Archive | January 2012

Alaska Christmas-time Photos


An example of Preventative Medicine

The Ultimate Example of Preventative Medicine.

Video link

Peaked my interest to see a nice personal story clip that really puts a face on, exactly what CompassQuill rightly named it PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE.

Preventative medicine allows you to improve both your quality & quantity of life (ideally).

But the real take home message is:

The old-fashioned yearly (or at least periodic) physical is STILL SO IMPORTANT!

Remember the line he says in the video – I don’t go get check-ups regularly, I don’t even have a doctor.   There was the problem right there.  He’s using his body well & it’s working for him so far as he can tel but he’s not keeping up with the maintenance. Any young adult who didn’t know how to take care of their first car will tell you – if you don’t check & change the oil and keep up the maintenance, it’ll work for a while but next thing you know it’s gonna croak on you, usually in the middle of no-where with no cell signal and no one to help too.

A history & physical alone can do much in the way of prevention.  In prevention, your doc is like you’re own personal guide. But he or she can’t do anything for you unless you show-up & participate.

One thing to warn from this video though:

Medicine loves it’s fancy new machines (imaging, testing & labs) as much as everyone else loves their fancy new gadgets, phones, etc. But we can’t & don’t rely on them as first line and neither should you.

Medicine is a scientific field remember. So we rely on Evidence, which we get from trials – but not just any trials (with little effort I can find you lots of bad trials) – reliable, repeatable & thoroughly vetted trialS (and I capitalize that cause it’s never just 1 either).

This evidence tells us why we don’t CT everyone who walks in the door. Its not all because of $ either for the cynics out ther. Other than the radiation load, Its because in just about everyone’s films, etc you’ll find incidental things that were never going to hurt the pt (and those films can also not show things that will hurt you too – ask a surgeon or a radiologist about abdominal dx & imaging sometime). Unfortunately who’s to say that those incidental findings are never going to hurt you? Well you do actually. Your body through your experience (hx), physical findings & selective testing,  points your doc towards problems or potential problems. But unless you have those pointers the evidence tells us that doctors chasing down findings from uneccessary tests/images end up hurting the patient more than if they had not done the test.

Joining Forces Initiative.

Medical schools announce the:

Joining Forces Initiative

Quick summary: Med schools are making a commitment to enhance medical education to ensure that challenges faced by military service members, veterans & families are not completely foreign to physicians in training.

I wonder how the schools plan to do this.  My school prides itself on it’s cultural sensitivity and such but oddly enough, I never heard anything related to military populations unless it was recruiting or a trauma lecture given by a military student.

My advisors, for the most part, had to be honest & tell me that they really couldn’t help me too much as they had little to no clue about military scholarships, residencies or life though many of them are former military docs.  Its certainly gotten better over the last several years that I’ve been in school as far as availability of information with the different branches & acceptance by classmates but there’s room for improvement still & many hard at work on it.  (a thank you extended to those working on that front)

With more and more medical students pursuing military scholarships and training I anticipate that education, advising and knowledge about military life and the needs of the many populations affected by military life will get better. Hopefully those who pursue military medical training will follow many of our mentors into mentoring or educating not only the students following us into service but those who travel with us in medicine as well.

Happy Trails.