional.

Apple claims you can squeeze approximately 10 hours out of it, but other reviewers have been able to get more.

iPad review for doctors: A hands on guide for medicine [Kevin MD]

Correlate: Top 5 Medical Apps for the Upcoming iPad [iMedicalApps]

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Sipuleucel-T (Provenge), The First FDA-Approved Cancer “Vaccine” – What Every Medical Student Should Know

Posted by medliorator on May 4, 2010

Here are the bare bones facts on Provenge. A basic understanding will help you to stand out when the discussion inevitably comes up.

Drug Name: Sipuleucel-T
Trade Name: Provenge
Trial Name: APC 8015
Manufacturer: Dendreon Corporation
Class: autologous, dendritic cell-based immunotherapy
Indication: hormone-refractory, metastatic prostate cancer
MOA: Induces patient’s own cells to attack prostate cancer.
MOA (detailed): Patient’s immune cells are collected by leukapheresis and sent to a Dendreon facility approximately 3 days prior to treatment. Immune cells are exposed to  recombinant protein (known as PA 2024) that has two, fused components: (1) a prostate cancer associated antigen called prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) that is expressed in ~95% of prostate cancers and (2) granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), an immune cell activator.  After PA 2024 exposure and processing, the activated cells are infused back into the patient, divided into in three doses two weeks apart.
SFX: f/c, fatigue, back pain, nausea,joint ache, HA.
Cost: $93,000 per treatment
Efficacy: Extends men’s lives by an average of 4.1 months (based upon IMPACT trial D9902B, a 512-patient RTC).
Misconceptions: Provenge differs from traditional vaccines in that it does NOT prevent cancer. “Immunotherapy” is perhaps a better substitute for the term, “vaccine.”

Further reading…
FDA approves prostate cancer “vaccine” [BMJ]
Current status of immunological therapies for prostate cancer [Curr Opin Urol]

Posted in Oncology, Pharmacology, Urology | Comments Off on Sipuleucel-T (Provenge), The First FDA-Approved Cancer “Vaccine” – What Every Medical Student Should Know

Avoid Common Pitfalls When Undertaking New Medical Research Projects

Posted by medliorator on May 3, 2010

Rushing and overloading yourself in science is common, even normal… Never. Rush. The beginning. Ever.

Taking a step back to thoroughly assess the viability of your project… might actually be the one thing that can steer you clear from failure.

2. Read critically. It always pays off to spend some time delimiting the boundaries of your project, by putting it in the context of previous data and existing literature.  Read extensively and leisurely about all aspects of your future work, technical and conceptual… Being critical with what you read will help you identify the failed approaches between the lines, so you can avoid them as we

4. Mind your “n”. The statistical power of the tests that fit your design, and the depth and extend of the differences you expect to observe, are going to determine what sample number you will need to draw meaningful conclusions …use the available preliminary data or similar studies from the literature to calculate or infer what you appropriate n might be. Then revise the backbone design of your project accordingly

10 Things You Must Do Before Starting a New Project [Bitesize Bio]

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