Sunday, September 18, 2005

Welcome to MS2: no more fucking around, we've got lives to save!

this year started off with a bang, namely the party the boy threw for me when i got back. it was great to see all the people i'd missed while being braised in my own sweat over in bethesda. our research finished nicely, having seen something like 26 patients. with every patient taking half a day, that's pretty damn productive. if all goes well and the gods are happy with the immolation, we'll get a couple papers published.

it's become very clear from the start of MS2 that there will be no more of what one of our professors calls "academic bulimia". it's not like we didn't realize before that we needed to know this stuff for a reason other than to pass an exam, but it seemed so far away then. now it's less than a year away. the exam questions have become more clinical in nature and the lecturers now assume we remember the anatomy behind the stuff they're teaching. needless to say, i've been breaking out the old shit a lot.

currently we're in the cardiovascular system. i've never been the heart's biggest fan, given that it's a lame-ass pump (with 14% efficiency i might add), but nonetheless, it's pretty important since so many people have bad ones. here's some numbers for the US, from some guy named Ben Best, who seems to like death + statistics as much as i do:

in the US:

(1) Diseases of the heart heart attack (mainly) 28.5%
(2) Malignant neoplasms cancer 22.8%
(3) Cerebrovascular disease stroke 6.7%

In other places:

(1) Ischemic Heart Disease 12.4%
(2) Cerebrovascular Disease 9.2%
(3) Lower Respiratory Infections 6.9%

and it's only gonna get worse for my generation of physicians:












-From 1979 to 2002 the number of Americans discharged
from short-stay hospitals with CHD as the first listed
diagnosis increased 22 percent. (CDC/NCHS)
-From 1990-–1999, the median duration of hospital stay
related to acute myocardial infarction dropped from 8.3 days
to 4.3 days, according to an analysis of the NRMI. Findings
were similar for both patients receiving primary PTCA and
those receiving thrombolytic therapy. (J Am Coll Cardiol
2000;2056:63)
-Based on the NHLBI'’s Framingham Heart Study (FHS) in
its 44-year follow-up of participants and the 20-year followup
of their offspring (Hurst W. The Heart, Arteries and
Veins. 10th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2002)
-The average annual rates of first major cardiovascular
events rise from 7 per 1,000 men at ages 35-44 to 68 per
1,000 at ages 85-94. For women, comparable rates occur
10 years later in life. The gap narrows with advancing age.
Under age 75, a higher proportion of CVD events due to
coronary heart disease (CHD) occur in men than in women,
and a higher proportion of events due to congestive heart
failure (CHF) occur in women than in men.
-The aging of the population will undoubtedly result in an
increased incidence of chronic diseases, including coronary
artery disease, heart failure and stroke. (Circulation
2002;106:1602:–5)
-The U.S. Census estimates that there will be 40 million
Americans age 65 and older in 2010.

Source: American Heart Association Website

so yeah, this heart stuff is pretty important no matter how damn boring it is.

as i was looking all this stuff up, i found out that september is not only National Cholesterol Education Month, but also National Osteopathic Medicine Month.

spread the word, get your cholesterol checked. mine is total: 176, LDL: 115, HDL: 51 and triglycerides: 48.

yes, thank you, i will have another steak.

and get some osteopathic manipulative medicine done, because frankly, your back is killing you, isn't it?

as an aside, if you want to be thuroughly informed and entertained, the rest of Ben Best's website is completely awesome. beware of driving in Portugal or South Korea, and of being poisoned in Russia. he also write stuff on nutrition, calorie restriction and how it makes you live longer, and cryonics for when you've fucked it all up and want another spin on this mortal coil.

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