Wellness and Health

Compassion in Health Care: Does it Really Matter?

com·?pas·?sion | \ k?m-?pa-sh?n  \

: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. 

If you have completed the extensive education required of you to become a board-certified nurse or physician, compassion may be a characteristic that you assume you have. Perhaps when you first began your educational journey, you did. Maybe you still do, or think you do. According to studies, it isn’t just a nice thing for a medical professional to be nice. It’s essential to patient outcomes. Here, we discuss what research has to say about this, and how cadaver training fits into this critical aspect of practice. 

In their book Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes a Difference,” physician-scientist team Stephen Trzeciak and Anthony Mazzarelli discuss the various reasons why patients may choose healthcare providers based on their “vibe”of kindness over their educational background. Additionally, their extensive research proves to those who have chosen to enter the field of medicine, even first-responders, that their attitude toward their patients matters a great deal. 
Not Only Meaningful, But Measurable
The role of a healthcare provider is to diagnose and treat. Quickly. The healthcare system has become quite concerned with the bottom line. Treat patients so they do not  over-use healthcare services. This approach to healthcare may be far out of alignment with exceptional caring. It may also be backfiring. A review of case studies has shown that patients who had compassionate, patient-centered care accrued approximately 50 percent lower medical expenses, and were less likely to use excessive healthcare services than patients whose doctors were somewhat impersonal. 

Impersonal could be the attribute assigned to a healthcare provider suffering from depersonalization. One one hand, seeing patients as objects rather than  human beings could be […]

October 15th, 2021|Medical Education, Wellness and Health|Comments Off on Compassion in Health Care: Does it Really Matter?|
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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 […]

May 15th, 2020|Wellness and Health|Comments Off on Telemedicine: How Can We Thrive in The New Face of Medicine?|

Managing Pain in the Face of an Opioid Crisis

The medical community has long appreciated the value of opioid medications. The poppy plant was first used medicinally in 3400 BC and continued to spread from ancient Mesopotamia and Sumer to the rest of the world. Known for powerful analgesic properties, opioid medication also became synonymous with addition. This is not new. German physician Dr. Eduard Levinstein was the first to describe the downside to the popular opiate Morphine. That was in 1877.

If you practice medicine today, you know that we are in a dire situation when it comes to the use of opioids to treat pain. Patients suffering from chronic pain rely on their physicians for relief. They trust that their physicians know or are trying to discover ways to manage pain; to help them regain an adequate quality of life. The use of opioids is controversial not only for doctors but also for their patients, who may be apprehensive to take a drug for fear of addiction. To that end, pain management continues to be a challenge within the medical community.

At Med Ed Labs, we are committed to the progress of various areas of medicine. Pain management, in the face of the current opioid crisis, is an area of importance. Fortunately, it is an area in which progress is being made. We are proud to be involved in this transition from drug therapies to those that are drug-free. In particular, we offer training in cutting-edge modalities such as non-pharmacologic neuromodulation via spinal cord stimulation (SCS).

Neuromodulation is a nonpharmacologic therapy that suppresses the activity of the nervous system for the treatment of pain. The technique in general, and spinal cord stimulation, in particular, has become an efficient and widely used alternative for physicians […]

June 15th, 2019|Medical Education, Wellness and Health|Comments Off on Managing Pain in the Face of an Opioid Crisis|

It’s Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. With Type I and Type II diabetes affecting more than 30 million Americans, and Type II diabetes making up over 90% of diagnosed cases, it’s safe to say that this chronic health condition is a medical crisis for folks in our country. However, because it is so common and not as immediately life-threatening as cancer, diabetes does not get the attention it deserves. We want to shed some light on the various ways in which abnormal blood sugar levels can degrade just about every part of the body.
The Circulatory System
Multiple studies have confirmed that elevated blood sugar can damage large and small blood vessels throughout the body. This may be referred to as macrovascular disease or microvascular disease. Complications of diabetes-related blood vessel damage include stroke, heart attack, vein disease, and more. Because the blood vessels carry oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body, circulatory issues secondary to diabetes may cause nerve, kidney, and eye problems. More recent research even points to diabetes as a potential contributing factor to erectile dysfunction.
The Cardiovascular System
The cardiovascular system is affected when excess sugar in the blood causes blood vessels to become more rigid. The loss of elasticity in the blood vessels leads to the accumulation of fatty deposits, which narrows the blood vessels and arteries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults with diabetes have a 200 to 400% higher risk for heart disease and stroke as do people with normal blood sugar levels.
The Nervous System
It is well-known that uncontrolled diabetes creates a risk for nerve damage, or neuropathy. This, like many other conditions, relates to the degradation of healthy blood vessels secondary to diabetes. The Centers […]

November 15th, 2018|Wellness and Health|Comments Off on It’s Diabetes Awareness Month|

It’s That Time of Year, So Let’s Talk Resolutions

In the medical profession, a lot of time may be spent encouraging patients toward their health and wellness goals. At no time does this tendency occur more than during a transition from one year to the next. Every year, we get sucked into the age-old trend of setting New Year’s Resolutions. And every year, at some point, more than 90% of us get tripped up. Research suggests that only an elite 8% of us resolution makers achieve our intention.

Here, we want to list a few ways that you can reach success with your goals for 2018.

Get specific. Don’t just say “I’m going to get in better shape,” outline what that entails. Are you going to lose that last 10 pounds? Is there a clothing size you’re going to fit into? What about your professional goals? Do you want to increase the number of patients you see each month? By how much?
Get out your measuring stick. What isn’t measured won’t be changed – at least not by much. For us to achieve success, we must create a feedback loop. This can serve to motivate us and give us a point of reference when we need to adjust our efforts.
Practice patience. Goal-setting is a practice in patience because we seldom progress in clear linear fashion. For change to last, it will take time. Initial success doesn’t mean long-term success, and initial roadblocks don’t mean failure is certain. Stay with your goals and continue measuring and adjusting as needed.
Put it on the calendar. Finding time to do anything new can be an enormous challenge. It’s so easy to say we just “can’t find the time.” The truth is, success comes from making the […]

December 15th, 2017|Wellness and Health|Comments Off on It’s That Time of Year, So Let’s Talk Resolutions|

A Health Reminder We Could All Use

If you’re scientific at all, you probably know that the light that the average person routinely observes is not white on its own. White light is formed when the complete collection of hues – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet – join together. These colors meet on the retina, where clear vision should then occur. We bring up the topic of light, specifically, the wavelengths of light, not to titillate your trivia knowledge, but because we have become far too accustomed to artificial lighting, and this could be damaging to all of us.

Where there is light, there is energy. But not all light emits the same measure of energy. Red light, or yellow light, due to perceived brightness, may seem more energetically charged and thus more taxing on the eyes. Not so. If you are familiar with blue light and its wavelengths, you may recognize this cool hue as some of the most energetic. As the range of high-energy output, blue light presents very real hazards; and yet, it is blue light that has gradually taken over as an energy-efficient choice.

Most of our exposure to blue light will be when we are outdoors under the UV rays of the sun. However, when we are outdoors during the day, most of us protect our eyes behind tinted lenses. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that the blue light in sunshine is actually beneficial. The wavelengths of blue in sunlight are necessary to support the circadian rhythm we should all listen to. Naturally, blue light wakes up the brain and helps us stay alert. And there is where the downfall happens.
We’ve Gone Against the Grain
Historically, humans have gone with the grain of nature. As we have […]

July 15th, 2017|Wellness and Health|Comments Off on A Health Reminder We Could All Use|

What is on the Horizon for Skin Cancer Screenings?

Dermatologists understand the immense value of those routine skin cancer exams, even if patients are still catching on. The more consumers have learned that early detection is the X-Factor in the successful treatment of various health conditions, the more scientists have begun researching ways to help doctors and patients attain that goal.

Skin cancer is an interesting condition in that, although it is the most common form of cancer, and although awareness in prevention has increased, there is still a vast valley that needs to be bridged. Patients are not getting the screenings that could save them from unnecessary and extensive treatments. The fear of hearing that they have skin cancer is standing in the way of the early diagnosis and treatment that could save their life. The times, they are changing, though. Now, it seems there is new technology on the horizon that could be a real game-changer for skin cancer detection.

Recent research out of Stanford University is showing just how advanced science has become. Computer scientists, not health providers, have made significant steps forward in the development of a high-tech, albeit convenient, method of assessing suspicious growths. Ultimately, this new research in algorithms related to skin cancer could come down to a simple smartphone app.

The study, which can be read in a January 2017 issue of Nature, suggests that the artificial intelligence developed by Stanford scientists is as accurate as the current methodology of assessing abnormal cells using a dermatoscope. It is as if the visual processing of this artificial intelligence essentially puts another set of eyes onto the issue of skin cancer; a set of “eyes” that consumers may reach for before calling their dermatologist.

Stay in the Know

We cannot say that we aren’t […]

March 15th, 2017|Wellness and Health|Comments Off on What is on the Horizon for Skin Cancer Screenings?|

Patients Need to Know the Benefits of Low Impact Exercise

We talk a lot about health and wellness, but sometimes it is in vague terms. Eat less fat. Eat more fat. Exercise, but not too much or you’ll hurt yourself. What is right? In fact, it may all be right. Every patients is a unique individual, and that means that the savvy healthcare provider will develop an arsenal of information from which to draw when providing personal care. Here, we will discuss the value of low impact exercise for a large majority of people.

What is Low Impact Exercise?

To exercise with low impact technically means that one foot is always on the floor. We do this when we walk, when we hike, when we do yoga, and even when we dance. This way of exercising is often associated with older folks. However, studies show that low impact workouts offer significant benefits to adults of all ages. These include:

Healthier joints. We are learning more and more how crucial it is to take care of our joints earlier in life so they continue to function well later in life, when the aging process naturally affects their lubrication and mobility. Low impact exercise decreases the blunt force on joints in the knees and feet, and possibly even in the hips.
Healthier weight. Let’s face it, the person whose joints are chronically stiff and uncomfortable is the person who may not have a desire to exercise. This could lead them to decrease their caloric intake in order to lose or maintain a healthy weight. We know that 3500 calories need to be burned in order to lose a pound. Without exercise, that would equate to a 700 calorie deficit each day. Not very healthy. Add in an hour of […]

December 15th, 2016|Wellness and Health|Comments Off on Patients Need to Know the Benefits of Low Impact Exercise|

What Is Popular In The Plastic Surgery World Today?

An important part of being a medical professional is staying up to date with recent technologies, advancements, and trends. Some medical practices are interested in offering cosmetic procedures to improve business and offer patients more options. Keep reading to learn more about popular cosmetic procedures.
Cosmetic Surgical Procedures
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures in 2014 were:

Breast Augmentation—a procedure that uses implants to increase the size of the breasts.
Nose Reshaping—often called rhinoplasty. This procedure reshapes the nose to create a more pleasing appearance. In some cases this procedure can also be used to correct a deviated septum.
Liposuction—a procedure that removes small pockets of fat from specific areas of the body.
Eyelid surgery—often called blepharoplasty. This procedure repairs the eyelid and corrects sagging eyelids that may impair vision or detract from someone’s appearance.
Facelift—a procedure that moves the underlying tissues of the face and refits the skin in order to create a younger appearance with fewer wrinkles.

Minimally-Invasive Cosmetic Procedures
Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were also popular in 2014. The most popular procedures were:

Botulinum Toxin Type A Treatments— This procedure is usually referred to as Botox, but there are also other injectable treatments that use the same ingredient. These injections are primarily used to temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Soft tissue fillers—Injectable fillers can be used to fill in deep creases and restore fullness to the face.
Chemical Peel—a procedure used to remove dead skin and promote new growth.
Laser hair removal—a procedure to remove body hair with long lasting results.
Microdermabrasion—another procedure used to remove dead skin and stimulate growth.

Adding one or more of these services to your practice could improve business, or help your […]

October 15th, 2015|Wellness and Health|Comments Off on What Is Popular In The Plastic Surgery World Today?|