Curly hair, olive skin, a taste for cilantro...Some traits run in the family. But what about an affinity for care-giving?
For Madeline Silva, nursing may be in her genes. For four generations, the women in her family have cared for people, whether recovering from surgery, childbirth, or suffering from allergies or asthma. This fall, Madeline will pursue her doctorate in nursing at Emory University to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)—not an easy feat for someone with hearing loss. But with genetics like these, what’s to stop her?
Way back in the 1940’s, a pioneering woman by the name of Mildred Heeg Hain became one of a small cadre of nurse anesthetists when she obtained a certification from the Lakeside School of Anesthesia in Cleveland. A widow, Mildred supported four children by working as an independent nurse anesthetist in Dayton...
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) takes the life of more than 2,000 babies in the United States every year. The diagnosis is synonymous with not only unfathomable tragedy, but mystery too; it’s given for any death of a child under 12 months of age for which there is no known cause.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a leading cause of death among people under 25. It’s also the number one killer of student athletes, mainly basketball players and track stars. Both of these syndromes stop the hearts of young people in the blink of an eye, with seemingly no warning.
When Darren and Phyllis Sudman lost their 7-week-old son Simon, the initial diagnosis was SIDS. But their family physician also insisted the couple have their own hearts checked as soon as possible.
That’s when Phyllis was diagnosed with Long Q-T Syndrome, an arrh...
In the age of equal opportunity, should hearing loss be a barrier to medical school?
About 28 million people in the U.S., or about 20 percent of the population, are hearing-impaired. Historically, hearing loss has presented a barrier to entering the medical profession, because auscultation with a traditional stethoscope relies on intact hearing. Today, however, assistive technologies and devices such as the Thinklabs One are opening doors to many whose hearing impairment were once barred from the field.
Daniel Jensen is a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital and an assistant professor of pediatric surgery at University of Missouri School of Medicine in Kansas City. He is a long-time fan of Thinklabs Digital Stethoscopes, having discovered Thinklabs in 2004—making him one of our first customers.
The American naturalist Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “When I hear music, I fear no danger.” This sentiment is almost universally true, even for patients facing the end of life. Music therapy grew from this understanding.
Music has been used as a therapeutic tool for millennia. Hippocrates himself is said to have played his harp as a therapy for mentally ill patients more than two thousand years ago. More recently, music has been used to treat everything from anxiety to heart disease and stroke, and to help premature babies thrive.
Brian Schreck, a music therapist at Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY, uses a Thinklabs One digital stethoscope to create recordings that help terminally ill children and their grieving parents endure physical and emotional pain. By using the One to capture the child’s heartbeat, and then integ...
Residents of rural America have long grappled with a disportionately low number of physicians.
According to the journal Health Affairs, there are only 46 physicians for every 100,000 people who live in rural areas -- less than half the number of physicians available for people in urban areas. In other words, while almost a quarter of the population lives in rural America, less than 10 percent of physicians practice there. Telemedicine significantly reduces this gap, enabling more people access to healthcare, wherever they are.
The Thinklabs One digital stethoscope is a standard part of the telemedicine experience. A basic primary care telehealth visit involves taking blood pressure; examining the ear, nose and throat; and listening to the heart and lungs. With One, a doctor can hear patients perfectly from a distance, and also can record...
“May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.” Hippocrates wrote that immortal line in the 5th century BCE. Today, those traditions are not only relevant, they are more critical than ever.
In his book, The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine, writer and physician Abraham Nussbaum discusses how hearkening back to those conventions would not only change the way doctors practice medicine, but could revitalize the healthcare system.
Nussbaum believes the essence of those traditions is a way of being fully attentive to the patient. “Being able to sit with someone and really listen to them,” he says, is the most valuable thing a physician can offer her patient....
"We start our lives...with music. It's our first language. It's the rhythm of the womb. It's your mama's heartbeat inside your head."
Author: David Mutti Clark
David Mutti Clark and other writers﹘from William Shakespeare to Ray Bradbury﹘ have pondered what life is like inside our mother’s womb. A universal experience that none of us remembers, we are nonetheless driven to return to it. But the mysteries of the womb might soon be revealed.
Scientists are beginning to discover what a baby experiences in utero, thanks to highly sensitive audio pickup devices like Thinklabs One. With One, real-time, real-life sounds of the womb are now more accessible.
A handful of researchers, like Dr. Amir Lahav of Harvard University, are recording womb sounds to play for tiny newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), to nurture healthy brain developm...
The Laws of Medicine is a slim volume that eloquently reveals any “laws” that exist in medicine are dynamic, and that the field is ruled more by instinct than by rules.
Written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, the book is packed with elegant prose about the vagaries of medicine. Based on a TED Talk of the same name, The Laws of Medicine shows the relative lawlessness of a field whose “rules” are built on shifting sand.
The author admits that he spent much of his residency on a quest to discover such “laws” so that he could succeed. He writes that he imagined the “rules a young doctor might teach himself to navigate a profession that seems, at first glance, overwhelmingly unnavigable.”
Though his compulsion to discover an infallible source of direction is understandable, the young doctor...
When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests
by Leana Wen, MD and Joshua Kosowski, MD
When writer Leana Wen’s mother was diagnosed with cancer while Wen was in medical school, she was horrified by how impossible it was to navigate the system, even after years of being part of it. It also lead to Wen becoming an outspoken advocate for patient empowerment.
“Seeing how (my mother) was treated by her providers gave me a whole new understanding of what it meant to be a patient, and why it’s so important for both patients and physicians to question this cookbook approach to medicine,” Wen writes.
The authors Wen and Kosowski define “cookbook medicine” as a rote and formulaic approach to practice. Better care begins with a better partnership between physician and patient, and that was their goal in writing the book.
They say a doctor makes the worst patient, and like most cliches, it’s probably true. But a new book reveals the doctor-as-patient experience also can instill an invaluable understanding of human suffering, which is a gift to patients and in this case, readers.
When Breath Becomes Air is written by Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon/neuroscientist and writer, whose only book is a bestselling memoir of life in the shadow of cancer. The title is drawn from a favorite poem of the author about the ephemeral sweetness of living: “You that seek what life is in death, Now find it air that once was breath...”
The book opens with an unforgettable description of a young doctor looking at a series of scans and discerning the massive, ghostly tumors that have taken up residence in human lungs. Only after describing the picture and deadly diagnosis does th...