The journey of one thousand miles begins with one small step. For a doctor, that journey begins with a foolish/brave/half-informed/pseudo-conscious decision to pursue the Pre-Med path in college. via Pocket
Zionsville’s Jeff and Tiernae Buttars surrendered their son William to the most radical procedure in neurosurgery. The grim choice to remove a portion of his brain left everyone changed. Inhale. Exhale. Jeff Buttars looked around the tiny pre-surgical room and reminded himself to keep breathing. via Pocket
It’s no secret now that modern cameras have taken photographers to new heights with their ability to shoot at and above ISO 1600. via Pocket
SMS (“Stanford Medical School”) Unplugged was recently launched as a forum for students to chronicle their experiences in medical school. The student-penned entries appear on Scope once a week; the entire blog series can be found in the SMS Unplugged category. via Pocket
Save your tears for Tiny Tim. A boom in sophisticated prostheses has created a most unlikely by-product: envy. There are many advantages to having your leg amputated. via Pocket
Why do some innovations spread so swiftly and others so slowly? Consider the very different trajectories of surgical anesthesia and antiseptics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century. The first public demonstration of anesthesia was in 1846. via Pocket
In December, Moderna Therapeutics announced that it had pioneered a technology that would revolutionize the practice of medicine and disrupt the pharmaceutical industry. But biotech startups have been making similar promises for decades, and the revolution has yet to arrive. via Pocket
A few weeks ago, I had written at length about some of the biggest healthcare challenges we face as a nation; everything from private healthcare costs, the quirky medical education system, and the faltering standards of government health services. It’s now election season here in India, and the government has found itself rushing to pass some last minute laws.
One of these laws talks about the compulsory rural posting, an issue that I had touched on in that article. The rural posting requirement is basically a one year long compulsory stint, at a small public health care facility. The purpose of it all is to ensure citizens in far flung corners of the country, receive a minimal, but at many times life saving amount of healthcare.
The government will on the 28th of this month, pass the rural posting law into effect. An unexpected addendum to this proposal however, was an increase in the internship duration from 1 year to 2 years. To see the government disregard us to the extent that it didn’t even think it was necessary to formally announce it, is disheartening to say the least. Anyway, in a matter of less than a fortnight, medical students around the country would have come to the stunning realisation, that their 5.5 year courses are now to be extended to a total of 7.5 years.… Contd.
I am writing to say goodbye.
Almost 3 years ago I started this blog with no idea what it would turn in to. Since then I have shared some of my greatest victories and toughest losses. But due to life circumstances my reign as TNQD is coming to an end.
Don’t worry though, TheNotQuiteDoctor is not…
08 February 2014
Power from Within
When the battery dies in an artificial pacemaker, the patient has to go under the knife to get a replacement. Not for much longer, perhaps, as scientists have developed a flexible energy-harvesting device (pictured here on a cow’s heart) that converts the movement of organs into electrical energy, which is then stored in a rechargeable micro-battery. The device relies on thin ribbons of a man-made compound called lead zirconate titanate, which has a piezoelectric effect – meaning that it accumulates electrical charge in response to mechanical stress. When the bendy generator was tested in living cows, sheep and pigs, it generated enough juice to power a human pacemaker. For the moment, there are still concerns that the heart could be poisoned if the lead-containing compound leaks. But if scientists can find a non-toxic piezoelectric material with similar efficiency, the days of surgical procedures to change a battery may be numbered.
Written by Daniel Cossins