Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

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Doing Right by Philip C. Hébert
Bioethics

Canadian book with clinical cases of bioethics. This book provides a solid introduction to moral principles and ethical reasoning, but we consider it to be low-yield and rather difficult to read. It requires some basic clinical understanding to best understand the resource. We recommend starting with the University of Washington Bioethics site.

"Great book on ethical behaviour and compassionate medicine" - Ben

Doing Right by Philip C. Hébert is a Canadian book that delves into bioethics through the use of clinical cases. In its fourth edition, this resource offers a case-based approach, which makes it an accessible and practical guide for healthcare trainees and practitioners alike, to navigate the complex world of contemporary biomedical ethics.

The book can help premed students prepare as future physicians by providing them with a solid introduction to moral principles and ethical reasoning. Although it may be considered low-yield and somewhat difficult to read, especially for those without basic clinical understanding, it offers invaluable insights into the ethical challenges healthcare professionals face in real-life scenarios. By studying these cases, premed students can develop their ability to analyze and address ethical dilemmas in a clinical context.

Through the exploration of real-life scenarios, Doing Right allows premed students to better understand and appreciate the ethical dimensions of medical practice. This understanding can help them develop the empathy, professionalism, and ethical decision-making skills necessary to navigate the complexities of patient care.

In summary, Doing Right by Philip C. Hébert is a valuable resource for premed students preparing for their future roles as physicians. While it may require some foundational clinical knowledge, the book offers an applied case-based approach that enables students to engage with ethical issues in a relatable and practical manner, fostering the development of crucial skills for their future medical practice.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Health care issues

When Breath Becomes Air is a poignant, autobiographical account of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, an accomplished neurosurgeon who found himself facing stage IV metastatic lung cancer at the age of 36. This inspiring memoir details his journey from a promising medical career to grappling with terminal illness, ultimately exploring the meaning of life, death, and the role of medicine in the face of mortality.

For premed students preparing for a career as physicians, When Breath Becomes Air offers a unique and deeply personal perspective on the medical profession, challenging them to confront the fragile nature of life and the impact they can have on patients' lives. As they follow Dr. Kalanithi's reflections on his career and his transition from a doctor to a patient, students can gain invaluable insights into the human side of medicine, which often goes beyond the technical skills and knowledge they acquire in their education.

The book serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of empathy, compassion, and effective communication in the practice of medicine. It encourages students to consider the broader implications of their work and the profound responsibility they hold as future physicians. By bearing witness to Dr. Kalanithi's vulnerability and resilience, students can learn to approach their profession with humility, self-awareness, and a deep sense of purpose.

In summary, When Breath Becomes Air is a transformative read for premed students, providing them with a profound understanding of the human experience in healthcare. By exploring the intricacies of life, death, and the practice of medicine through Dr. Kalanithi's journey, students can develop the compassion, empathy, and wisdom that will be essential to their success as future physicians.

"Amazing account of the patient perspective and what Doctors may not consider about the patient perspective." - Ben

Vanessa's Law and Mandatory Reporting
Health care issues

Vanessa's Law, or the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act, is a critical piece of legislation that aims to enhance patient safety and improve Health Canada's oversight of therapeutic products. It was enacted in 2014 in response to the tragic death of 15-year-old Vanessa Young, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia after taking the prescribed medication cisapride (Prepulsid®). The law seeks to bolster post-market safety information collection, take appropriate action when serious health risks are identified, and promote transparency in the oversight of therapeutic products.

For premed students preparing to become future physicians, understanding Vanessa's Law and its mandatory reporting requirements is essential. The law empowers Health Canada to require information, tests, or studies, enforce label changes or package modifications, recall unsafe therapeutic products, disclose information in certain circumstances, and impose stringent measures for noncompliance.

Effective December 16th, 2019, health care institutions are required to report serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and medical device incidents (MDIs) under the law. This mandatory reporting helps to identify emerging safety issues, assess the harm versus benefit of drugs and medical devices, and improve patient outcomes and public health by sharing learnings through warnings, advisories, and risk mitigation measures.

Premed students can benefit from understanding the importance of Vanessa's Law in promoting patient safety, strengthening the healthcare system's knowledge base, and driving continuous improvement in the medical field. By familiarizing themselves with this legislation, future physicians will be better equipped to comply with mandatory reporting requirements and contribute to a safer healthcare environment.

Video on social media from Ollie Burton
Health care issues

Social media has revolutionized the way we connect and share ideas, but should doctors be encouraged to participate? Ollie Burton, a third-year medical student, discusses the pros and cons of doctors engaging with social media.

Having doctors on social media presents a unique opportunity for authoritative voices to share health and wellness information with a wider audience. They can effectively communicate complex ideas and reach patients who might not engage with traditional health literature.

On the other hand, there's a risk of doctors spreading misinformation or focusing on building their online presence rather than enhancing their practice. Conflicts of interest, such as endorsing products, can also arise.

As future medical professionals, embracing social media can be advantageous, but it's essential to maintain professionalism and prioritize patient care. The same standards expected in a clinical environment apply online.

So, consider the impact of your social media presence on your medical journey. Use it responsibly to inspire, educate, and connect with others, while always upholding the integrity of your profession. Be the change you want to see in healthcare and foster a positive online environment for everyone.

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