March 3, 2013

Choosing Wisely, Breaking a Mold

www.choosingwisely.org

For many people, going to the doctor comes with the expectation of getting a test done and a medication prescribed. But study after study show that more care does not mean better care. And too much care is having a real impact on our healthcare system and our wellbeing. Continue reading

March 30, 2012

Obesity costly for Georgia

I recently wrote this story for the Georgia Public health News Bureau, and my classmate Marcie McClellan produced an accompanying video. Obesity is a hot button issue right now in the media, particularly in Georgia. No matter what you think of anti-obesity campaigns or the best way to deal with the obesity epidemic, we can all agree that the country’s rising weight is costly — and not just for the obese individual.

Direct medical costs associated with going to the doctor and indirect costs like lost productivity and disability affect everyone. One way Georgia businesses are trying to gain control of this problem is by implementing workplace wellness programs, and the state is beginning to fund initiatives geared toward healthier lifestyles for children and adults alike.

Check out the story at Like the Dew or Georgia Health News.

February 17, 2012

HMJ at UGA

There’s a great video up on the UGA HMJ website describing the Knight Foundation’s health and medical journalism program at UGA, of which I am a proud student. We prove every day that health journalism isn’t just about fitness and dieting. Congrats to the lovely ladies in my cohort (Robyn Abree, Jessika Boedeker, Marcie McClellan, Chelsea Toledo and Felicia Harris) and thank you to the professor who has had so much influence on my life and career, Pat Thomas.

December 12, 2011

Public health and medicine go hand-in-hand

My final feature story for the semester is now up on the Georgia Health News website; a new dual MD/PhD degree is in the works at the Med School Partnership and will hopefully be approved by the beginning of 2012. What makes this particularly exciting is the promise it holds for the future of American health; not only will students with these two degrees go into practice to help individuals, but they’ll also go into positions where they can affect real change in our health care system.

Check out the story and the video my classmate Chelsea Toledo  and I produced.

October 31, 2011

Physicians serving the underserved

My profile for the Med School Project was on an amazing local family practitioner. Dr. Suzanne Lester is not your typical primary care provider. She’s bilingual, has tattoos and a nose piercing, and she gives her profession meaning by helping everyone, not just the people who can afford her. She’s providing medical students at the Med School Partnership with a role model unlike those you typically find in med school. Continue reading

October 26, 2011

The first step is admitting you have a problem…

I wasn’t surprised to hear yesterday that the CDC now recommends the routine vaccination of all 11-12 year-old boys for HPV. While I think it makes sense for everyone, both boys and girls, to get vaccinated for HPV, the reason that they’ve finally made this recommendation is because coverage of the target group of girls has not been as successful as hoped. Continue reading

October 4, 2011

The art of learning to be a fake patient

My classmate Chelsea Toledo and I produced this video of simulated patients at the Georgia Health Sciences University/UGA Medical Partnership. While we don’t often hear about the role of simulated patients in medical education, they play a huge part in the development of clinical skills as well as interpersonal skills for doctors-in-training.

Fake patients train as performers, help future doctors learn skills - Georgia Health News

September 21, 2011

Antibiotic usage decreasing… but not enough

CDC Get Smart poster healthy adult

I’m a little late on the uptake, but that’s what grad school does to me sometimes. The CDC’s weekly morbidity and mortality report from a few weeks ago contained some interesting findings regarding antibiotic prescribing habits among pediatricians in the US. Using data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Service, the CDC found that patients age 14 or younger received fewer antibiotics from pediatricians’ offices from 2003-2004 than from 1993-1994.

My first thought: big whoop. Continue reading

September 11, 2011

Sad happenings in Zanzibar

This is freaky: Tanzania ship sinks, nearly 200 bodies recovered. The ferry that carries people between Dar es Salaam and Pemba capsized, leaving around 200 people dead. These ships are frequently overcrowded because they are the cheapest way of traveling between Zanzibar and the mainland. And to top it off, a few weeks ago three bars in Stone Town, Zanzibar was torched by people protesting the serving of alcohol.

August 16, 2011

The “face of schisto” – why do we need to see it to believe?

I’ve avoided my computer for long enough, I suppose, since returning home. After a long month of driving and flying I’m finally in the US again and feeling back to normal after some jet lag and family time.

My fatigue may have been due to the fact that I spent my last few days abroad with my butt barely on the seat, off-roading it on the rockiest roads known to man (or me) as we looked at schools on Unguja to be included in the elimination program. Continue reading

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