Spreading the word about infertility to the medical profession

Infertility Network, a leading UK infertility charity, wants to spread the word to doctors about infertility. They have found from patient feedback that many GP surgeries do not have leaflets & information that they can pass onto their patients about infertility and they would like to change this.

They are looking for volunteers to distribute some Infertility Network UK leaflets & posters to GP surgeries in their local area.

Find out how you can help here http://infertility.healthunlocked.com/blogs/558608/Can-you-help

If you are a GP surgery that would like access to these information leaflets then contact Infertility Network http://www.infertilitynetworkuk.com/ for more information or click on the link above

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Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s

Hi, once again. I had written about the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s in an earlier post and will be exploring a possible surgical intervention in this one. Unfortunately, Parkinson’s is an incurable illness and scientists and doctors have yet to find a conclusive cure for it. As such, most treatments focus on mitigating the deleterious effects of Parkinson’s and one such treatment is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). DBS is a surgical procedure which aims to treat the tremors, rigidity and walking difficulties associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Instead of the prime treatment, it is used as a last resort when treatment by various medications has proven to be futile. Essentially, DBS uses a surgically implanted medical device known as a neurostimulator- similar to the heart pacemaker- to deliver stimulation, via electrical impulses, to regions in the brain which control cognitive movement. These electrical stimuli also aid in the blockage of the aberrant nerve signals that cause tremor and various other symptoms related to Parkinson’s Disease. The entire DBS system is composed of three elements: the lead, neurostimulator and extension. Once the system has been fully installed, the neurostimulator transmits electrical impulses along the extension and lead and into the regions of the brain which are affected.

Lack of physical activity education in UK’s medical schools

      According to research found in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, there is a distinct lack of medical students being taught about the benefits of physical exercise to patients. A study undertaken by the Lancet found that a third of adults are not doing enough exercise, which is resulting in an estimated 5.3 million deaths per year.

In response to this, medical school curriculum leaders were asked if the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO’s) guidance on physical activity for all age groups was part of the curriculum. Questions were also asked about the number of teaching hours dedicated to the promotion of physical activity, as well as regarding the theory taught behind it. Only four out of the UK’s 31 medical schools were found to have physical activity taught as part of the curriculum in each year of the course. Research also found that five of the schools did not have any teaching allocated to physical activity, with only half adhering to the CMO’s recommendations.

It has now been raised as a matter of urgency that medical schools improve the quantity and quality of physical activity education. This is becoming of paramount importance, as a lack of exercise is now being regarded as a global pandemic, with the number of deaths attributed to physical activity roughly equivalent to those caused by smoking. The higher incidence of serious diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer is, for the most part, the cause of inactivity. Reports from the Lancet suggest that if physical activity was to be reduced by 10%, approximately 533,000 deaths could be avoided each year.

In order for this to occur, we need our doctors to be able to successfully promote within the community, the importance of exercise and how it can improve our health and well-being. Only then will we have a higher chance of averting the serious diseases that plague our society today.

Hi everyone !

As a prospective medical student looking at 2014 entry, I recently decided to write for the Valuemed blog to widen my medical knowledge (to help me earn a place at medical school) and this will be my first ever post!

I’m currently studying for my AS levels (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Maths and Geography) at sixth form and have wanted to study medicine for as long as I can remember – I’m often asked why I want to, and the truth is that there is no easy answer… Of course, the structure of the medical course includes a lot of science (which I enjoy) and you will probably spend the rest of your working life learning about new treatments and technologies – I love the idea of having so much variety in a job! It’s a challenging career and I have never been one to turn away from a difficult or stressful situation. I like meeting new people and last but not least, being able to make an active difference in someone’s life appeals to me. Chances are that I won’t discover a new miracle drug or create a life saving vaccination for HIV, but being able to make a positive difference in someone’s life on a daily basis is really what draws me to the career. People often ask me if I want to go into medicine for the money, and honestly, no – I don’t. Without a doubt, it’s a difficult career option – it’s a competitve degree to get into, I’ll be in full-time education for at least 5 years after school – not to mention having debt up to my eyeballs!, the stress, the emotional strain and the frustration when you are unable to help someone… And so, to cut a long story short, if I were in it for the money, I would find something else. But for me, the pros of studying medicine cannot be compared to anything else!

I’ve been involved with St John Ambulance for over 5 years now, and am currently a volunteer at a hospital. Following some work experience, I’ve become quite interested in radiology and ophthalmology as well as surgery (although I have no experience of this yet…). Over the next two years (which will probably fly by!), I hope to expand my knowledge as well as hopefully blog about what I do know.

Goodbye for now,