medical-students

Common Medical Abbreviations and Terms

Wondering why you can’t read what the doctor wrote on your prescription? Ever see the doctor’s notes in your medical record and found peculiar abbreviations and jargon? Doctors commonly use a variety of abbreviations in order to rapidly and succinctly record information about, and give instructions to, their patients. Below is a listing of many common terms and abbreviations defined so that you can decipher those charts Continue reading

Internal Med Residency 1

The 10 Best-Paying Medical Specialties

Here’s how much the highest-paid doctors in the top recruited specialties make, according to consulting firm Merritt Hawkins & Associates’ pending 2013 Review of Physician Recruiting Incentives. The average pay is the base salary or guaranteed income that is offered, not including signing bonuses, production bonuses, or benefits. 

Merritt Hawkins’ numbers do not reflect total physician incomes, but rather starting salaries physicians are being offered when they are recruited, either from residency programs or from other practice settings in which they may be established.

No. 1 Orthopedic Surgery

Average: $464,500

No. 2 Cardiology (invasive)

Average: $461,364

No. 3 Cardiology (non-invasive)

Average: $447,143

No. 4 Gastroenterology

Average: $441,421

No. 5 Urology

Average: $424,091

No. 6 Hematology/Oncology

Average: $396,000

No. 7 Dermatology

Average: $370,952

No. 8 Radiology

Average: $368,250

No. 9 Pulmonology

Average: $351,125

No. 10 General Surgery

Average: $336,375

medical-students

Top 5 Social Media Sites for Physicians

Social media has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Though the majority of available social media websites cater to an audience that use it for personal relationships, certain social websites can be used as an invaluable tool for healthcare professionals. Below are the top 5 social media websites for physicians.

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family-doctors

How to Find the Best Medical Information Online

What are the best websites for finding reliable health information on the Internet? I usually do a Google search on a symptom, drug or health condition when I want to research something, but with so much information out there I’m not sure what I can trust.

–Untrusting Senior

Dear Untrusting,
You’re wise not to believe everything you read, especially when it comes to health and medical information on the World Wide Web. To help you sort through the online clutter and locate reliable, trustworthy medical information, here are a few tips to follow, along with some top-rated sites you can always turn to with confidence.

How to Verify
As a general rule, health and medical information websites sponsored by the U.S. government, not-for-profit health or medical organizations, and university medical centers are the most reliable resources on the Internet. While sites supported by for-profit companies, such as drug or insurance companies who may be trying to sell you their products, are usually not your best option.

To find out who’s sponsoring a site and where the information came from, click on the “About Us” tab on the site’s home page.

Also look for the red and blue “HONcode” seal at the bottom of each page, which means the site has credible information and is certified by the Health On the Net Foundation. However, government sponsored health sites don’t have the seal.

Also be aware that good health and medical information changes all the time so check the date that information was published to make sure it’s current. And, if you’re doing research online before seeing a doctor, print your findings out on paper, including the site you got your information from, so you can review it together.

Top Health Sites
While there are dozens of great websites that provide reliable, trustworthy, unbiased health and medical information, here are two of the best all-purpose sites that are easy to use.

Medlineplus.gov: Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and managed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus provides information on more than 900 diseases and conditions in their “Health Topics” section, and links to other trusted resources.

It also provides a directory of hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers, a medical encyclopedia and medical dictionary, tutorials on common conditions, tests, and treatments, extensive information on prescription drugs, supplements and herbs, and links to thousands of clinical trials. It even offers a senior specific health site (nihseniorhealth.gov) that makes age-related health information easier to get.

MayoClinic.com: Owned by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, this site is produced by more than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinic, and provides in-depth, easy-to-understand information on hundreds of diseases and conditions, drugs and supplements, tests and procedures. It also offers a nifty “Symptom Checker” tool and “First-Aid Guide” for fast answers to all types of health conditions, along with medical blogs, expert answers, videos and links to additional resources.

Disease Specific Sites
There are also dozens of other sites dedicated to specific diseases and conditions. Here are some top-rated sites as listed by the Medical Library Association on cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Cancer: American Cancer Society (cancer.org), National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov), Association of Cancer Online Resources (acor.org) and Cancer Care (cancercare.org).

Heart disease: American Heart Association (americanheart.org), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov) and Congenital Heart Information Network (tchin.org).

Diabetes: American Diabetes Association (diabetes.org), National Diabetes Education Program (ndep.nih.gov), Joslin Diabetes Center (www.joslin.harvard.edu), and Diabetes Monitor (diabetesmonitor.com).

Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org), Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (alzinfo.org), and Alzheimers.gov.

RESIDENCYANDMATCH

16 best Free Medical apps

 

1) Medscape

Medscape from WebMD (medscape.com) is one of the top downloaded medical apps amongst health professionals.  Has the most obscure diseases listed, and super comprehensive.  Also, offers free CME’s to physicians.

 2) Micromedex

“Micromedex is the most reliable, trusted name in evidence-based clinical reference. We lead the industry because of our unmatched editorial process, reliable content, and innovative user-friendly enhancements. And now Micromedex 2.0 has been revamped to make finding evidence-based drug information and clinical answers much faster and easier.

3) New England Journal of Medicine

An App from one of the most trusted, staid journals in Medicine.  But, departing from their staid, conservative roots, the NEJM jumped full-force into the digital revolution with a recently unveiled daily feed, called “First Physician’s Watch“, which is conveniently sent to your email address every morning, with the latest breaking news in the medical world.  Next thing you know, the boe ties come off, as do the Oxford loafers, and it’s boogie time!

4) Epocrates

50% of doctors currently have this medical application downloaded on their Androids, iPhones, or iPads.  Along with Medscape, the two most popular medical apps.

5) Medical Calculator

MedCalc gives you easy access to complicated medical formulas, scores, scales and classifications. Each formula has been individually designed and optimized for the small iPhone screen.

6) Radiology 2.0

(Effusive Praise from the Apple App Store)  One of the most innovative educational resources in the field, Radiology 2.0presents teaching files in a way not previously seen;  Radiology 2.0 is a series of cases that allow the user to simulate reading CT scans at a PACS workstation.   Extensive discussions following each case include labeled images that highlight pathologies and relevant findings. Rather than use static images to teach specific diagnoses, Radiology 2.0 uses stacks of CT images to actually teach the reader how to approach and interpet CT scans. Free.

7) Skyscape

One of the big three apps, other than Epocrates, and Medscape.  A very good, deep app, with tons of good info, and a great website, including a “Chat” feature.

8) Living Medical Textbook

Predecessor of the wonderful Inkling.com books, this website deals with eBooks of various medical subjects, including leukemia, diabetes, hematology, dermatology, etc.  Can download to iPhone, to read when you have time, and also can get free CME credit!

9) Medical Radio

ReachMD MedicalRadio delivers world class medical content from the leader in medical education and information for medical professionals. All programming is broadcast on ReachMD Sirius/XM Satellite Radio Channel XM 167. ReachMD MedicalRadio provides quality peer-to-peer content available in 15-minute programs that cover a broad range of topics for both general practitioners and specialists.

10) Neuromind

(from Apple iTunes) One of the highest ranked neurosurgical apps in the world, twice mentioned on iMedicalApps’ “Top Apps” and more than 100,000 downloads just got better. A major improvement for version 2.0 is the addition of interactive clinical decision support, starting with 23 items. The system can easily be expanded to facilitate guideline implementation in a fast and individualized manner. Furthermore, NeuroMind 2.0 now contains almost 100 scores that are relevant for your neurosurgical practice.

11) Prognosis: Your Diagnosis

A fun and free iPhone, iPad and Android game that lets you investigate, deduce and diagnose real life patients in minutes. You can also brainstorm with other players in a group forum if you are stuck on a tough or rare case.

Prognosis is the first clinical case simulation game to hit the app store, designed specially for Doctors, Medical Students and anyone with a medical background.

12) Harvards Public Health News

HSPH has released its first mobile application (mobile app). Available on both iPhone and Android devices, the application is designed to help members of the Harvard School of Public Health community and others connect with each other and stay up-to-date on breaking public health news and research, plus events and activities around the School.

13) Radiopaedia

Interesting radiology cases from around the globe.

14) AHRQ ePSS

The Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) is an application designed and developed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Nation’s lead Federal agency for research on health care quality, costs, outcomes and patient safety.

The ePSS application was developed to assist primary care clinicians identify the screening, counseling, and preventive medication services that are appropriate for their patients. The ePSS information is based on the current recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and can be searched by specific patient characteristics, such as age, sex, and selected behavioral risk factors. The ePSS is available as a web application and mobile applications.

15) Dragon Medical Search

(from Apple iTunes) Dragon® Medical Mobile Search is the fast, accurate and smart way for busy, mobile physicians to search online content on their iPhone™ using their voice. Whether physicians need drug-to-drug interaction information, the latest on new medications, an ICD-9 code look-up or a refresher on diagnosing a particular condition, Dragon Medical Mobile Search helps ensure they make medical decisions with the most complete and up-to-date information at the point of care.

  • Dragon Medical 360 | Mobile Search: Medical search of online content sources for the iPhone
  • Dragon Medical 360 | Mobile Recorder: Store and forward dictation and transcription workflow inDragon Medical 360 | eScription, Dictaphone Enterprise Speech System and iChart for the iPhone
  • In addition, the 360 | Development Platform:  gives developers a variety of powerful tools to speech-enable your existing applications.

16) Calculate (Medical Calculator) by QxMD
By QxMD Medical Software

From the maker of the apps ‘Read’, ‘The ECG Guide’ and ‘Pedi STAT’ comes ‘Calculate’, a next-generation clinical calculator and decision support tool, freely available to the medical community.

hypertension-prevention

6 medical Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Most aches and pains aren’t a sign of something serious, but certain symptoms should be checked out. See a doctor if you feel any of these things:

1. Weakness in Your Arms and Legs

If you get weak or numb in your arm, leg, or face, it can be a sign of a stroke, especially if it’s on one side of your body.

You could also be having a stroke if you can’t keep your balance, feel dizzy, or have trouble walking.

Get help quickly if you suddenly can’t see well, get a bad headache, feel confused, or have problems speaking or understanding.

“Caught early, it is often reversible,” says internist Jacob Teitelbaum, MD.

Don’t wait to see a doctor. Call 911. If you get a clot-buster drug within 4.5  hours of your first symptom, you can lower your risk of long-term disability from stroke.

2. Chest Pain

When it comes to chest pain, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Any chest pain, especially accompanied by sweating, pressure, shortness of breath, ornausea, should be evaluated by a medical professional right away,” says Shilpi Agarwal, MD, with One Medical Group in Washington, DC.

Chest pain or pressure can be a sign of heart disease or a heart attack, particularly if you feel it after being active. It may also mean that you have a blood clot moving into yourlung, Teitelbaum says.

If your chest feels tight or heavy, and it lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back again, get help. Don’t try to tough it out.

3. Tenderness and Pain in the Back of Your Lower Leg

This can be a symptom of a blood clot in your leg. It’s called deep vein thrombosis, orDVT. It can happen after you’ve been sitting for a long time, like on a long plane ride, or if you’re sick and have been in bed a long time.

If it’s a blood clot, you may feel the pain mostly when you stand or walk. You may also notice swelling.

It’s normal to feel tenderness after exercise. But if you also see redness and feel heat where it’s swollen or painful, call your doctor.

Teitelbaum says you can also check for what’s called the Homans sign. “If you flex your toes upward and it hurts, that’s also suggestive of a blood clot,” he says. “But don’t rely on that. If it’s hot, red, and swollen on one side, go to the ER.”

It’s important to catch a blood clot before it can break off and block your blood flow, which can lead to complications.

4. Blood in Your Urine

Several things can cause you to see blood when you pee.

If you have blood in your urine and you also feel a lot of pain in your side or in your back, you may have kidney stones. A kidney stone is a small crystal made of minerals and salts that forms in your kidney and moves through the tube that carries your urine.

Your doctor may take X-rays or do an ultrasound to see the stones. An X-ray uses radiation in low doses to make images of structures inside your body. An ultrasound makes images with sound waves.

Many kidney stones eventually pass through your body when you pee. Sometimes your doctor may need to remove the kidney stone.

If you see blood in your urine and you also have an increase in feeling that you urgently need to pee, make frequent trips to the bathroom, or feel burning when you urinate, you may have a severe bladder or kidney infection, Teitelbaum says. Don’t wait to see your doctor, especially if you have a fever.

If you see blood but don’t feel any pain, it may be a sign of kidney or bladder cancer, so visit your doctor.

5. Wheezing

Breathing problems should be treated right away. If you’re wheezing, or hear a whistling sound when you breathe, see your doctor.

“Without urgent evaluation, breathing can quickly become labored, and it can be catastrophic if not evaluated and treated quickly,” Agarwal says.

It may be from asthma, a lung disease, a severe allergy, or exposure to chemicals. Your doctor can figure out what’s causing it and how to treat it. If you have asthma, an allergist will create a plan to manage it and reduce flare-ups.

Wheezing can also be caused by pneumonia or bronchitis. Are you coughing up yellow or green mucus? Do you also have a fever or shortness of breath? If so, you may havebronchitis that’s turning into pneumonia. “Time to see your doctor,” Teitelbaum says.

6. Suicidal Thoughts

If you feel hopeless or trapped, or think you have no reason to live, get help. Talking to a professional can help you make it through a crisis.

Go to a hospital emergency room or a walk-in clinic at a psychiatric hospital. A doctor ormental health professional will talk to you, keep you safe, and help you get through this tough time.

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It’s free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s confidential, so you can feel safe about sharing your thoughts.

cardiac examination

7 Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe

Popular culture is loaded with myths and half-truths. Most are harmless. But when doctors start believing medical myths, perhaps it’s time to worry.

In the British Medical Journal this week, researchers looked into severalcommon misconceptions, from the belief that a person should drink eight glasses of water per day to the notion that reading in low light ruins your eyesight.

“We got fired up about this because we knew that physicians accepted these beliefs and were passing this information along to their patients,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “And these beliefs are frequently cited in the popular media.”

And so here they are, so that you can inform your doctor:

Myth: We use only 10 percent of our brains.

Fact: Physicians and comedians alike, including Jerry Seinfeld, love to cite this one. It’s sometimes erroneously credited to Albert Einstein. But MRI scans, PET scans and other imaging studies show no dormant areas of the brain, and even viewing individual neurons or cells reveals no inactive areas, the new paper points out. Metabolic studies of how brain cells process chemicals show no nonfunctioning areas. The myth probably originated with self-improvement hucksters in the early 1900s who wanted to convince people that they had yet not reached their full potential, Carroll figures. It also doesn’t jibe with the fact that our other organs run at full tilt.

Myth: You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Fact: “There is no medical evidence to suggest that you need that much water,” said Dr. Rachel Vreeman, a pediatrics research fellow at the university and co-author of the journal article. Vreeman thinks this myth can be traced back to a 1945 recommendation from the Nutrition Council that a person consume the equivalent of 8 glasses (64 ounces) of fluid a day. Over the years, “fluid” turned to water. But fruits and vegetables, plus coffee and other liquids, count.

Myth: Fingernails and hair grow after death.

Fact: Most physicians queried on this one initially thought it was true. Upon further reflection, they realized it’s impossible. Here’s what happens: “As the body’s skin is drying out, soft tissue, especially skin, is retracting,” Vreeman said. “The nails appear much more prominent as the skin dries out. The same is true, but less obvious, with hair. As the skin is shrinking back, the hair looks more prominent or sticks up a bit.”

Myth: Shaved hair grows back faster, coarser and darker.

Fact: A 1928 clinical trial compared hair growth in shaved patches to growth in non-shaved patches. The hair which replaced the shaved hair was no darker or thicker, and did not grow in faster. More recent studies have confirmed that one. Here’s the deal: When hair first comes in after being shaved, it grows with a blunt edge on top, Carroll and Vreeman explain. Over time, the blunt edge gets worn so it may seem thicker than it actually is. Hair that’s just emerging can be darker too, because it hasn’t been bleached by the sun.

Myth: Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight.

Fact: The researchers found no evidence that reading in dim light causes permanent eye damage. It can cause eye strain and temporarily decreased acuity, which subsides after rest.

Myth: Eating turkey makes you drowsy.

Fact: Even Carroll and Vreeman believed this one until they researched it. The thing is, a chemical in turkey called tryptophan is known to cause drowsiness. But turkey doesn’t contain any more of it than does chicken or beef. This myth is fueled by the fact that turkey is often eaten with a colossal holiday meal, often accompanied by alcohol — both things that will make you sleepy.

Myth: Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals.

Fact: There are no known cases of death related to this one. Cases of less-serious interference with hospital devices seem to be largely anecdotal, the researchers found. In one real study, mobile phones were found to interfere with 4 percent of devices, but only when the phone was within 3 feet of the device. A more recent study, this year, found no interference in 300 tests in 75 treatment rooms. To the contrary, when doctors use mobile phones, the improved communication means they make fewer mistakes.

“Whenever we talk about this work, doctors at first express disbelief that these things are not true,” said Vreeman said. “But after we carefully lay out medical evidence, they are very willing to accept that these beliefs are actually false.”

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