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Category Archives: Medical School
It takes a special kind of person to want to go into medicine. The path is really hard, expensive, and incredibly self-doubting. One mitigating factor in all of that is having the right support system. Not only can a good support system really help with getting through medical school, but also the process of getting in.
Preparation, planning, and execution starts years before you ever start that first application. When you're still a child or young adult with all of these challenging, long-term goals, it's easy to be nearsighted and just live in the moment.
You know that eventually you want to become a doctor, lawyer, nurse, professional athlete, etc. At the same time, you don't want to be studying, training, or going to professional development camps all the time. You want to hang with friends, go out, and have fun. This was definitely how I was in high school, and well into college.
In high school I had good grades, strong extracurriculars, and the drive to do well. I have always been a competitive and determined person, but I also always had my parents there to push me just a little harder. As self-motivated as I was, there were several times where I got complacent, or just didn't really understand the work it would take to get where I wanted to go.
Read more: 'Microschool' entrepreneurs: 3 founders offering parents a safer, more personalized option for their kids and providing teachers a more lucrative career path
As simple as this message is, there are a lot of kids who don't get that push to just give their best effort no matter what. My parents and I had this conversation several times in regards to sports, academics, and any other aspects of my life. Without this encouragement and direction, I'm not sure I ever would have had the work ethic that it takes to pursue something as challenging and selective as medical school.
My parents also put a lot of value on education, which was also really important. I've worked with and studied with many kids who didn't care about school. It was merely a formality, or a legal obligation. When I spoke with many of them, they said their parents didn't put a lot of emphasis on attending school, and they just wanted to work, make money, and support their families.
This is a common value, and a very understandable one considering the socioeconomic background that my patients or friends came from. However, in the world we are in now, higher education can be the bridge to better health, social, and economical life. Almost any form of higher education is positively correlated with a better predicted life outcome. This is something my parents understood and instilled into me and my brothers.
This sounds extreme (it's the weekend, who cares when it gets done) and at the time I felt it was. But I realized later that my parents were trying to teach me the value of not procrastinating, and waiting until the last minute. There's a breath of fresh air you can breathe on Sunday night knowing that all of your assignments are done and you're not cramming and turning in subpar work. These are skills that they wanted me to carry through college, and eventually, medical school.
Dozier and her mom on family vacation in Las Vegas in September 2019. Darian Dozier
My mom went on to get her PhD while working a full-time job and taking care of my family. It was inspiring to watch her balance everything and still excel in a very challenging doctorate program. Was everything perfect all the time? No. But she tried her best in every aspect of her life, and that's the important value she wanted me to understand. You don't have to be perfect, you just have to try your best, and eventually, that will translate into being one of the best.
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It's stressful, and questionable if that's the best approach, but when someone like a doctor has your life in their hands, you would hope that they have the mindset of trying to be their very best every day. You would hope that in the light of adversity, they would have the grit and resilience to problem-solve, and do everything they can to keep you alive and well.
These are just a few of the skills and lessons my parents wanted me to learn, and I really didn't understand it as a child. I thought they were being unnecessarily hard and putting a lot of pressure on me. Sometimes, I still feel that way. But I know, at the end of the day, it's so I can go out into a world that cares nothing about my feelings and excel no matter what.
It's these attributes that will help children become extraordinary and pursue the seemingly impossible. You don't have to have a PhD or even a Bachelor's or high school diploma to show your kids what's important. Just instill in them good values, a solid work ethic, and let them know the world is theirs for the taking, and they will excel in anything they put their minds to.
The Athens City-County Health Department, in collaboration with Ohio University, will use the newly opened headquarters of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine as its primary site for administering COVID-19 vaccinations, Health Department Administrator Jack Pepper said.
Beginning on Friday, the first of the new year, the department will begin immunizations at Heritage Hall, a medical education facility located on West Union Street near the Shafer Street intersection.
We are grateful to Ohio University for the quick planning that will allow us to offer vaccines toPhase 1a recipientsin Athens County, Pepper said in a university press release. We value the continued collaboration, which will provide a facility to help our department administer the vaccine as quickly as possible.
Local health departments are primarily tasked by the state with vaccinating EMS responders and health care workers who arent necessarily on the frontline, including dentists and hospice workers.
Theyre also responsible for inoculating residents and staff of long-term care facilities that arent enrolled in the federal governments plan to vaccinate them though a number of private pharmacies.
The health department last week received 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine, 190 of which were immediately given to Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare, a psychiatric hospital for mentally ill adults in southeast Ohio. It received an additional 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday, but doesnt expect more shipments until Jan 11, Pepper said.
The department also began immunizing EMS workers and select congregate care facilities last week at the Athens Community Center. Athens County EMS employs 66 people who are all eligible to receive the vaccine.
To date 505 Athens County residents, less than 1 percent of the population, have received their first of two doses of a vaccine, according to The Ohio Department of Health.
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Health department to use new Ohio University medical school site for immunizations - Athens NEWS
Michele Miller, of Bayside, N.Y., was infected with the coronavirus in March and hasnt smelled anything since then. Recently, her husband and daughter rushed her out of their house, saying the kitchen was filling with gas.
She had no idea. Its one thing not to smell and taste, but this is survival, Ms. Miller said.
Humans constantly scan their environments for smells that signal changes and potential harms, though the process is not always conscious, said Dr. Dalton, of the Monell Chemical Senses Center.
Smell alerts the brain to the mundane, like dirty clothes, and the risky, like spoiled food. Without this form of detection, people get anxious about things, Dr. Dalton said.
Even worse, some Covid-19 survivors are tormented by phantom odors that are unpleasant and often noxious, like the smells of burning plastic, ammonia or feces, a distortion called parosmia.
Eric Reynolds, a 51-year-old probation officer in Santa Maria, Calif., lost his sense of smell when he contracted Covid-19 in April. Now, he said, he often perceives foul odors that he knows dont exist. Diet drinks taste like dirt; soap and laundry detergent smell like stagnant water or ammonia.
I cant do dishes, it makes me gag, Mr. Reynolds said. Hes also haunted by phantom smells of corn chips and a scent he calls old lady perfume smell.
Its not unusual for patients like him to develop food aversions related to their distorted perceptions, said Dr. Evan R. Reiter, medical director of the smell and taste center at Virginia Commonwealth University, who has been tracking the recovery of some 2,000 Covid-19 patients who lost their sense of smell.
Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine gets pre-accreditation, announces affiliation partnerships with local hospitals – Daily Herald
The road the inaugural school year at the Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine has been a long one, but the college recently received pre-accreditation, allowing it to begin enrolling students.
Dr. John Dougherty, founding dean and Chief Academic Officer, said a good way of describing the journey to pre-accreditation is a roller coaster ride. Dougherty was first approached by Presidents Richard Nielsen about 3 years ago.
The news from last week was a culmination of a ton of work by a lot of different people but probably the most challenging part of it was making a cohesive group of individuals who would help us be successful, Dougherty said.
With the school beginning to enroll students, there were about 2,000 applications submitted from individuals looking to be a part of the inaugural class. Those 2,000 applicants will be narrowed down to just 90.
The pre-accreditation stage basically means Noorda-COM has the means to begin teaching, along with the necessary elements to educate students looking to become future physicians.
What sets Noorda-COM apart from other medical schools is that osteopathic schools teach students to focus on the patients rather than the diagnosis. Dougherty said this is something that osteopathic medicine was founded on.
This fits into the mold President Nielsen has laid out in his career as well as at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.
He sought out an Osteopathic medical school because of those core values and the similarity to his personal philosophy and that of osteopathic medicine, Dougherty said. It was a good match for what he was looking to develop and create here, relative to who we are as a profession.
With students being welcomed in for the fall of 2021, Dougherty said the school is looking for individuals who want to be what he calls heroes. It wants students who are humble, empathetic, respectful, open minded and those who understand that it is their calling to be there for the patient.
Along with the search for students to fill the inaugural class, Noorda-COM also announced affiliation partnerships with hospitals around the state of Utah.
Normally, the final 2 years of medical school focus on the clinical aspects of medicine and the day-to-day practices.
Not having a hospital of our own, its very important for us to be able to partner with existing facilities that have wonderful opportunities for our students to rotate in, said Dr. Michael Rhodes, Noorda-COM Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs.
These affiliations include Intermountain Healthcare, Revere Health, Utah Valley Specialty Hospital and more.
Students will have seven different rotations that include a number of different focuses at various hospitals. In the first week of these rotations, students will be on campus, where they will run through simulations prior to work in hospitals.
This allows the students to see a variety of different approaches when it comes to creating healthcare management systems and styles, Rhodes said.
This includes augmented reality, virtual reality and hologram patients in an effort to help the students be more prepared and helpful with the care teams at the hospitals.
These rotations will allow students to receive a diverse training in different focuses within medicine.
That gives a young student the opportunity to see the variety so that they can hone in on what it is they really want to be, what specialty they want to go into and what interest they really have, Rhodes said. By the end of those core rotations, theyll really know and get a good feel for what they want to do for the rest of their career and what they dont.
Another plus to the affiliations is that all of the sites are within 30 minutes of the campus. Dougherty added that in one of his previous jobs at a college, students were spread across 17 different states and left without much support from the medical school.
A close proximity to the school lets students receive help if they need it while being able to accomplish more and travel less.
As for the next step for the school, Dougherty said it will begin to pick the 90 students who will be a part of the inaugural class, which is expected to be a tough task.
Faculty are also working on creating the content for the courses, which includes four to seven minute pre-recorded videos. This curriculum can then be accomplished by the student at their own pace and at whatever time of day is most convenient.
Once these tasks are completed, among others, the school will be ready to welcome in its first students come the fall of 2021.
Most mornings, Dr. Sterling Malish replaces his home clothes with car clothes, then departs his Carmel home, bound for Natividad Medical Center. There, he changes into scrubs, plus a protective gown, gloves, an N95 mask, and a PAPR (Powered Air Purifying Respirator) mask. Then, he enters the COVID ICU for a 12-hour shift that usually runs long.
At the end of his day, Dr. Malish reverses his routine, abandoning his car clothes for the shower, followed by fresh home clothes, so he can greet his wife, public health professor Jennifer Nazareno, and two little girls, ages 7 and 4.
When Malish signed his contract with Natividad in February, COVID was not yet a pandemic. Based in Rhode Island, he had been serving as director of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep for Care New England, a five-hospital system. Yet, after enduring a lot of administrative changes, Malish, realizing he really missed clinical work, sought a professional change that would return him to hands-on critical care.
He got what he wanted.
I received a call from my friend, Dr. Chad Medawar, whom I had met during our pulmonary critical-care fellowship at UC Irvine, telling me about an opening at Natividad, he said. Having moved from Los Angeles to Rhode Island five years before, it had always been our plan to come back to California.
Malish and his family moved to the Peninsula in July, just as Natividad was experiencing a dramatic surge in COVID cases.
In my first week at Natividad, everyone was telling me how in the previous five years, theyd never seen the hospital so busy, said Malish. But, Im a pulmonary critical care physician. I could have accepted a job anywhere this year and, most likely, it would have been the same scenario.
At Natividad Medical Center, Dr. Malish and his colleagues spend their shifts in isolation within the COVID ICU, where communication is essential and ongoing, yet requires three times the energy, he says, behind all the personal protective equipment and against the sounds of medical equipment in use.
COVID patients are the sickest patients in the hospital, he said. Their care requires a lot of communication among the medical specialties treating them. Were always thinking three steps ahead. We have to think whats the worst that could happen to this patient, and then be prepared for when it does.
The hospital also has to plan for a surge of new patients, says Malish, which is happening now. He reports more than 60 COVID patients admitted to Natividad as of last week and the number continues to rise. Twelve of those patients, he says, have been in the ICU.
Then there is the added layer, he said, of having to communicate with families, desperate for information about their loved ones, whom they cant visit. This is extremely difficult to explain to all these people were trying to protect.
Despite his desire to return to critical-care medicine, Dr. Malish never imagined he would be called to practice pulmonary medicine during a pandemic. He finds it both exhilarating and exhausting to provide the level of care required by COVID.
Its almost an extension of emergency medicine, he said. I went into critical care because of the acuity of care, and the needs of the patients. I like having to think through the physiology of these patients to figure out how to make them better.
And theres no textbook for COVID, he says. Theyre writing it as they work.
Although each day in the COVID ICU can well exceed the scheduled 12-hour shift, on their days off, Dr. Malish and his colleagues check in on one another to see if they need to provide back-up support.
COVID is something were all dealing with throughout the hospital, he said. A lot of camaraderie and teamwork comes through, and we know were definitely all in this together.
After spending their first 14 years in Texas, twin brothers Sterling and Haven Malish followed their fathers job to Hawaii, where they graduated from high school before returning to the mainland to study the history and sociology of science, with a minor in biology, at the University of Pennsylvania. The appeal was the interdisciplinary approach to science, says Malish, which encouraged students to think outside the box.
While trying to decide whether or not to go to medical school, he said, I spent a summer doing health economics research and realized, although it was interesting work, I couldnt sit in an office all day. I wanted to see the people I was affecting through my work.
Upon graduation from college, the twins returned to Hawaii to attend medical school at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. Following their residency at USC Medical Center LA County, Sterling Malish went on to UC Irvine to pursue a fellowship in pulmonary disease and critical care medicine, while his brother pursued the same fellowship at USC.
It was at UC Irvine that Dr. Malish met his colleague, Dr. Chad Medawar, before moving on to the University of Michigan to pursue a fellowship in sleep medicine. His brother completed the same fellowship through the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, and now practices the same specialties of medicine as his twin, in North Dakota and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Ive heard that twins either turn out somewhat similar or make it a point to differentiate themselves, Malish said. It always helped to have a trusted study buddy. Everything we studied enables us to pivot in different directions and relates to what we need to address, particularly during this pandemic.
This holiday season, Sterling Malish and his family spent time tucking into their Carmel home, having traded a large house in the snow for a cottage by the sea, in a Hallmark town with no street addresses. Although they couldnt gather with relatives, they took comfort in trading travel for toys and traditions among their family of four.
We havent had a whole lot of downtime this year, Malish said. Weve been in a tag-team situation, with my wife compensating for my long hours at the hospital, and my giving her a chance to rest when Im home. Just to have time to relax as a family this Christmas was incredibly rejuvenating.
As he returns his attention from Christmas to COVID, Malish gives credit to the respiratory therapists, nurses, and the rest of the staff who have put their lives on hold to work long hours and take on extra shifts in their efforts to save other lives.
We have so many patients and not enough nurses, he said. Our states ability to take care of COVID patients is only as good as the available staff. I read that we hit ICU bed capacity on Christmas. Were placing a lot of hope on the vaccines.
Dr. Malishhas received his first dose of the COVID vaccine, as part of the first tier of recipients, which includes those who serve in health care settings and have potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, as well as residents of long-term care facilities. In a couple of weeks, he will come in on his day off to receive the second dose.
You really dont want to be high on the vaccine list, he said. Those who make that list are among our most vulnerable populations.
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Moving onto the frontline: A Bay Area doctors story - East Bay Times
BOSTON, January 2, 2021 Reports of possible allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, both recently approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have raised public concern. A team of experts led by allergists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has now examined all relevant information to offer reassurance that the vaccines can be administered safely even to people with food or medication allergies. The groups review is published in theJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: InPractice.
In response to accounts of potential allergic reactions in some people following COVID-19 vaccination in the United Kingdom, that countrys medical regulatory agency advised that individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to a medicine or food should avoid COVID-19 vaccination. After closer review of the data related to allergic reactions, however, the FDA recommended that the vaccines be withheld only from individuals with a history of severe allergic reactions to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that all patients be observed for 15 minutes post-vaccination by staff who can identify and manage such reactions.The U.S. agencies do not recommend that people with food or medication allergies avoid vaccination.
To provide insights from allergists perspectives, Aleena Banerji, MD, clinicaldirector of the Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyUnit at MGH and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and her colleagues have summarized whats currently known about allergic reactions to vaccines like those developed against COVID-19, and they have proposed detailed advice so that individuals with different allergy histories can safely receive their first COVID-19 vaccine. They also outline steps on safely receiving the second dose in individuals who develop a reaction to their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
As allergists, we want to encourage vaccination by reassuring the public that both FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe. Our guidelines are built upon the recommendations of U.S. regulatory agencies and provide clear steps to the medical community on how to safely administer both doses of the vaccine in individuals with allergic histories, says Banerji.
The experts note that allergic reactions to vaccines are rare, with a rate of about 1.3 per 1 million people. They stress that COVID-19 vaccine clinics will be monitoring all patients for 15 to 30 minutes and can manage any allergic reactions that occur. Banerji and her co-authors recommend that individuals with a history of anaphylaxis to an injectable drug or vaccine containing polyethylene glycol or polysorbate speak with their allergists before being vaccinated. They stress that patients with severe allergies to foods, oral drugs, latex, or venom can safely receive the COVID-19 vaccines.
Cosenior authors of the review are MGHs Kimberly G. Blumenthal, MD, MSc, and Elizabeth Phillips, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Other co-authors include Paige G. Wickner, MD, of Brigham and Womens Hospital; Rebecca Saff, MD, PhD, Lacey B. Robinson, MD, MPH, Aidan A. Long, MD, and Anna R. Wolfson, MD, of MGH; David A. Khan, MD, of the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center; Cosby A. Stone Jr., MD, MPH, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and Paul Williams, MD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine.