Are Urgent Care Centers The Next Gold Rush?

Are Urgent Care Centers The Next Gold Rush?

Consumers who are looking to avoid long emergency room waits along with more convenient evening and weekend hours are driving the growth of many urgent care centers — referred to by some as “doc-in-a-box” locations according to a recent report by the Washington Post.

The Urgent Care Association of America cites that an estimated 3 million patients visit these centers each week. The number of facilities have increased from 8,300 to 9,300 since 2008 – sending a clear signal that business is booming in the perceived urgent care gold rush.

“I have a doctor, and my kids’ pediatricians are great, but we’d prefer not to have the long wait in the office. So we come here and everything seems so much faster,” a 36-year-old patient told the Washington Post, after having a doctor remove the stitches he had put in her foot after a weekend boating accident.

But some physicians groups have voiced their concerns that “overreliance on the centers can complicate efforts to improve health through better coordination of care”.

“Family doctors take a more holistic view of a person,” said Glen Stream, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “If a teenager comes in with lacerations, for instance, a family doctor might broach the subject of alcohol or drug use. Similarly, a series of seemingly minor illnesses might indicate a larger, less obvious problem.”

With the lower costs of urgent care drawing attention from insurers, many have added urgent care centers to their provider networks, citing a study that found “almost one in five visits to hospital emergency rooms could be treated at urgent care centers, potentially saving $4.4 billion annually in health-care costs.”

Ultimately, convenient access and saving time are major selling points for patients — with approximately 80% of all urgent care visits being 60 minutes or less.

Read the entire Washington Post article.

Monkeys, Cocaine & Neuroprosthesis

Monkeys, Cocaine & Neuroprosthesis

Everybody knows that cocaine impairs your ability to make good decisions.  A rhesus monkey, injected with cocaine makes very poor decisions. How do you improve a cocaine addled monkey’s decision making? With a Neuroprosthesis of course.

Researches from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the University of Southern California, trained rhesus monkeys for nearly two years to execute a simple matching task. The monkeys ended up being 40%-75% accurate, depending on the difficulty of the task. They were also implanted with probes that recorded the “crackle of firing neurons during the animals’ choices.”

After the monkeys were deliberately injected with cocaine their decision making became as accurate as…  a cocaine addled monkeys. Overall scores fell by 20 percent. But when they relayed the correct “crackle of firing neurons” back into the implants in the monkey’s brains, their decision making improved by 10 percent.

“The prosthetic device is like ‘flipping a switch’ to turn on a decision in real time,” said Sam Deadwyler, a professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest and one of the study’s authors. Under the influence of cocaine, the prosthesis restored and even improved as compared with the baseline, with the monkeys selecting the correct image 10 percent more frequently than before.

According to co-author Dr. Deadwyler, “the technology used in the study could easily be contained on an implantable chip” and in the future help people with brain damage from dementia, strokes or other brain injuries.

 

 

Body Maps for iPad Makes Human Anatomy Social

Body Maps for iPad Makes Human Anatomy Social

Body Maps, a collaboration between General Electric and Health Line is taking human anatomy social. The users can explore the human body through over a thousand 3d renderings of body parts, and over 200 videos covering different medical conditions and procedures.

What makes Body Maps social, is that the user can annotate images by drawing on them with their finger and share the results via Facebook or Email.

According to James Hambling, MD, the health channel editor at The Atlantic — this is “the best basic anatomy resource” he has ever seen. It “provides easily digestible anatomical information, it’s intuitive to navigate structures across multiple planes,” and most importantly, its “visually and symbolically on point.”

It’s available for $8.99 in the App Store.

 

Fall 2012 International Poster Competition is Now Open

Fall 2012 International Poster Competition is Now Open

Several months ago we started a revolution in medical publishing by offering tools for physician authors unlike any in the industry.  Today we expand the revolution to include medical and graduate students, residents, fellows and anyone who has or will publish a medical poster.  There are thousands of posters discarded after conferences every year and yet they represent hard work, creative thinking and many will lead to the next full academic papers.

Dust off those posters sitting on your hard drive and upload them to Cureus where they can receive new life.

To have some fun we are introducing our Fall 2012 International Poster Competition which includes a $1,000 Grand Prize and $100 prizes for each of our 40 categories.  Each category will have a winner for a total of 40 First Place prizes.  We are honored to have Varian Medical Systems participate as the sponsor of the competition.  They are a company that values innovation and are strong supporters of physician authors who are pushing to advance medical science and discourse.

As authors you may submit any poster you have created over time and as many as you like.  Once you upload your poster, its time to promote….get friends, family, professors etc. to come vote for your poster.  The top 10 vote recipients in each category will make it to the final round where our esteemed Editorial Board members will select the Top 3 Winners in each category.  Top 3 winners will get noted in their profile and can add this distinction to their CV…plus bragging rights.

Go to www.cureus.com/posters to get started.…the sooner your poster is submitted, the sooner you can begin getting votes and head toward victory.

Let the games begin.

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Download the official Fall 2012 Poster Competition Press Release.

 

New Study Shows It's Possible To Be Fat and Fit

New Study Shows It's Possible To Be Fat and Fit

While being fat and fit may sound like an obvious contradiction — a new study published this month in the European Heart Journal, reveals that it is possible to be both obese and healthy.

“It is well known that obesity is linked to a large number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular problems and cancer,” lead study author Dr. Francisco Ortega said in a statement.

“However, there appears to be a sub-set of obese people who seem to be protected from obesity-related metabolic complications.”

The study, which collected data on more than 43,000 people between 1979 and 2003 — challenges the idea that obesity automatically leads to ill-health. In fact, it shows that some fat people manage to remain ‘metabolically healthy’ although their body mass index would suggest they are not. Researchers discovered that 38% of obese participants that were metabolically healthy had a lower risk of dying than their peers who were metabolically unhealthy.

“We believe that getting more exercise broadly and positively influences major body systems and organs and consequently contributes to make someone metabolically healthier, including obese people.” Dr. Ortega added.

Still, Ortega made one thing very clear in a statement to CNN; “Exercise benefits everyone, regardless of fitness and fatness level. So exercise should be encouraged by doctors to all the patients.”

Read the entire CNN post

Welcome To Cureus Fall 2012 Poster Competition

Welcome To Cureus Fall 2012 Poster Competition

John Adler, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University and Editor-in-Chief at Cureus, officially kicks off the Cureus Fall 2012 Poster Competition in his latest video.

Our Poster Competition is open to medical and doctoral students as well as residents and fellows. Poster submission period will be open until Friday October 5. Winners will be announced Monday October 22.

One Grand Prize Winner will receive $1,000 — along with cash prizes awarded for top posters in each category.

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Medical Posters Find A Home Online At Cureus

Medical Posters Find A Home Online At Cureus

Who would have thought that the scores of posters you presented in medical school or graduate school, through residency, internship, fellowship and beyond, would contribute so effectively to the building of your CV? And the posters you might be drafting now AS a student…

Now, posters are not simply abstracts or listings in a Conference Proceedings, but once published on Cureus, they become fully visible in the world of medical knowledge. Beyond that, our users, editors and reviewers will gladly point you in the direction of turning that “outline” and those preliminary results into a publishable peer reviewed article, that also will be viewed by all as soon as it is submitted to Cureus.

Posters can now become published as unique citable entities. And “manuscripts in progress”/ “manuscripts under review”? Forget about that list! Cureus makes the “in progress” into actual progress and makes the “under review” into published in a matter of days rather than months or years.

Publish everything you have. Those piles of data are useful and the world wants to learn from them. You want a CV full of publications, right? Cureus will make that happen, and it will happen quickly, starting with a submitted poster!

Medical Posters — Talking To Your Audience

Medical Posters — Talking To Your Audience

The Cur&#275us video team brought our cameras out to the Stanford University School of Medicine to start a conversation with students about why the process of creating Medical Posters is so important.

“For me posters are usually very useful for preliminary versions of figures and really to serve as a sounding board for ongoing research that will later be put into manuscripts —so it’s nice to be able to get that feedback.” Kail Miller, MD, PhD told Cureus.

Special thanks to Robert Lober, MD, PhD, Kail Miller, MD, PhD — MD canditates Abdullah Feroz and Marc Carmichael, PhD for participating in our video conversation.

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Things I Wish I Knew When Creating My First Poster

Things I Wish I Knew When Creating My First Poster

I made my first scientific poster for the 2007 Society for Neuroscience Annual meeting in San Diego, which is recently enough to remember just how clueless I was about creating an effective poster for a scientific conference.

I was fortunate enough to have the guidance of my incredibly patient research advisor, Amherst College’s Professor Stephen George. Of course not everyone is lucky enough to have an advisor like him, and at every meeting I’ve ever been to at least one presenter shows up with a completely disorganized poster filled with cramped text, or a poster that is printed on a series of different pieces of paper. This is why I’m writing down a few things every first poster maker must know, starting with the most obvious.

A poster is a mini article, presented in bullets and pictures rather than text. Don’t re-invent the wheel; start by looking at successful posters and use their formatting and style as a loose guide for what works.

In time I hope that Cureus will become a resource for poster-makers to collaborate on poster design in addition to sharing scientific ideas. One of the most popular and basic poster tools is Microsoft PowerPoint, although many other software programs can be used as well. If using PowerPoint, make a 60 inch wide x 36 inch tall slide within the page setup menu, and use approximately font size 72 for titles and approximately font size 18 for body.

Organize your poster in a way that is broken down logically to tell a story and to sell a conclusion. Many posters break the presented information into “Background”, “Methods”, etc. In general you should be able to read all of the text in a poster in less than five minutes. Prof George once told me that if my college roommates couldn’t sit still long enough to understand what my poster was about, it probably had too many details and too much text.

Finally, give yourself lots of time to design your poster, even if all of your bullets and figures are ready to go. Formatting a visually attractive poster takes a lot of time.

Tips for Compelling Academic Posters

Tips for Compelling Academic Posters

John Adler, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University; Editor-in-Chief, Cur&#275us, offers tips for “Selling Your Story” to authors of academic posters.

One of the main things to focus on is impressive visuals. This helps you grab the attention of your audience in a room full of posters. And since you have a short period of time to get your story across, visuals are critical. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Watch the video below.

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