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Why Cadavers are Integral to Quality Medical Training

Human cadaver training has provided meaningful service to medical students for many years. The approach to educating new physicians, as well as those with many years under their belts, may have changed over time thanks to new technologies, but this does not diminish the value of the occasional cadaver lab. Here, we discuss the reasons that cadaver training continues to be the gold standard and why this may never change.

Hands-on experience is vital to good medicine. Yes, discussion and nomenclature are necessary. However, practicing medicine requires touch. It requires knowledge of the variations in human anatomy from one person to another. This is especially vital for surgeons and is also necessary for those developing or using medical devices. Cadaver labs coupled with lecture brings learning full-circle.
No two bodies are the same. Of course, every medical student and physician knows this. But sometimes it is forgotten in the day to day realities of medical practice. Cadaver labs remind medical professionals that every body looks different and responds differently to medical therapies and that these nuances must be considered to accomplish the best patient outcomes.
Cadavers put clinicians face-to-face with a wide variety of pathologies in an educational setting. It isn’t enough to know the natural, normal anatomy of the body, medical providers must also know pathology and how it can look different in each patient.
Appreciation for the human body. Interestingly, cadaver training has been said to increase medical students’ appreciation for donations made to science. Moreover, clinical practice utilizing cadavers reminds practitioners that the human body deserves respect and gentleness at all times, perhaps especially when dealing with disease. In this sense, cadavers can enhance compassionate care.

Where Cadavers Come From
Students understand that […]

Continued Education is Critical During Times of Crisis

It’s safe to say that the emergence of COVID-19 has created a worldwide crisis. Doctors and researchers all around the world have massively shifted gears, and it does not seem as though we will go back to what has been normal for most of our lives. We can look at a crisis like this as unfortunate, which they are on some level, or we can look for the opportunity within them. The COVID-19 crisis is presenting the medical profession with the opportunity to use technology in entirely new ways, and we’re here for it.

Technology has played an increasingly important role in medicine in recent years. However, as we have stated many times, there is no substitute for in-person didactic lectures and hands-on training. These educational models have always been and will continue to be a cornerstone of medical education for the foreseeable future. Given the recent changes brought about by the novel coronavirus, large in-person conferences have gone to the wayside. Not forever, but for now. Fortunately, new modalities have emerged to fill in the gaps.

In a relatively short time, educators have found ways to circumvent our current challenges. E-learning platforms have been developed, patient videoconferencing has been established in practices around the world, and web meetings and live streams have been scheduled to maintain the high standards of medicine. We are proud to participate in this new wave of educational technology to continue empowering physicians and first responders with the tools they need to serve their patients well.
What the Pandemic is Teaching Us All
Pandemics are not the norm. The current virus is not an event we were prepared to face. Still, we have seen medical residents, seasoned physicians, and other healthcare personnel come […]

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    We’re Staying Current in This Changing Face of Healthcare Training

We’re Staying Current in This Changing Face of Healthcare Training

Historically, healthcare has been performed in person. Doctors established practices that devoted time to face-to-face contact. They also maintained their skills by attending in-person, live medical trainings. We have been proud to engage with physicians, medical professionals, and first-responders all around the country as a leading medical lab facility. In our current global situation, we see no reason for the importance of diverse medical training to end. This is why we have quickly shifted to a new area of training at Med Ed Labs: live streaming.
What Can Live Streaming Accomplish?
There is not a physician in practice today who has experienced such an unprecedented health crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to rethink medical training, and we believe we’ve done it well. Live streaming is a creative approach to necessary continued education that prevents the spread of illness among our valued medical community. Rather than building mobile facilities for attendees to enter in person, our live streams allow physicians to host various trainings in your office, your hometown, in one of our affiliated facilities, or a hotel setting. Based out of one of these labs, the course is then streamed to trainees watching from their independent offices or from home.
Live Streaming Offers Several Benefits
We understand that there is no substitute for face-to-face interactions. The associations with larger groups can enhance the learning experience for many professionals. However, even a pandemic cannot override the necessity that physicians have the most up-to-date skills. At some point, practice will return to normal. We are committed to helping you be ready. Regardless of the restrictions on large gatherings, physicians must have access to medical education. Live streaming provides for that need without the associated risks.

While the feel of […]

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    Live Streaming is Now Available! Here’s why More Doctors are Engaging.

Live Streaming is Now Available! Here’s why More Doctors are Engaging.

Life is much different today than it was a few months ago. Doctors are having to navigate new ways of providing the highest-possible standard of care while minimizing face-to-face patient contact. Additionally, doctors and other medical personnel must continue to advance their skills in whatever way possible. At this time, the live streaming is the way. We are proud to offer live streaming that includes one doctor, one assistant, and all of the planning done for continued learning. Here, we discuss why more doctors are engaging in this model.

Live streaming allows attendees to consume content “live” or as a recording, creating more accessibility for more professionals. Greater accessibility to medical content on one’s own schedule opens the door for more attendees and a wider reach for necessary training.
Live streaming may incur lower costs than in-person trainings that require facility fees as well as equipment fees. Software platforms are currently an affordable alternative to on-site options.
Attendees of live stream labs and courses can engage in real-time when participating at the time of the event. Communication and comprehension need not diminish in the absence of face-to-face interaction.
The content of the live stream may be repurposed. Just like all video content, live stream medical labs may be repurposed for additional usage. Examples include transforming the live video into an infographic or YouTube video.

Live streaming was becoming a powerful channel for content delivery before it became necessary to social distance. Now that we must work together to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, doctors and training organizations are rethinking their models of practice. Just like doctors are transforming their practices to facilitate care without unnecessary physical contact, so are we. We have put […]

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    How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?

How Do Healthcare Providers Build and Retain Patient Trust in The Time of Technology?

The doctor-patient relationship is one that we don’t hear about at dinner parties or on the news. It may not be a topic that is discussed nearly often enough even in professional circles. It should be. Patients rely on their physicians to help them make important, sometimes life-saving decisions about their health. To provide the highest quality advice and treatment, patients must be honest with their physicians. In recent years, research has indicated erosion in the trust that patients have in their doctors. There may be several reasons for this that are outside of the control of the medical system. However, there are steps that healthcare providers can take to ensure they are mindfully building trust in their patients. There may be no time in our lives when this may be more important.
Expectations are Everything
According to recent research, approximately 65 percent of patients appreciate the option to interact with their healthcare providers through smartphones and other devices. This is beneficial, seeing that telemedicine may be the future of healthcare. While the majority of patients do not mind skipping their trip to the doctor’s office, they do expect the same customer service they would receive from other service providers, such as their bank or a hotel. When discussing health, this expectation of service is even more vital to optimal outcomes.

What patients want from their doctors includes:

Authenticity and transparency. If you do not have a clear answer for a patient, they want to know that. It is okay to be uncertain, as long as patients are told the truth. Patients understand their doctors are humans, too, and that they may not have all the answers.
Active listening. With the emergence of immediate reporting and digital […]

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    Telemedicine: How Can We Thrive in The New Face of Medicine?

Telemedicine: How Can We Thrive in The New Face of Medicine?

Medicine has changed quite a lot throughout history. These changes have resulted in better health and more longevity for most people. Where, in the 1800s, the life expectancy was only 36, most adults today are expected to live about 80 years. This is a testament to the innovation of the 20th century. Now, we’re in the midst of change once again. This time, one of the major advances is the use of telemedicine. With many doctors transitioning, it is important that we discuss matters beyond the technical aspects of the new face of medicine, such as how doctors and their patients can connect well in the absence of face-to-face contact that exhibits intuition and compassion.

The medical profession is undoubtedly one of the most highly regarded in history. Becoming a physician or nurse takes immense intelligence, not to mention grit to complete rigorous studies. These characteristics are foundational to a career in medicine, yes, but there’s more. There are soft skills that doctors also need, especially when in-person contact is blunted.
What Characteristics Do Doctors Need in the Possible New Model of Medicine?
There are three factors that determine the overall efficacy of telemedicine. These include trust, honesty, and technology.

Trust can be established by relaying credentials, philosophy, and experience. The more a patient trusts their doctor, the more honest they will be about their symptoms.
Honesty is vital to reaching an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. Patients may be reluctant to discuss the extent of their symptoms, which puts the burden of discernment on the physician. Good observational and communication skills can facilitate better interaction in person as well as through technology.
Technology facilitates efficacy in telemedicine by allowing physicians to see their patients on video […]

There is More to Cadaver Training than You May Realize

For hundreds of years, the medical community has recognized the value of anatomy as an integral component of education. Without the study of anatomy, a healthcare professional, including a paramedic or other first responder, may have a more difficult time retaining clinical knowledge and skills. To support academic development, medical institutions have implemented various techniques revolving around anatomy and physiology. In our tech-savvy society, virtual reality techniques have become commonplace. For a more realistic application, some institutions have implemented the use of plastic models. Respectfully, we argue that neither can adequately prepare a medical professional for what they may face on the job; that anything less than cadaver training is lacking.

The cadaveric component of institutional learning provides students with the tactile and visual experience of human anatomical structures. It also exposes students to the innate variability that exists in human morphology. No less important, exposure to human cadavers takes students beyond the conceptual experience of dissection before beginning surgical rotations.
Anatomy is Only One Aspect of Dissection Skills
Any healthcare professional who has been on the job for a length of time can attest to the psychological and emotional response that may occur when exposed to human cadavers. Numerous med students have documented their reaction to working with human cadavers, specifically noting their emotional – and sometimes physical – experience. Some of these experiences are positive and some are negative. Approximately 7% of first-year med students report experiencing recurring images of their cadaver specimens post dissection. As many as 5% experience intrusive images that affect learning capacity. This is not something we should look at as a negative aspect of cadaver lab experiences.

Educational and cognitive psychology teaches us that emotions can directly affect how an individual […]

The Ever-Changing Face of Medicine

All human achievement throughout history is marked by trial and error. The healthcare industry is not immune to this way of advancing. In this arena, “error” relates to our striving to solve what ails the global community. “Mistakes,” or trial, is often the jumping-off point to new hope. Every so often, forward progress shakes the foundation of what we once believed was impossible or, in many cases, what we had never even considered possible. In this way, trial and error are cornerstones to success. Here, we discuss a few ways that healthcare is being revolutionized at the moment.
3D Printing
3D printing is being used in a variety of ways in the healthcare industry. Current applications include research, prototyping, customization, and manufacturing. This technology is allowing surgeons to replicate patient-specific organs for procedure preparation, research, and to customize prosthetic limbs and organs to be used in transplant surgeries. Recently, a 3D printed replica of a human lung was created by a team of bioengineers at the University of Washington and Rice University. During its testing phase, this manmade lung maintained normal blood pressure and simulated breathing.
Smart Technology
Once the development of smart technologies began, there has been no going back. Innovative apps and technologies have consistently driven reform within the healthcare industry, support patient-centered care. Today, smart devices perform a variety of tasks, from reminding patients of upcoming appointments to tracking medication, heart rate, blood pressure, and several other vital aspects of a patient’s health and healthcare record. Providing updates in real-time and accessible by the primary care physician, modern technology is both HIPAA compliant and convenient.
Telemedicine
Telemedicine is expanding our ability to provide patients with the level of care they need when they need it and in […]

Being an Organ Donor vs. Whole Body Donation

Many people are interested in participating in their local, state-wide organ donation program. To be an organ donor is to make a meaningful contribution toward the tremendous need our country has for organ donations. At this time, more than 100,000 people are waiting for some type of organ donation. According to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, there are currently more than 150 million registered donors in our country. However, many registrants do not qualify for donation at the time of their death. Qualification is determined by the cause of death and thorough medical history and evaluation by the local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO).

Being an organ donor creates the potential to save up to 8 lives and to affect many more. This is made possible by the prompt use of organs such as the heart, kidneys, pancreas, small bowel, liver, and lungs. Tissue donations may include tendons, veins, skin, bones, heart valves, and eyes. While the need for organ donation cannot be overstated, there is also a strong demand for whole-body donation.
What is Whole Body Donation?
Whole-body donation differs from organ donation in that the majority of the human cadaver is utilized for medical training.

A person can often be both an organ donor and a whole-body donor. After vital organs are used for transplantation, remains provide a necessary and vital function to medical training facilities. Med Ed Labs is a leading bioskills training facility with nationwide labs designed to further medical research, training, and development.

The criteria for organ donation may differ among various organizations. In many cases, patients who have kidney or liver disease, lung or heart disease or cancer may not qualify for organ donation upon death. The criteria for whole body donation […]

Robotics are Changing The Future of Urology

In recent medical history, many surgical procedures have evolved from open techniques to those that are minimally invasive. This is largely due to the advent of robotics. The first robotic-assisted surgery was performed in 1985, and the development of the popular da Vinci Surgery System occurred 15 years later. Since that time, nearly twenty years of continuous development has taken place. Now, many surgeons and patients prefer the robotic route for its smaller incisions and more predictable outcomes. At one time, robotic-assisted procedures were exclusive to cardiothoracic procedures. Now, more than half of urologic and gynecological procedures also rely on robotics. As a result, more physicians and residents are interested in training in it.

Robotics in Urology
Urology has historically been a technologically innovative field of medicine. The advantages of robotics have been demonstrated in numerous procedures, particularly cases of urologic cancers. These include:

Robotic Prostatectomy. Robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy is preferable because it is considered a nerve-sparing, minimally invasive procedure. The precision of robotics is also associated with greater preservation of erectile function and reduced bleeding and scarring. Before robotics, radical prostatectomy was performed using open or laparoscopic techniques. At this time, robotic-assisted surgery is the new standard.
Robotic Partial Nephrectomy. In the performance of partial or total nephrectomy, robotics consistently achieves shorter operative and recovery times. Patients are typically released from the hospital sooner due to the precision of robotic-assisted surgery. The use of robotic and laparoscopic techniques has largely eliminated the need for partial rib dissections to complete the partial or total nephrectomy.
Radical Cystectomy including Intracorporeal Diversions. Regardless of technique, this procedure remains complex. However, the use of robotics has improved efficiency and patient outcomes, achieving shorter hospital stays, reduced pain, and less […]

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