This presidential campaign has been alternately amusing and terrifying, courtesy of the antics of Donald Trump.  The prospect of someone who feels the need to boast about the size of his penis during a presidential debate having his small, small hands on the button to launch our nuclear arsenal does not inspire feelings of security. He is looking increasingly likely to be nominated by the Republican Party.  Many, however, ...

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There's been a bit of kerfuffle over resident duty hours lately. For those unfamiliar with the topic, physicians in training in the United States have traditionally lived in the hospital -- hence why they were called residents -- and available to patients 24/7.  Over time, concerns about patient safety led to limits on how many hours could be worked consecutively in the hospital.  In 2003, the maximum number of ...

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Theranos is a Silicon Valley start-up dedicated to revolutionizing (some would say disrupting) the medical blood testing industry.  The claim to fame of the company was to use a single drop of blood from a finger stick to run hundreds of tests.  This premise led to a $9 billion valuation and rock-star status for it's founder, Elizabeth Holmes; and was recently threatened by a Wall Street Journal exposé, ...

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A brief article recently posted the name and picture of a neurosurgery resident accused of smoking marijuana on the job.  Dr. Gunjan Goel, MD is a neurosurgery resident at University of California, San Diego, and the list of her awards and publications alone is almost as long as my entire CV.  The article is brief, and rather uninformative.  The only facts that are known are this: ...

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A recent paper in the Annals of Internal Medicine has sparked a large media response. In it, two incidents are described: In one, a male OB/GYN is prepping a patient's vaginal area for surgery, which involves running a brush soaked in Betadine or ChloraPrep solution over the labia, mons pubis, perineum, and inner thighs when the patient is already put to sleep by anesthesia.  He makes an appalling joke, "I ...

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For two years, I served as a representative to my medical school's student affairs committee.  My job was to convey medical student concerns and problems.  As part of that role, I had a lot of time to think about how and why many medical students experience depression and stress. Two recent articles have led me to write about the issue now: "10 simple solutions to stop medical student suicide," ...

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shutterstock_282279032 In the news recently has been a complaint filed by over 60 Asian-American groups, alleging discrimination in admissions at Harvard.  They point to such statistics as this: in 2009, among accepted applicants to the Ivy League, the average SAT score on a 1600 point scale for Caucasians was 310 points higher than Hispanics ...

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As a medical student, I strongly support vaccination.  It works, it's safe, and it doesn't cause autism.  But I also understand why many parents don't believe me and the medical community when we beg them to vaccinate their kids. Medicine has come a long way from "do no harm."  Now we talk about risks and benefits: and none of our tests, medicines, or procedures are without risks.  Increasingly, pharmaceutical companies have ...

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shutterstock_112847326 I'm on my family medicine rotation right now.  One of my preceptors is about 80 years old and went through medical school in the 1960s.  He is still sharp as a tack; he used to do C-sections, hernia repairs, appendectomies, fracture repairs and get this -- emergency burr holes for subdural hematomas (a.k.a. neurosurgery).  He stopped around 1997, mostly because he ...

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shutterstock_168769238 Ebola is in the United States!  Everybody (please don't) panic!  Quarantine all Texans!  Though that might be a good idea anyway (just kidding).  More on Ebola in general in another post if I have time. First off though, we've found out more information about the sequence of events leading to the hospitalization of the patient, Thomas Duncan.  Apparently, he came ...

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