Recently I've noticed that I often "crack" my jaw, although never with any associated pain (yet). Is this a symptom of TMJ or otherwise something I need to be concerned about? Snowflake details under the cut. [more inside]
It's my understanding that the atmosphere at the Dead Sea has a higher concentration of oxygen than the sea level norm because of the extremely low elevation (roughly a quarter mile below sea level). My question is: what does it feel like to breathe this air? Is it refreshing? Does it feel thicker than air at sea level? Are there any objective medical findings associated with long-term exposure to oxygen at this concentration? Many thanks in advance.
The only cold symptom I ever get is a bad runny nose, what drug treats a runny nose and only a runny nose? [more inside]
I had a rough start to medical school academically. People keep telling me that if I "do well" here on out, it "shouldn't matter" in four years when I apply to the next stage in my training (residency). That's easy for them to say, but I need more perspective than that. I'm bothered that it could put a "ceiling" on what I might be able to achieve otherwise. Those who have experience with medical education and academics, please give me your thoughts! [more inside]
Hi Mefites. I'll be starting an online medical coding and billing course in January ( given by the AAPC), after graduating from a relatively well respected state school with a psychology BA in May and finding out far too late in the game that it would leave me with nil in terms of job prospects. After building up quite a bit of credit card debt and deciding that man cannot live on Hulu and Facebook alone, as I've been doing for six months, I decided to look into opportunities that required relatively little training to get started with, and happened upon medical billing, something that seems to fit me quite well. I'm tempering my enthusiasm however, because no amount of Googling seems to give me a clear sense of my path once the course is over. Help? [more inside]
Who does genetic testing that is as interested in protecting my privacy as taking my money? [more inside]
I have a bachelors degree in film. I want a Masters in Cell and Molecular Biology. I want to work in a research lab. Getting into grad school in general is a mystery to me, but my special circumstances make it seem that much more impossible...is it? [more inside]
Researching the human heart for an essay. The real heart. not the metaphorical one. I'm having trouble finding interesting articles online that go beyond 10 FACTS ABOUT THE HEART-type-things that get repetitive. I have already done a good bit of research into transplant history and fetal heart development, and I have a story about NASA growing cardiac cells in a bioreactor. But I still need more! Can you either tell me interesting true stuff or link me to it?
What other options are there besides pre-med? [more inside]
In California, is there a simple way to get the pharmacy to fill my "no substitutions" name-brand prescription with a generic instead? I am temporarily without health insurance and can't afford the very expensive name-brand drug; I can't ask the prescribing doctor to change the scrip because they're no longer my doctor and I'm in a different state. [more inside]
I'm starting a garlic treatment for my stomach ulcer, and have some concerns about whether this will work. My doctor has prescribed antibiotics, but my naturopath has recommended raw garlic (3-4 times daily) and I want to try that approach first, along with other supporting herbs. However I'm worried about the ramifications if this fails, because stomach ulcers are pretty serious from what I hear. Am I taking a big risk of perforation, cancer, internal bleeding etc. by not taking the medication? And is it possible that the garlic could eradicate H. pylori bacteria? [more inside]
What comes next after popular medical non-fiction? [more inside]
I recently started on adderall for ADD-type issues, and I've got some questions about the effects it's having. I intend to bring them up with my psychiatrist when I see him next, but that won't be for a few weeks and I think it would still be valuable to get some outside perspective, especially from people with first-hand experience. A lot of this has to do with sexuality. Questions and details within. A bit long-winded. [more inside]
Last night I consumed some Marijuana, which upon further inspection, seems to be rather moldy. After researching the types of mold that it could be, and the effects of that mold, I am rather worried that I may have given myself a rather dangerous fungal infection. I do not have health insurance. I need to try to figure out what to do, please help! Anyone who knows about medicine or fungi would be especially appreciated! [more inside]
It seems that we will likely be able to grow new organs or bodies in the future. I would like to save my own DNA while i'm still young and healthy, so that I can have a less degraded blueprint available when I need it. I am having a hard time making sense of the options available to me; does anyone have any knowledge (academic, anecdotal, or personal) that would be useful here? Thanks in advance, dgstieber.
My original proposed topic for a publication I'm writing in was about printing organs and bone marrow but it may be rejected because someone else proposed the same idea. I'm currently brainstorming ideas before tomorrow. Currently I'm thinking of writing of genetically engineered humans. Any other ideas?
I've just started medical school and the emphasis on group work is overwhelming me. I know that medicine is generally a team-oriented profession. I have certainly worked well in teams before, and found it enjoyable. I am affable and pulling my own weight is never an issue. Still, the fact that I have to work in a group for four hours a day, five days a week, is draining me like no other. I am angsty and tired. Please, fellow introverts and independent workers, especially those who are familiar with medical education -- how might you approach working in a heavily team-oriented environment? Details inside. [more inside]
Given that there are parts of the world still fighting the battle against polio, and an increasing number of people in the US choosing to opt out of vaccinations for their children, is there a chance polio will return to the United States? [more inside]
I'm about to finish The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Before that, I read Nancy Scheper-Hughes' Death Without Weeping. What's next? [more inside]
Recently there was a stabbing where the victim was attacked on Monday, brought to hospital immediately, but died from her wounds on Thursday. What I don't quite get as a layperson is how a stabbing victim can perish in a modern, First World hospital after being kept alive for several days? The newspaper accounts were understandably short on detail. Are there blood vessel injuries that simply cannot be surgically repaired or replaced? Or might there have been secondary injuries due to the initial blood loss, ie brain damage, that prompted life support to be discontinued after a while?
What do scientists currently understand about depression? How, broadly, is this problem formulated as a subject of study? What are various scientists' opinions on the existing treatments, such as medical versus nonmedical approaches? What is the degree of consensus on these various issues, e.g. different schools of thought? What areas or aspects of it are still being poorly addressed? [more inside]
I am going to be seeing a Naturopathic doctor for my digestive issues which have plagued me for 4 months now. (Chronic abdominal pain and diahrea) [more inside]
Let's say you have medical condition ABC that can be treated with XYZ and you live in the United States. How does one become a medical tourist, defined by going outside the country for XYZ? It seems unlikely your doctor will acquiesce to sending you out of the country to get treatment with another doctor. How does the process begin, where patients can connect with the right doctors and facilities to arrange treatment? How do people evaluate the quality of treatment and follow-up care? Are there medial tourism "groups" that specialize in particular health issues? If you did this, what was your experience like and what recommendations would you have for issues or "gotchas" to look out for? [more inside]
I'm struggling to understand likelihood ratios (LR) in the context of diagnostic tests, and why a positive LR is influenced by the sensitivity of the test. [more inside]
What are the future employment options / career trajectory for someone who has just completed their third year of a surgical residency and who has passed their third-year boards, but who has dropped out of the program? [more inside]
Can I fire my obstetrician for delivery, but keep her as a gynecologist thereafter? Do I want to? [more inside]
Idle curiosity filter: I know people who deliberately avoid taking medication for everyday medical problems. Whether it's allergies, the common cold, viral infections etc, I know people who say they prefer not to take medications, because they 'prefer not to put weird/artificial/chemical stuff into their body'. I am not trying to win an argument with them, I'd just like to know if there are scientifically proven reasons for minimising the amount of medication you take for everyday conditions, or avoiding medication altogether. [more inside]
This one might be a doozy. So, I'm a 23 year old recent college grad ( this May) with a B.A. in psychology and no idea what to do with my life. ( Original, I know, but bear with me, it gets better.) Everyone around me seems to have what are at least well-outlined 5 year plans, oriented around either grad school or a great entry level job. Certain circumstances in my life though seem to leave me with a vision of the future that doesn't extend far beyond the living room couch and daytime TV for the next 10 years and that frightens me to no end. [more inside]
I am a pre-med student, and have been shadowing lots of doctors lately. When I finish shadowing, I usually write a thank you note to the doctor, and to the staff in the office where I've been shadowing (basically thanking them for being welcoming while I'm in their work space). How should I address the notes I'm writing for this most recent shadowing, where a Nurse Practitioner is also in the office? [more inside]
I can't find a job in my industry now for four months, which has pushed me to limits of madness. I am kind of tired of my chosen industry, and I have been considering going back to school to utilize my skills as a Lighting expert to get a degree in Optometry. I have a wife who can work, but her training is Canadian and her monthly tops off at around $1500. Is it possible to go back to school for 4 years and live as a 35 year old? Where should I start? [more inside]
I usually sleep OK. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep (mind racing, problems at work, etc, etc) but once I'm out, I'm out. I'll wake up once a night maybe to take a leak, but other than that, I'm good. Now, not so much. [more inside]
What vaccine is routinely given to infants in China currently/within the past 20 years that will leave a small (non-keloid) scar at the injection site? [more inside]
Any Adams family experts in the house? Did Charles Adams (son of John Adams) die of alcohol poisoning, delirium tremens, liver disease, pancreatitis, or other illness merely attributed to his drinking? Basic googling did not pull up any details on his death. My understanding is that in 1800 DTs was not a well described syndrome (in the US or possibly anywhere), but there was some familiarity with other alcohol-related illness.
Just called a friend with a severed tendon to see how his visit to the doctor went and he was still in the exam room. He said he had to get off the phone because there was a sign saying "no cell phones in exam room." I'm wondering why the sign is there. He was alone at the time, waiting for the doctor to return. Is the rule due to an equipment issue, or is it because of doctors being annoyed by rude patients talking on cell phones while the doctor is examining them, or something else?
I'm aware that there are metabolites of the many various medicines that people take in the water supply in many US cities and towns. What are the health effects of this (known or theoretical)? Has drug residue/metabolites ever been linked to weight gain in humans? How can it be removed from the water (is reverse osmosis the only way)?
For someone who takes Adderall for ADD, will drinking acidic drinks (including say juice, soda, or homemade drink with apple cider vinegar) and/or taking vitamin C supplements mute or dull or interfere with the medication? Talking to pharmacist and googling has yielded some very mixed and confusing answers, and I'd love it if somebody knew enough to give a definitive answer.
I don't have insurance and I seem to have collected a kidney stone. Already seen a doctor, but what more should I do? [more inside]
Feeling ill yesterday and today, with a fever, slight cough, stuffed nose, sore joints. Taking dayquil and nyquil, and keeping track of my temperature every few hours. What temperature means "go to the hospital?" What other symptoms re: the cough and nose might man go to the hospital? [more inside]
I'm looking for a good pain-relief strain of marijuana. [more inside]
Problem is that I'm losing steam at this point, facing many more years of school ahead of me if I'm accepted into professional school. How I can shake the feelings of uncertaintly as I keep plugging away? [more inside]
I've been setting my goal on medicine (looks like it's not immediately, but in the next few years). However, I've been having doubts and second thoughts ever since I went into my undergraduate years. I'm graduating undergrad now, and have an entry-level job at a hospital. How and when will I know if that's what I want? [more inside]
I'm thinking of getting my Bachelors and going to law school. I'm also thinking of going to nursing school. Is going to law school an absolutely dumb idea at this point? [more inside]
I've got an opened tube of hydrocortisone cream (hydrocortisone at 2.5%). It's expiration date is from 2008 (over 5 years old, for any future searchers). Still safe/effective to use it? [more inside]
So what's it like to be the recipient of an organ transplant and having to deal with immunosuppressant drugs? How does your life change? How often do you have to take your drugs? What are the weird details of daily life that outsiders don't know about? Are there any insurance hassles? I have a fair idea of what it's like to be diabetic because of coworkers who have this condition but I don't know anything about the life of organ transplant recipients and I'd like to know more. Any help you could provide would be deeply appreciated.
How are new surgical procedures and tools evaluated before they're OK'ed for use on the public? [more inside]
I'm undergoing a colonoscopy soon, and from what I understand, the worst part of the whole procedure is one of the prep liquids you have to guzzle the day and evening before the test. Seriously, those I know who've taken the prep say that toward the end, they struggle (and fail) to keep it down. [more inside]
How are things looking over the next few years as far as health insurance costs in the US? [more inside]
Migraines are ruining my day. I can't see a neurologist for three months. What can I do in the meantime? [more inside]
I'm going into the health field and curious about cultural/ethnic health practices that are off the beaten path. For example, can anyone tell me the "what", "how", and "why" of cupping and coining? What other cultural/religious/traditional practices can you share? [more inside]
I have a worsening degenerative hand tremor and can no longer play conventional rock music on guitar. What musical instrument could I take up that could accommodate this condition? [more inside]