Tag Archives: Allopathic Medicine

What Medical Students can Learn about Health from Animals

Medical schools are partnering with veterinary schools and zoos on cross-species education and research. Turns out that animals and humans might be more similar than we think.

For Julia Hyman, a fourth-year student at Harvard Medical School, getting accepted to work with animals at the Franklin Park Zoo near campus this fall was “a childhood dream.”

Yet she immediately found herself helping the zoo’s veterinarians decide the heaviest question a caregiver confronts: Could they save the life of Luther the white tiger? The 14-year-old cat had been stricken with metastatic cancer, and veterinarians spent weeks refining the diagnosis and researching treatments, while balancing likely outcomes against the effect on his quality of life. For example: What would be the full impacts of amputating one of Luther’s front legs?

Hyman says the care she witnessed for Luther will influence her care for people: “They took so much time to make sure they made the right decision — what would lead to the least amount of suffering and the greatest amount of benefit.”

Hyman was enrolled in Harvard’s three-year-old One Health Clinical Elective, through which medical students go on four-week rotations shadowing veterinarians at the zoo, with the daily clinical practice providing context for readings and discussions on ecosystems and biodiversity. “The point is for students to understand the role of biodiversity in protecting human health and the interdependence of human, animal, and ecosystem health,” says Eric Baitchman, DVM, vice president of animal health and conservation at Zoo New England, which runs the zoo.

That program illustrates one of several ways that medical students and doctors are striving to improve human health by learning from animals and those who treat them.

In recent years, doctors, veterinarians, and other scientists have come together in conference halls, classrooms, labs, and zoos to share and apply knowledge about the progression of harm and healing across species. Among the more recent projects:  to see what the degradation of a salamander species in the waterways of Missouri might foretell about how pollutants harm people exposed to the same water; to explore if a protein that protects an elephant from cancer can be used to develop a treatment for humans; and to discover if treating an antibacterial-resistant infection in the family dog can yield ways to alleviate similar infections in people.  

“We’re all the same under the hood,” says University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine anatomy professor Peter Dodson, MSc, PhD, who lectures at an educational gathering among medical and veterinarian students there, dubbed the Anatomy Exchange. “An anatomist switching between a human and a dog is like a mechanic switching between a Ford and a Chevy.”

Excerpt taken from Patrick Boyle’s article for the Association for American Medical Colleges. Read the entire article here.

Paving the Way for Physicians with Disabilities

Students and residents with disabilities have an important role to play in health care. An AAMC report outlines promising practices for medical schools and teaching hospitals to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

Editor’s note: The number of medical students who report having a disability rose 69% between 2016 and 2019, according to a new survey published November 26, 2019 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Lisa Meeks, PhD, co-author of the 2018 AAMC report and the new JAMA article, speculates that the increase in disability prevalence may be due to “more applicants with disabilities being admitted to medical school, more existing students disclosing disability, better reporting of disability data, or increased development of psychological disability while attending medical school.”   

Medical schools and teaching hospitals are striving to support learners with disabilities, yet they often need more information and resources to help create fully inclusive environments. Furthermore, the quality and extent of supports for these learners vary quite significantly from institution to institution across the country.

Those are among the findings of an AAMC report released in 2018 that captures the insights and lived experiences of learners and physicians with disabilities.

The report, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities, is the product of months of delving into research studies and interviewing administrators and learners at more than 30 institutions. It offers practical considerations and resources to help ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to medical education and the profession of medicine.

“Prior AAMC reports have addressed various issues surrounding disabilities, but this is the first comprehensive examination of the experiences of medical learners with disabilities,” notes Geoffrey Young, PhD, AAMC senior director of student affairs and programs. “This report gives voice to students, residents, and physicians with physical, psychological, sensory, learning, or chronic health disabilities.”

Created in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Medicine, the report covers a broad landscape: physical accessibility, institutional culture, legal requirements, training opportunities, and more.

Report coauthor Lisa Meeks, PhD, former director of medical student disability services at UCSF School of Medicine, notes key takeaways. “Learners certainly need effective structures that sometimes are missing, such as clear policies around disabilities and knowledgeable disability service providers. But that’s not enough,” says Meeks, now a researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School. “They also need a culture that lets them know they are welcome.”

Young hopes the report will spark some crucial conversations. “I want this publication to encourage all involved in medical education to explore and challenge their implicit biases,” he says. “I want them to appreciate how people with disabilities can enrich medical education and the care of patients.”

Excerpt taken from Stacy Weiner’s article of the Association for American Medical Colleges. Read the entire article here.

Good Leaders Make Good Doctors

Most people think of doctors as scientists, caregivers or educators. But we must also understand doctors as leaders.

When the signal came, two dozen clinicians of different ranks and specialties would descend on the patient’s room. It was then the on-call senior’s job to conduct an efficient, morbid, sometimes miraculous symphony to revive a patient whose heart had stopped beating.

The clinical aspects of running a code are straightforward, requiring little more than a handful of medications and a stopwatch. But the leadership task is exceedingly complex. Within seconds, the doctor in charge needs to impose order on a chaotic room rife with alarms, shouts, needles and tears. Who’s performing chest compressions? Intubating the patient? Checking lab work that might unearth a clue? Who would be alerting the I.C.U. that a patient will — hopefully — be transferred within minutes?

Most people think of doctors as scientists, caregivers or educators. But we must also understand doctors as leaders. Physician leadership is critical for better patient outcomes, clinical performance and professional satisfaction. That’s true not only during emergencies, but also for managing chronic diseases or improving hospital efficiency.

Excerpt from Dr. Dhruv Khullar’s New York Times article. Read the entire article here.

Check Out These Recent Research Postings from Brigham and Women’s!

Research Assistant I: Division of Vascular and Endovascular/BWH Dept. of Surgery

Working under the supervision of Division of Vascular and Endovascular Director and Principal Investigators, and following established policies and procedures; provides assistance on clinical research studies. May be responsible for the following activities: institutional review board applications and communications; recruiting and evaluating patients for studies; collecting and organizing patient data; scheduling patients for study visits; performing clinical tests such as phlebotomy, EKGs, etc.; occasional travel to meetings; maintaining and updating data generated by the study.  Two positions are available!! Apply on Handshake: #3314049 & #3313034 Expires May 19, 2020

Research Assistant I: Ortho Trauma/BWH Orthopaedics

The Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Initiative is one of the most successful fully-integrated cross-campus clinical programs. The Initiative has a very robust clinical research patient-reported outcomes programs that have grown substantially during the last five years. 

The Research Assistant I position offers exposure to the clinical, operative, and academic aspects of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery. This position offers terrific opportunities to both work with expert Orthopedic Trauma surgeons and contribute to cutting-edge innovations. 

Working independently and under general supervision from the Senior Project Manager and/or Principal Investigator, the Research Assistant I will provide support to clinical research studies and outcomes data collection. He/She may be responsible for the following activities: gathering data from the clinical record; recruiting and enrolling subjects into clinical protocols; developing and implementing patient recruitment strategies; and recommending changes to protocols.

Apply on Handshake! Expires May 19, 2020

Interested in a Research Position? The University of Pittsburgh is Hiring!

Apply for the Research Technician position today!

The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Pediatrics is seeking a Research Technician in the Division of Newborn Medicine/Neonatology. The Research Technician will join the basic research laboratory studying in vitro and in vivo models of neonatal/perinatal bacterial infections, preterm birth, and persistent bacterial colonization.

The successful candidate will be familiar with basic cell and molecular biology techniques including cloning, sequencing, PCR and RT-PCR methods, protein analysis, and cell culture techniques. Interaction with the mammalian specimen core may be required. Candidates familiar with the performance and interpretation of Next Gen sequencing and analysis of transcriptional profiles and large data sets are particularly encouraged to apply. Strong computer and basic statistical skills are particularly important as is the ability to analyze, organize, interpret, and present data both verbally and in writing.

An Associate’s degree in biology, biochemistry, genetics, biomedical engineering, statistics, or related scientific field is required. Bachelor’s preferred. Some experience in a laboratory, specifically with molecular biology is desired. Advanced computer skills are a plus. Equivalent relevant work experience may be substituted for degree requirement. 

This position is located at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in Lawrenceville. TB test and PA Child Abuse History Clearance, PA State Police Criminal Record Check, and FBI Criminal Record Check will be required as a condition of employment. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled.

Deadline 11/15/19: Join the Health Professions Committee Selection Process

Are you interested in beginning medical, veterinary, or dental school in Fall 2021?

Candidates applying for entry to graduate school in the medical professions in the Fall of 2021 must complete the Matric 21: Middlebury Health Professions Committee Selection Form by November 15, 2019.

You can access the form here. Any questions? Email us at hprofess@middlebury.edu

CANCELED: Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine Admissions Event

DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. We apologize for any inconvenience.

What do medical schools look for in an applicant? What makes for a compelling personal statement? How do medical schools build a class?

Join Aileen Panitz, admissions director of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, for a presentation about Geisel’s program and the general medical school admissions process.

Geisel’s program is designed around the “complete” physician — one who excels in the basic sciences, delivers outstanding clinical care, discovers and shares new knowledge and works to improve systems of healthcare delivery. Experiential learning and clinical work is included across all four years of training, with a focus on compassionate, patient- and family-centered care that addresses the “whole” patient. Geisel strives to foster a strong, supportive community both on and off campus by making community service and health care delivery science integral parts of its curriculum, in order to prepare students for future careers across the entire spectrum of medical practice.

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