How Doctors Accurately Diagnose Asthma

The diagnosis of an asthma patient can depend on the symptoms presented, a detailed medical history, the physical examination done by the doctor and the laboratory tests done to confirm the diagnosis. For the most part the diagnosis of asthma can be fairly easy once the results come through; however, the diagnosis has an involved process before the eventual results are determined.

For asthmatic patients symptoms can include problems related to breathing such as difficulty taking a breathe, wheezy respiration, labored breathing during activities that require exertion, chest tightness and any obstruction of airflow. A true indicator for asthma can be seen when the person gasps for breath with a wheezy sound, which is a characteristic picture of asthma. In addition, having a detailed medical history that includes any history of allergy, family history of asthma, persistent coughs, cold and seasonal allergies can be contributing factors for asthmatic patient.

After the diagnosis process has begun laboratory tests are usually ordered to confirm that the patient has asthma and can include blood tests for ESR and eosinophil counts that could give indication of any allergic reaction or chest infection, as these are also contributory factors. The chest x-ray confirms the expansion of the lungs as well as any infections or other abnormalities in the lungs that can contribute to asthma. The groups of tests performed to diagnose asthma are Pulmonary Function Tests, otherwise known as Spirometry. In this test the degree and access of airflow obstruction is measured along with the confirmation of its severity. These are otherwise termed FEV1, FVC, and FEV1/FVC. The assessment of the reversibility of asthma can also be done through these tests. Carrying out tests of allergen detection through skin sensitivity tests is also a form of testing. These tests are of prolonged duration by which time the person has a fully established asthma. Still, if the allergens detection is accurate and the person needs to stay away from certain allergic substances, then asthmatic attack is preventable.

One of the most experienced symptoms of asthma is a wheezing sound as air enters the respiratory system. Many other chest diseases can present the same types of breathing problems as asthma; hence an accurate diagnosis is very essential. Spirometry is the confirmatory lung test for asthma. Once the diagnosis is made, the options open to the patient vary in range from no prescription, for very mild cases of asthma, to a full course of asthmatic preventatives to help those patients who have a severe asthmatic problem.

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Confessions Of An X-Medical Resident

Medicine is without a doubt one of the top most humanitarian and highly paying jobs that are out there. Doctors are experts of health and an integral part of the community and society. They are also high social status members of the community and are considered to be people whose opinions are worth money if not gold.

Having been brought up in a medical background, I was convinced that medicine is my natural path in life. My medical training began in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which due to the multiple issues of women’s and humans rights I will leave out of this talk. But, let’s just say it took a lot of dedication and thick skin to get through medical school there.

I was eventually granted a scholarship in the field of Anaesthesiology and came to Halifax, Canada, for my specialty training. Let me step back here and mention a fact I have found to be true no matter where you go in this world to practice medicine.

– Medicine was, is and will continue to be an old boys club; the degrees of severity may vary depending on the specialties chosen. I remember being told that women who want to have babies and families should not become doctors and should be librarians…this is in Canada!

– Medical residency training is in many ways comparable to military training as it is structured to

challenge the physical body, mental mind and emotional status over a course that may be as short as 2 years or as long as 7 years.

– Residents are the lowest of the lowest in the medical profession ladder; they are over worked, underpaid and ground to the bone. I remember working all night placing epidurals in labouring women as my staff anesthetist slept in the duty room as I fill out his billing forms for him to collect before he went home in the morning as I staid to finish up work.

– As residents (specialist in training) we are expected to endure abuse in many strange forms and not many of us are able or willing to speak out without being kicked out of the program we are in or at least suffering extensive repercussions. To say we have no rights is an understatement.

Having said all that I should also state that generalization is dangerous and there are exceptions I am sure. Remember I am an X resident, meaning I have discontinued my residency training. Since I have done that I have filed a report to the humans right commission about the racial discrimination, sexual , physical and verbal assault, lack of support and mental and emotional abuse I have been witness and subject to in my residency training.

Not many people understand what it really means to take the challenge of trying to become a specialist. In my experience, unless you are a cold hearted and extremely rigid and tough personality the residency training will most definitely be a short and traumatizing road.

People wonder why the most developed nations are approaching a crisis in the medical profession due to lack and shortage of physicians. As a result the workload doubles and in some cases triples on the existing ones.

An example that shocked me was increasing the pay of doctors who are willing to work after a full day of call (24 hr shift). Meaning encouraging doctors who have worked a full 24 hrs straight with little or no sleep to manage and care for sick people and their lives the next day. When a resident gets tired after a full 24 hr shift and starts to display signs of poor concentration or judgement they are not sent home, which the rules are against, instead they are humiliated and made to feel incompetent and given poor evaluations, and this is normal, common practice.

Another shocker was the overall female to female hostility that would range from passive aggressive behaviours from the superior female (usually a specialist, senior or nurse) towards the more junior female to cases of frank assault that are brushed under the carpet of residency training. In My case I had failed an entire rotation after being verbally attacked by one of the much older and erratic female operating room nurses in the middle of an emergency situation, I was labelled “Inappropriate for leadership roles” by the same well respected Anesthetist (mentor) who was witness to the entire incident.

As residents we are not expected to have a life outside of the hospital, we breathe, eat, sleep and entirely drown ourselves with hospital work and if your wife is having a baby or your son is sick….well then tough luck. And on top of that, you are not permitted to get sick either, but if you do …well then you are nothing but a non- dedicated slacker.

Hospitals are also known to be some of the most sexually charged and frustrated environments any one can be in. A typical O.R day in my experience includes sexual remarks or jokes flying back and forth as the surgery commences which I found embarrassing and shameful to be in.
My overall personal experience to achieve my honourable goal of helping people has left me jaded and questioning the entire medical profession. Why is this being tolerated and why are those who try to explain the defects viewed as abnormal and not team players?

I wish I could say that having made a decision to leave medicine upsets me but I cannot. I am very happy to have disengaged myself from the scandal that is called residency training which ultimately produces defective and damaged physicians who would only repeat history.

As I end this I would like to stress on the fact that I am not launching an attack on the medical world and I am not generalizing by any means. I am only stating the facts that I and many others know to be true but few develop the courage to talk about.

Medical specialty training as is will fail and will continue to produce marginally moral and humane doctors until radical changes take place. Until the powers to be start facing difficult facts and correcting the old boy’s ways of thinking there will always be someone like me who just could not take it anymore speaking.

In the end I do wish every medical student and resident luck. May you succeed in what I have failed at, and may you bring the winds of change to life.

Those of you who would like to know what I did for work since I stopped my medical specialty training, I Have started my personal health and wellness home based business and am blissfully happy .

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How to Make Money As a Medical Student Using a Blog

Did you know you can make decent money from medical blogging? It’s true. Hospitals, practitioners, health and wellness centers, and other medical related businesses are looking for medical bloggers. It’s one of the hottest areas within the blogging world. People are hungry for information on fitness and nutrition, cancer and other illnesses, and anything that’s medical related. They need information that’s to the point and not filled with medical lingo. On the flip side, hospitals and other medical facilities are looking for medical writers that understand the terminology to write lengthy articles and reports to use internally and within the medical field.

Medical students you’re in demand because of your expertise and hands-on experience. However, don’t sell yourself short and except assignments that are $10 or less. You can make a minimum of $.30 per word and as much as $2.00 per word. Use your knowledge and make a living from your medical blog and blogging.

How to Make Money As a Medical Student Using a Blog

Start your own blog. You can start your own blog using a blogging platform such as WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, or some other system. If you’re web savvy or know someone that is, you can always have a website built for you and incorporate a blog on it. However, it may be easier to take advantage of the many blogging platforms on the market.

Create a blog that’s easy to navigate and user friendly. Select a pleasing color scheme and ‘niche’ that will attract readers. Learn SEO and incorporate keywords and phrases that will increase web traffic to your site. Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool to research and find your keywords.

Sign up with affiliates. There are many affiliate programs out there. The most popular are CJ, Google Performics, Clickbank, and Linkshare. You can sign up for free and select affiliates that match your ‘niche’ or specialty. You may want to sign up with affiliates that are specifically for the medical industry. Remember to find ones that match your niche market.

Peruse job sites. You’re probably familiar with Craigslist but there are other job sites for freelance writers. Check out ‘Freelance Writing and Freelance’ because you’ll find listing for medical bloggers. The website “Writers Write’ has a section for medical writers. Also, look at websites that are specifically for the medical industry.

Hospitals and other medical facilities. Inquire at your local hospitals and other medical facilities to see if they need medical writers. You may want to try assisted living and nursing homes as well. Try health and wellness centers because they’ll look for medical writers to write on specific topics such as metabolism, heart rates, and other ‘wellness’ topics.

Become a member of the AMWA. The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) was founded in 1940. It’s the most professional organization for writers, editors, and other communicators of medical information. The student membership fee is $55 per year which is a good deal. Visit them at to learn more.

If you love writing and the medical field, marry your two loves! You can make decent money blogging if you’re willing to put in the time and effort fining the opportunities. Write thoughtful blog posts that readers will understand. Avoid using ‘medical lingo’ unless you’re required to do so. Let’s face it, medical school isn’t cheap and you can use the extra money. Begin a part-time career in medical blogging, and you’ll pay off your student loans in no time.

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The 5 Things That Every Medical Student Should Have

Being a medical student is a very challenging experience. While your other high school peers are already working on well paying jobs, you are still studying at school. You have no choice because in order to be a doctor, you need to endure years upon years of study. This is why it is very important that you make sure that you have everything you need during your study. You should not only think about what stethoscopes to get whether it is a Littmann Classic II SE or a LIttmann Master Cardiology. You should also see to it that you have the tools you need to make your studies easier and more efficient.

#1: A laptop computer with a widescreen monitor

This is the perfect study machine for medical students. This is because a widescreen monitor enables a medical student to see multiple documents at the same time. This helps maximize the amount of information that they take in. You can connect the laptop to the widescreen monitor when you are studying at home and then bring the laptop to school.

#2: A smartphone

You need a smartphone to get in touch with your classmates for study sessions. You also need the smartphone to go to the internet to research something on the fly. You can also use special smartphone apps in order to study while you are traveling to school.

#3: A decent bed

You need rest in order to recuperate from long hours of study. Unfortunately, you will have a limited number of hours to rest during medical school. Because of this, it is very important that you get a good quality rest. With a good bed, you can get quality sleep even if it’s just for a limited time.

#4: A comprehensive anatomy book

This is a very important reference. In fact, you can use it not only through your entire schooling but when you are actually working in the medical field. A good anatomy book will help you keep yourself familiar with the human body.

#5: A very good stethoscope

Last but not least, a stethoscope. A stethoscope is the best symbol of a medical professional. If people see you with a stethoscope around your neck, they will automatically assume that you are either a doctor or a nurse. This is the main reason why medical students really need to invest in a good stethoscope while they are still in school.

The list here don’t actually only apply to medical students; it also applies to PGIs (post graduate interns) and even resident physicians. Since these things will go a long way from the time you start med school up until your early years of practicing the medical profession, it’s smart to invest in quality items. Like for example, when it comes to stethoscopes you might want to consider investing in a 3M Littmann Classic or the Littmann cardiology stethoscope. This is because this particular brand is very durable and could really go a long way.

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Common Medical School Interview Questions

Being asked for interview at med school is a brilliant feeling. However, despite all your efforts securing this is just the beginning of a long hard process. It is common knowledge that medical school interview questions are hard; but through a bit of planning, there is no reason why they should prove to be a stumbling block.

It is important to understand that the questions are not designed to trip candidates up. Not exactly anyway; it is more to challenge prospective students and ensure that only appropriate and dedicated people get through the process. As such, it is important to understand that there are no right or wrong answers.

There are certain questions that tend to be used from school to school, and below are a few of the most common ones that candidates could expect to hear. There is also a little advice as to how to construct an answer; but it is important to understand that it is down to an individual to perform.

Why do you want to enter medical school? – This is a basic question, asked to ensure that the interviewee has a serious interest in medicine. The best thing here is to just be honest; your natural passion should come through and, if you do have any areas of interest; now would be a good time to touch upon any research you have already completed.

Why our school? – Another basic question and one you should not really need coaching on. It is likely, (and expected), that you have researched them well; so show this. Clearly linking what you respect about them to how and what you want to learn.

What are your best qualities? – A tough question, all it really needs is an honest appraisal of why you feel you are suited to the medical profession. Spend some time before interview to really analyze yourself, and garner the help of friends, colleagues and family in order they can tell you what areas you are strong in.

Describe your worst qualities? – Possibly one of the toughest questions that could ever be asked. Again, honesty is key and, an absolute no is to suggest you do not have any; we all do! Explain what areas you are weak in, and importantly, how you are confronting these and righting them. Again, seek the consul of those around you for advice.

These are just a tiny fraction of questions you are likely to be asked and, it is likely even these could be asked in different ways. The secret to success with medical school interview questions is to prepare for them; practice for them, keep answers brief and to the point, and be prepared for that curve ball.

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The Medical School Admission Process

rospective students can get confused by the medical school admissions process and have no where to turn for help. The admissions requirements for PhD programs are very similar to med school admissions. However, if you have questions about a certain part of the med school application process, it is always best to consult the most recent edition of the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) book and then the school directly. There are some simple steps to applying for med school and they are outlined below.

What Do Medical Schools Look For in a Candidate

Medical school faculties have a responsibility to society to matriculate and graduate the best possible physicians, so admission to medical school is offered to those who present the highest qualifications for the study and practice of medicine. Medical schools look for candidates who have integrity, leadership experience, motivation, curiosity, imagination, personality, volunteer experience, and commitment. Medical schools want to see grades for your premedical requirements.

Also, medical schools seek individuals who are well-rounded academically. (Also note that some medical school requirements vary so be sure to check out each school’s requirements carefully before you apply.) In regard to which major you choose, while it is true that many students major in the sciences, medical schools tell us that it is fine to major in whatever you like. While most MIT undergrad premedical students major in the sciences, only 44% of the class of 2001 majored solely in Biology. Medical school Admissions Deans have said that they are very pleased to see humanities majors or any other major applying to their schools.

Medical School Admission Interview

After you fill out your application you will have to go to the school for an interview. Your med school admission interview will likely involve questions about contemporary ethical or economic problems encountered by physicians. They will also ask you about your current knowledge about the field of medicine. For example, medical school admission committees will expect applicants to have tested their suitability for a medical career by seeking firsthand medical exposure in hospitals, clinics, or doctor’s offices.


First, though, even before you apply, you need to take the MCAT exam, the Medical College Admission Test, and then apply to medical school through AMCAS, the American Medical College Application Service. Med schools use a common application process that is administered by AMCAS, a division of the American Association of Medical Schools. The AMCAS application provides medical schools with enough information to make an initial screening; it includes a modified undergraduate transcript, science and overall GPAs, MCAT scores, information about extracurricular activities, and a short personal comment. Rising tuition costs, decreasing physician salaries, a troubled medical system, and increased costs of malpractice insurance are all factors that have affected recent applicant pools, and they are leading many prospective students to reconsider medical careers.

Whereas students can theoretically decide on a whim to apply to other types of graduate and professional programs, med school usually requires at least some degree of specific undergraduate preparation. In theory, it is easier to get into medical school-and into a choice residency-now than ever before, simply because there are fewer applicants for each open slot. However, there are still about twice as many applicants as there are open spaces, and med schools are still attracting first-rate students. The competition is still stiff, and med schools have in no way lowered their expectations for the caliber of students they wish to enroll.

The people who excel in medicine are those who are happy spending every waking moment thinking about medicine – and those are precisely the kind of people that medical schools are looking for. So if you’re interested in becoming a medical doctor, be prepared to make huge sacrifices, first in medical school and then later in your internship and residency. Even when you’re not working directly with patients, you will be spending a significant amount of time as a doctor reading and staying current in new medical techniques and research. Best of luck with your medical school applications.

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Choosing the Right Medical School

Ask any high school biology student if they ever have dreamt to be a doctor, I am sure the majority of the answers would be yes. And why not? It is an honorable profession that puts you among the highest earners among your peers. However, the journey to be a doctor is a long and arduous one. I say long, without any reservation. Students in medicine spend at least 4 years in medical college and a further 5 or more years to do their medical specialization or residency.

Entering medical school is not a stroll in the park either. It is a lot of work. In addition to having good academic grades, there are essays to write, interview sessions to attend and also, entrance examinations to prepare for.

So, how do one choose a suitable medical school?

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right medical school:

1. Academic Reputation

Top medicine institutes often attract the most talented academia, researchers and clinician-scientists. Treating diseases and finding the right cures for ailments require diagnostic skills and an in-depth knowledge of the most current medical science. Medical students will be able to learn the latest by working closely with the best minds in the field.

2. Quality of Research

Many of today’s problems require innovative solutions. Scientific and technological improvements have allowed medical science to expand to new frontiers, resulting in new treatments. Medical schools with a strong culture in quality research have contributed tremendously to the advancement in medicine.

3. Scholarships and Financial Aids

The tuition fee for a medical course is very high. A four-year program can amount to US $160,000. This amount does not include board and lodging. It is important to look for institutions that are able to provide scholarships and financial aids for students. Students planning to study medicine should also forget about working part-time. Time is a rare commodity when you are a medical student.

4. Know More about the School

Surprisingly, many people are still getting information about the medical schools from inappropriate sources. While online forums may be a good place to start, it is difficult to ascertain if the opinions are unbiased. It is always better to speak to the admissions officers from the schools.

If you have a passion in medicine and enjoy working with patients and finding cures for diseases, a career in medicine is certainly fulfilling. It is important to plan ahead and prepare yourself well for medical school. Lastly, spend some time talking to the admissions officers from the schools, this would help you in deciding if the school is suitable for you.

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