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Here and Now on July 2, 2017: Med-achieve

July 06, 2017

Here and Now video on MedAchieve

Doctor’s Killing at Bronx Hospital Called a ‘Monumental Loss’

July 02, 2017

She was not supposed to be working on Friday at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, making afternoon rounds on the 17th floor. Dr. Tracy Sin-Yee Tam usually worked in a ground-level family medicine clinic, where she would treat patients from the hospital’s South Bronx neighborhood.

But those who knew Dr. Tam were not surprised to learn what she was doing inside the hospital when the authorities said a gunman, a disgruntled former doctor there, opened fire, killing Dr. Tam and wounding six others before killing himself.

Another doctor had needed his shift covered. Dr. Tam volunteered.

“She would never say no,” Jude Beckles-Ross, 46, a friend of Dr. Tam’s, said through tears on Sunday outside the doctor’s home in Queens.

She was early in her career, but Dr. Tam, 32, had already established a reputation for being caring and conscientious in a way that those around her found remarkable, even in a field built on caring for others that requires intense commitment.

Dr. Tam, whose father drives a taxi in Queens, had struggled to make it into medical school, but mentors and colleagues said she had plenty of options when she graduated. Again and again, she chose to work in demanding environments in neighborhoods of New York City where people had limited access to medical care, places that few young doctors enthusiastically pursue.

At Bronx-Lebanon, about 70 percent of the patients are on Medicaid, and physicians regularly assume a role that goes beyond physical care, helping patients address family disputes or emotional issues, said Dr. Sridhar Chilimuri, Bronx-Lebanon’s physician in chief. The atmosphere can chip away at a young doctor’s idealism, he said, yet he was impressed by how strongly Dr. Tam, who had been an attending doctor at the hospital for a year, held fast to hers.

“Training young physicians to be doctors is an extraordinarily difficult thing,” Dr. Chilimuri said. “Making them idealistic, and also do exactly what we’re doing, is just impossible.” He added, “To lose somebody like that now is really a monumental loss for us.”

Dr. Tam was in one of the earliest classes to enroll at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, a medical school that had its first graduating class in 2011. The school occupies an old department store building in Harlem, across 125th Street from the Apollo Theater. Much of the student body comes from New York City, said Martin Diamond, the college’s founding dean, and its mission is to recruit minorities into medicine and to train and encourage students to work in locations that were historically underserved.

Dr. Tam started at Touro in a master’s degree program, which provided a one-year window to make it into medical school, but required students to maintain a high grade-point average. “This was a good avenue for us,” said Jennifer Dorcé-Medard, a friend who practices family medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “A better chance and a second chance for us to achieve our dreams.”

“Succeeding…Taught Me How Much Potential I Have” At TouroCOM Harlem

June 09, 2017

Corey Ballaera of Bergen County, NJ, studied physics for his undergraduate degree in the College of New Jersey. But a major in physics he said, didn’t compare to the volume and intensity of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences Program.

“The was one of the toughest years of school for me,” said Ballaera who attended the program at TouroCOM Harlem’s campus. But he had no regrets. “It was everything I wanted.”

Ballaera, along with more than 100 students, celebrated their matriculation from the TouroCOM Harlem and Middletown programs on May 8, 2017. The ceremony for TouroCOM Harlem students took place at the Al Hambra Ballroom in Harlem; the ceremony for TouroCOM Middletown took place at the Paramount Theater in Middletown.

Harlem Patients Share Their Stories With Future Docs, Dr. Jeffrey Gardere And Others

May 06, 2017

Patients who have struggled in the past with medical and mental health challenges, and who live in the Harlem community, came to Touro on Wednesday, May 3rd 2017, to speak with medical and pharmacy students about their experiences being treated in nursing homes, prisons and other facilities. The interactive exchange was part of an annual course event organized by Dr. Jeffrey Gardere, an assistant professor at Touro Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine in cooperation with Touro College of Pharmacy, aimed at helping Touro’s future physicians and pharmacists become empathic, respectful practitioners who put patient needs first. “Make sure you check the meds and know what [condition] the patient has,” said Biener Liranzo, seated far left, who lived seven years in a nursing home. “It’s about saving someone’s life,” said David Gonzalez, seated far right, who was incarcerated in jails and prisons for over 30 years, but who has successfully rehabilitated himself. “The medical units in jails are often substandard,” said Gonzales. The students listened attentively. “They said that ultimately they know the most about themselves, which is true,” observed second year pharm student Sheba Ajmal. Fellow pharm student, Adriana Burbridge, added: “People have preconceived notions. ‘You’re a prisoner so you did something horrible.’ You have to treat them as another human being, equal to you not less than you.”

Honor Society at Touro inducts doctors, students

May 02, 2017

Two physicians and 21 members of the Class of 2018 at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Middletown were recently inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society at the school.

Why Pink Wants You to Stay Off the Scale

April 03, 2017

If there's one thing we can count on Pink for, it's to keep it real. This past fall, she gave us major fitmom goals by making the most adorable pregnancy announcement ever. And now that she's had her second child, she's hitting up the gym again on the reg.

The scale can be a great tool for those who are on weight-loss journeys. But just like the BMI measurement, it doesn't tell the whole story when it comes to body composition. "Overall, we should shift away from crude numbers as the sole measure of health but take into account dynamic measures like exercise tolerance, total body fat percentage, and other biomarkers collectively to assess health," Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Medicine in New York City, told us in "The Healthiest BMI Is Actually Overweight." Essentially, weight and BMI are just some of the factors that can be used to evaluate health, but they're not the only ones that should be taken into consideration.

Health Lecture 2017 in Clifton, NJ: Environmental Awareness

March 22, 2017

Dr. Nilank Shah explained that our everyday actions or inactions could be contributing to the growing problem of global warming. Participants learned that climate change not only has an impact on the environment but also a subsequent impact on our health.

An apple a day, if this doc-to-be has her way

March 09, 2017

Gayatri Malhotra-Gupta of Forest Hills, a fourth-year medical student at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem, just won a prestigious award for her work educating homeless families in Queens about proper nutrition and health monitoring — and her research on the results.

Malhotra-Gupta said her research grew out of her community service work and interest in studying the need for nutrition education in homeless shelters and whether they have a long-term impact. Fifty women and children living in a shelter in Astoria participated in the project, which she did in conjunction with the Global Physicians Network Foundation.

“I wanted to see whether it would make a difference,” said Malhotra-Gupta. “A lot of the participants were never screened for diabetes though they were overweight and had risk factors. We educated them and showed them how to build a healthy food plate.”

Touro student wins award for research at homeless shelter

March 02, 2017

A fourth-year medical student at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine has won first place in a poster competition for her research on the effects of teaching about healthy diet and nutrition at a Queens homeless shelter. The award was presented at the recent 61st Midwinter Conference of the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association in Dallas.

Gayatri Malhotra-Gupta said her research grew out of her community service work and interest in studying the need for nutrition education programs in homeless shelters and whether they would have an impact long-term.

“I wanted to see whether it would make a difference,” said Malhotra-Gupta. “A lot of the participants were never screened for diabetes though they were overweight and had risk factors. We educated them and showed them how to build a healthy food plate.”

Working with a nonprofit organization that provides free health care education programs to underserved communities, Global Physicians Network Foundation, Malhotra-Gupta joined GPNF’s first endeavor to promote health education in a shelter.

New therapy dog makes the grade at Touro College

February 27, 2017

It looks like the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine just found its newest therapy dog. Tai, a golden retriever from Wurtsboro, received a unanimous thumbs-up from students during her "interview" at the college Monday morning.

Touro’s Malhotra-Gupta Wins Award Teaching Homeless Residents Healthy Habits

February 27, 2017

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Harlem (TouroCOM) has an office on 125th Street and a fourth-year medical student Gayatri Malhotra-Gupta at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) who has just won first place in a poster competition.

Gayatri won based on her research on the effects of teaching about healthy diet and nutrition at a Queens homeless shelter. The award was presented at the recent 61st Midwinter Conference of the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association in Dallas.

Touro College Teach Students about Medicine

February 16, 2017

Students from Anna S. Kuhl and Hamilton Bicentennial Elementary Schools learned about health and medicine from medical students from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Student Survival 101: Are You Suffering from Chronic Stress?

January 26, 2017

Stress always gets a bad rap but in some circumstances it can actually be a good thing. Known as “eustress,” good stress can propel you forward and help you achieve more goals, ultimately leading to more happiness, success or fulfillment. These relatively short bouts of stress (acute stress) provide motivation to get something done or overcome an obstacle, such as meeting a deadline, taking an exam, or giving a presentation. Even though you’re excited about something, you can still feel stressed out about it. Temporary bursts of stress have even been shown to enhance learning and brain function.

On the other hand, “chronic” or “bad” stress hinders progress and potentially leads to other serious health issues. This often presents itself as clinical depression, generalized anxiety, or trauma. Whether the stress originated as good or bad, if untreated, you will begin to suffer over time. Situations that can contribute to chronic stress include relationship issues, consistently high demands at school or at work, and loss of a family member, friend, or loved one.

The Body Issue:

January 17, 2017

Study suggests digital models can help medical schools, which face a shortage of cadavers, teach students human anatomy. 

Cutting into a digital cadaver can be more educational than the real thing for certain medical students, a new study found.

The study, “Use of Computer-Aided Holographic Models Improves Performance in a Cadaver Dissection-Based Course in Gross Anatomy,” compared the ability of 265 first-year med students to identify anatomical structures when looking at cadavers, preserved body parts and digital models. It found that especially students who are struggling in med school appear to benefit from being taught anatomy in several different ways.

Health warning: Vegan diet could be BAD for you

January 15, 2017

Vegan recipes have absolutely no animal products in them whatsoever. Many are embracing this diet, hoping it is healthier. However, experts believe there are ways the diet may actually be bed for you.

Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Medicine in New York said: “Altitude sickness can affect anyone, it’s an equal opportunity offender. But oxygen-carrying capacity is something that vegans can be affected by.”

Shona says: “Iron is another potential shortfall in vegan diets. The iron in animal foods partly consists of ‘haem’ iron, which is relatively well absorbed – between 15 and 35%. The form of iron in plant foods is ‘non-haem’ iron, which has a different structure: only about 2 to 20% is thought to be absorbed.

Harlem community board awards grants to minority med students

December 29, 2016

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, in conjunction with the TouroCOM-Harlem Community Advisory Board, has awarded the first round of grants from its newly established Fund for Underrepresented Minority Students. The fund was created to provide scholarships to needy, deserving medical students who will work to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of Harlem and other medically underserved areas upon completion of medical school.

The scholarships, which total $8,019, have been awarded to five TouroCOM students and one community resident who aspires to become a physician. The TouroCOM students receiving awards, all of whom are working toward their D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degrees, are Brian Barrett, Chantal Gomes, Dale-Marie Simpson, Patricia Jean-Charles and Geoffrey Sanyi.

“The efforts of the Community Advisory Board and the donors to the TouroCOM Fund for Underrepresented Minority Students, will provide the school with greater flexibility in its efforts to recruit and retain qualified URM candidates,” said Geoffrey Eaton, a member of the TouroCOM-Harlem CAB.

Schenectady-born scientist takes pride in Ebola vaccine success

December 23, 2016

News released Thursday in a British medical journal about the success of a vaccine to protect people against the deadly Ebola virus had a distinctive impact on one Schenectady native.

"I am very proud of it," said Kathleen Daddario DiCaprio, who worked as a rookie researcher on the team that initially developed the vaccine at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md.

DiCaprio, 36, was not involved in the latest tests that showed the vaccine rVSV-EBOV provided 100 percent protection against the Ebola virus, the brutal pathogen that caused more than 11,000 deaths in an outbreak in West Africa that ended this spring. Ebola can cause hemorrhagic bleeding from multiple organs and orifices.

And she is the first to point out that she did not direct the research she had the good fortune to take part in. But she was certainly in the thick of it, when USAMRIID scientists proved the vaccine worked in monkeys.

Harlem Community Board Awards Grants to Minority Med Students

December 21, 2016

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM), in conjunction with the TouroCOM-Harlem Community Advisory Board (CAB), has awarded the first round of grants from its newly-established Fund for Underrepresented Minority Students. The Fund was created to provide scholarships to needy, deserving medical students who will work to improve the health and well-being of the citizens of Harlem and other medically underserved areas upon completion of medical school.

The scholarships, which total $8,019, have been awarded to five TouroCOM students and one community resident who aspires to become a physician. The TouroCOM students receiving awards, all of whom are working towards their DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) degrees, are Brian Barrett, Chantal Gomes, Dale-Marie Simpson, Patricia Jean-Charles, and Geoffrey Sanyi.

After the tears, apologize and forgive: Surviving the postelection holidays

November 25, 2016

If only the anxiety of Thanksgiving ended as soon the leftovers have been crammed into the fridge. But often, it’s when you’ve had time to let what was said and done at dinner and beyond churn around in your brain a while that the true toll kicks in.

Psychologist and author Jeff Gardere, an assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, spoke with Salon recently about a post-Thanksgiving emotional detox plan for all the “next-day angst” that so many of us experience. Without our taking positive action, the holiday can kick up our historic family baggage, as well as introduce an entirely new set of incidents that we can wind up having regrets and resentments about.

Have a buddy system: Surviving the post-election holidays

November 24, 2016

That Normal Rockwell image of a happily bland family smiling around a platter of poultry may never have looked like your holiday. But this year the scene may be even further from picture perfect than ever. It’s likely not going to be easy, when you’re passing around yams and a relative makes an explosive comment, to hang on to your mental well-being. Psychologist and author Jeff Gardere, an assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, talked with Salon about how to handle those heated holiday moments and to reassure us that “it doesn’t have to be a free-for-all.”

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