So What’s Wrong With This Patient? – #1

  The medical field is full of variety and complexity. From the simplest of disorders to the most complex diseases, you will be hard pressed to find a dull moment as a healthcare provider.   Over the past year of training to become a paramedic, I have had the fortunate opportunity to come across various different patients with a multitude of complaints, allowing me to muster my skills of patient assessment and physical examination in order to determine the root cause of the clinical problems.   I would like to take this opportunity and invite you all to recognize the intricacies of medical disorders and how to manage them on an emergent basis. Over the last several weeks, I have been going over some of the classic patient cases that I have come across in my short career as a part of the medical field. While the encounters have been momentary, they have left a deep impact on my learning and outlook towards this noble profession.   So what are we waiting for? Let the problem solving continue on! We will conclude with our last case here at #1.   1. The Mysterious Diagnosis History of Present Illness: Patient is a 34-year-old male who calls EMS with a chief complaint of fatigue and not feeling too well for the past several days.   Physical Examination: On further questioning, the...

Healthcare Around The World #1: Canada

To at least some degree, we are all aware of the dynamics surrounding healthcare in the United States, centering around the struggle to make services affordable, to ensure equal access to care, and to balance the politics of party-line views between private and federally-sponsored healthcare (with everything along the middle of that spectrum). But how do other countries around the world offer healthcare to its people? Can their models provide us with some insight into how to modify our system to make it better?   Over the course of the next several articles, we will be viewing some interesting clips on the general model of healthcare in select countries across the globe. While this sampling is in no way representative of all possible models out there, it undoubtedly provides us with intriguing information.   Also, a disclaimer before we start. Some of the videos may be presenting biased opinions about the superiority of certain healthcare systems. My intention is to simply deliver the information without advocating for any particular viewpoint.   1. Canada   Contrary to popular belief, Canada does not have a socialized medicine system, but rather a single-payer system. As shown in the video below, the Canadian system of healthcare for all its populations is comparable to the Medicare program we have here in the United States for the elderly.   Being our neighbors to the north, Canada has been...

Popular Alternative Medical Therapies #6: Hypnosis

We’ve all heard of hypnosis usually in TV shows or movies for comedic purposes. When a character hears a certain trigger word or sound, they start doing something silly, maybe the chicken dance, for instance. The character then comes back to reality without having any knowledge of their previous actions. While this is can be a form of comedy as a spectator, hypnosis can actually be used to help people in more ways than one.     Most people know about medicine as viewed through the lens of biomedicine, drug therapies, evidence-based treatments, and the like. However, there is a whole area of study that addresses ailments with a quite different approach. We have all likely heard of it as alternative medicine.   There are many reasons to take an interest in this field. However, for us prospective as well as current clinicians, this field holds particular value as a future approach that could likely be incorporated into common practice. Despite of our most cutting edge tools in today’s day and age, we are nowhere close to curing the wide variety of diseases in existence. This is where alternative medical therapies offer a different look at problems and open up a new playing field to develop a holistic approach to benefit patients.   So, in an effort to make us all more informed, I will be going over some of...

Medical TEDx Talks Worth Watching #10: The Future of Medicine

What better way to end my series of TEDx talks than with a presentation on the future of medicine? In this TEDx Talk, Leroy Hood discusses what he believes will be the future of medicine or, as he calls it, “P4 Medicine.”   He believes medicine will involve 4 P’s: predictive, personalized, preventative, and participatory. Medicine, Hood believes, will be highly specialized for each and every individual patient and the focus will be on preventing disease before it happens.     In the event you haven’t heard of them yet, TEDx Talks are a great resource for students in all disciplines—from business to science to criminal justice. Each Talk introduces novel and thought-provoking ideas in a succinct presentation, delivered with impact and authority.   This series of TEDx Talks will focus on the finer aspects of medicine in context of the larger scope of the field. What are some key situations and instances in medicine that warrant an in-depth investigation? Are there any particular discoveries or experiences in the medical field that you would like to learn more about?   TEDx Talks are a great way to gather insight on countless noteworthy topics and ideas.   10. Future of Medicine – Leroy Hood Listen in as Leroy Hood lays out a comprehensive visual of the most important caveats that the medical field may represent as we move into the future. At the...

Popular Alternative Medical Therapies #5: Homeopathy

Homeopathy (that’s home-ee-op-uh-thee) is an alternative therapy that has been around for over 200 years. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, homeopathy is based on “two unconventional theories: “like cures like” — the notion that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people; and “law of minimum dose” — the notion that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness.”   As a medical student, these theories seem completely ludicrous, and are definitely not something that is taught in the classroom. Furthermore, there is little scientific evidence to support these theories in medical applications and treatments. Still, it is an interesting view on medicine and millions of people stand by its effectiveness.   Another interesting fact about this therapy is that there are hundreds of different remedies for each case, and sometimes two different patients receive different prescriptions for the same ailment! It is hard to believe that a therapy with such little consistency could be beneficial in medicine.     5. Homeopathy Being one of the most contested subfields of alternative medicine, homeopathy is something worth looking into. While a good majority of practitioners in the scientific field have rejected homeopathy, individual anecdotal evidence seems to support its use. Despite of evidence on both sides of the controversy, homeopathy has maintained its presence into modern day society....

Medical TEDx Talks Worth Watching #9: Medicine & Leadership

A lot of medical school involves learning about diagnosis and treatment on a case-by-case basis, treating each patient differently. And, unless you are going into emergency medicine, you will have plenty of time to examine a patient thoroughly before diagnosis. However, when disaster strikes, doctors must be able to act quickly and calmly in order to save as many lives as possible, which requires not only medical knowledge, but also leadership.   In this moving TEDx Talk, General Itzik Kreiss discusses his leadership efforts in assisting Haiti’s earthquake victims in 2010.     In the event you haven’t heard of them yet, TEDx Talks are a great resource for students in all disciplines—from business to science to criminal justice. Each Talk introduces novel and thought-provoking ideas in a succinct presentation, delivered with impact and authority.   This series of TEDx Talks will focus on the finer aspects of medicine in context of the larger scope of the field. What are some key situations and instances in medicine that warrant an in-depth investigation? Are there any particular discoveries or experiences in the medical field that you would like to learn more about?   TEDx Talks are a great way to gather insight on countless noteworthy topics and ideas.   9. A Story of Medicine and Leadership The primary motivation for anyone to go into medicine is their love for the science. However, the field...

Medical TEDx Talks Worth Watching #8: Genomic Medicine

What is genomic medicine? The National Human Genome Research Institute defines genomic medicine as “an emerging medical discipline that involves using genomic information about an individual as part of their clinical care and the health outcomes and policy implications of that clinical use.”         In the event you haven’t heard of them yet, TEDx Talks are a great resource for students in all disciplines—from business to science to criminal justice. Each Talk introduces novel and thought-provoking ideas in a succinct presentation, delivered with impact and authority.   This series of TEDx Talks will focus on the finer aspects of medicine in context of the larger scope of the field. What are some key situations and instances in medicine that warrant an in-depth investigation? Are there any particular discoveries or experiences in the medical field that you would like to learn more about?   TEDx Talks are a great way to gather insight on countless noteworthy topics and ideas.   8. The Rise of Genomic Medicine – Rick Leach Genomic medicine is a hot button concept that is often thrown around in medical circles. But what exactly does it mean? How can it be applied to modern-day clinical practice in order to benefit patients? Where are we right now in terms of any new developments in the field? Find out about all this and more in Rick Leach’s talk here...

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