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Becoming Your Own Health Advocate

Becoming Your Own Health Advocate

This summer I decided it was time for a change. I was feeling powerless against the many reports I had been reading about African-Americans and their health. African-Americans are plagued with the highest risk factors for certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. Not wanting to become another statistic, I became interested in figuring out a […]

The Physician Supply and International Medical Graduates

The Physician Supply and International Medical Graduates

Traditionally, discussions regarding the physician shortage and primary care gap have focused on the attitudes, career decisions, and supply of U.S. medical students. An alternative approach is to increase the International Medical Graduate supply stream. A two pronged approach involves a standardized basic sciences curriculum and utilizing new organizations introduced in healthcare reform to increase the physician supply.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Medical Students

Greetings, Class of 2010! Two thousand ten – that has a nice ring to it. I am honored to have an opportunity to address this entering medical school class at Meharry Medical College. You should be commended on your accomplishments. Acceptance to medical school is a big deal – this is a tremendous accomplishment. It is a time of celebration for students, parents and friends. Thank you for inviting me to celebrate with you and participate in today’s event. I have had an opportunity to reflect on my own emotional state nearly 22 years ago when I entered medical school. I was filled with overwhelming excitement and nearly paralyzing anxiety. I suspect that as you sit here today, you too are filled with a myriad of emotions – joy, excitement, anxiety. It is my goal today to help you strip away all anxiety and nervousness and to help you develop a strategy to achieve your ultimate goal of becoming a doctor.

The 2010 Academic Needs Assessment

This year was very unique in the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). It marked the first time in recent history that our members were granted the opportunity to provide feedback on programming. With the help of its programmatic committees (Academic Affairs, Community Service, Diversity Research, Health Policy and Legislative Affairs, International Affairs, and Publications), the SNMA is able to provide a number of tools, opportunities, and events.

Emergency Department Intervention

During a typical emergency department (ED) visit, a patient is attended to, stabilized and acute symptoms are treated. Upon discharge, the patient may receive medication and/or further self-care instruction which providers usually assume are understood. The questions remaining include whether the patient was only stabilized to possibly return again with the same complication, or if the care staff adequately and appropriately explained the discharge instructions, leaving the patient with knowledge addressing prevention of future visits. These are the questions our project aims to address. With diverse experiences in the ED, members of our team noticed that there was a gap between the treatment a patient received in the emergency department and the patient’s understanding of their individualized treatment plan. Patient understanding is key to preventing similar presentations to the ED after they are discharged, as demonstrated in several published studies. Recognizing this discrepancy, we endeavored to establish an intervention that would identify and address some of the underlying reasons for noncompliance, resulting in recurrent ED visits.

Remembering Ray D. Gaines, M.D.: August 2, 1932 – October 29, 2010

Remembering Ray D. Gaines, M.D.: August 2, 1932 – October 29, 2010

When we lose someone important to us, even the space left by their absence is enough to remind us of the loss. This has been my experience of our loss of Dr. Ray D. Gaines, distinguished surgeon and medical educator in Michigan and Nebraska for forty-six years and long-time advisor to the Creighton University School of Medicine chapter of SNMA. When he announced his retirement at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year, I offered to continue to call him and update him on our chapter’s accomplishments and endeavors as I had during my chapter presidency. He always requested updates from the leaders of the chapter to keep him informed as to the next meeting, service project, or other event so that he could make his best attempt, despite a busy schedule, to either be present or at least offer advice. With rare exceptions, Dr. Gaines was always present and actively involved. Because my experience with him informed me that he maintained constant interest in our organization, I was not surprised by the smile on his face when I offered to continue updating him despite his retirement.

U.S.M.L.E. Telephone Mentoring

As a humble physician-author-educator it has been my honor to be invited to speak to our Student National Medical Association (SNMA) in Johnson City. Therefore, it is with humility and respect that I dedicate this: my meager and imperfect paper to our local (SNMA).

‘Ayiti, Cheri Mwen’: A Brief Account of Our Medical Missions Trip to Haiti

‘Ayiti, Cheri Mwen’: A Brief Account of Our Medical Missions Trip to Haiti

The thought, planning, and the actual accounts of my recent medical mission trip to Haiti offered a remarkable experience. I selected key points during this whole humbling process in order to give you a glimpse of our trip to Haiti.

Family Medicine & Primary Care Meeting Global Health Care Needs

The 19th Annual World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) World Conference was held May 19th – 23rd, 2010 in Cancun, Mexico. This meeting brought together the brightest and best minds from around the country focused on a common goal of improving the health of our world. This meeting was an opportunity for many to share ideas, research, learn and to develop new paradigms as we forge ahead in the new millennium, to ensure primary care remains at the forefront of health care.

But Everyone is Doing “It”

If you have ever roamed the halls of the labor and delivery suites of your school’s hospital, it is not hard to notice how young the mothers seem to be. If you were to go a step further and examine the histories of these birthing mothers, you would learn that it is not unusual to find the average age of your patients between 17 and 19 years of age. Many of these girls are having their second or third child and the father may or may not be involved. At the end of the day, you may wonder how so many teens are going through the acts of childbirth before ever crossing the stage to accept their high school or college diplomas. Research now shows us that in the United States, nearly half of high school students have reported being sexually active, with the highest rates among black males at 74.6%. The average age of first sexual intercourse continues to decline with each generation with nearly 15% of adolescents having greater than four partners by the age of 19.