Be “Brain Smart”: A Round-Up of TED Talks about Brain Health

Sure you use your brain all the time, but do you know how your brain really works? Do you know what you can do to keep your brain strong and healthy to support your concentration, creativity, and decision-making? To help you get a better idea about your brain’s health and functioning, we’ve rounded up a selection of TED Talks about neuroscience that will teach you how health-supporting activities like exercise and sleep affect your brain’s health, what happens in your brain when you think, and focus tips for protecting and improving your brain’s health and longevity!

The Brain-Changing Benefits of Exercise by Wendy Suzuki

What’s the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain today? Exercise! says neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki. Get inspired to go to the gym as Suzuki discusses the science of how working out boosts your mood and memory — and protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

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Celebrating Pioneering Women in Medicine: March is Women’s History Month!

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 3/16/17.

Happy Women’s History Month!! Although you don’t have to go far to run into a brilliant female medical student, faculty member, of staff member at the UCF College of Medicine, medical education was not always so. The first American woman to become a medical doctor (Elizabeth Blackwell), obtained her medical degree in 1849, but it has been a slow journey to the more diverse (though still imperfect) medical education system in the U.S. today.

In a previous post, In Celebration of Brilliant Women: March is Women’s History Month, I discussed the current state of the gender disparity in medical education: “Although it is clear that women have come a long way in American history, the glass ceiling seems to be alive and well in academic medicine. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, although nearly half of American medical students and medical residents are women (47% and 46%, respectively), only 16% of deans, 15% of department chairs, and 33% of senior associate/vice deans are women. As of 2014, only 22 out of the 141 deans of American medical schools were women.” Happily, the UCF College of Medicine is ahead of this national curve, and the numbers of women in academic medicine are slowly changing to match those of the larger medical profession.

We love celebrating and supporting the awesome female medical students, faculty, and staff studying at and employed by the UCF College of Medicine, as well as celebrating influential women in medicine throughout history. We’ve rounded up some of these female pioneers in medicine for your Women’s History Month reading pleasure:

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Organ Donation 101

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 2/9/17.

A very special day is just around the corner: the one day a year when you can give your heart to someone new… or your liver, or a kidney. That’s right – February 14th isn’t just Valentine’s Day, it’s also National Organ Donor Day! Today on the blog, we’re celebrating by exploring how organ donation works, so that you can make an informed decision about your preference to donate!

There are currently 119,000 men, women, and children on the national transplant waiting list, and 22 people die every day waiting for a transplant. The good news is that more that 130 million people in the U.S. are registered as organ donors, and one donor can save up to 8 lives. However, only 3 in 1,000 people die in such a way that allows for organ donation.

Image copyright Catherine Lane 2015

Image copyright Catherine Lane 2015

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A Round-Up of Women’s Health Resources

When it comes to women’s health issues, knowledge is key! This is because many health issues that are common to both men and women can effect in ways that are vastly that how man are affected by these same diseases and disorders. Further, there are many health conditions that  affect women primarily or more severely than men. For example, almost 12% of women in the United States are at risk for developing breast cancer during their lifetime whereas male breast cancer accounts for less than 1% of existing breast cancer cases. In another example, although heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, women are more likely to die following a heart attack than men, and women are more likely than men to experience delays in emergency care and to have treatment to control their cholesterol levels. To help you effectively arm yourself with the the knowledge to keep you and your loved ones healthy and cared for, we’ve rounded up reliable women’s health resources for you!

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Monday Morning Round-Up #18

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

Preterm births in the U.S. rise again, signaling worrisome trend via Stat News

The preterm birth rate in the U.S. has increased for the second consecutive year, according to a new report, and minorities are suffering a disproportionate share of those births. The increases, which follow nearly a decade of declines, raise concerns that gains made in women’s health care are now slipping, experts say.

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Monday Morning Round-Up #17

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

Pollution to blame for 1 in 6 deaths worldwide, study finds via Stat News

Pollution is taking a massive toll on global health, with poor and marginalized populations being hit particularly hard by dangerous contamination. A new report published in the Lancet finds that diseases driven by pollution — which can range from asthma to cardiovascular disease — were responsible for more than 9 million premature deaths in 2015.

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Confronting Violence Against Women: The Role of the Healthcare Professional

Before the 1970’s, violence against women was largely unrecognized as a public health issue by the healthcare industry. However, since the late 20th century, generations of reformers have passionately and persistently worked to raise awareness of this issue among medical professionals, as well as establish practices and protocols to identify, hep, and advocate for victims. The history of this reformation is the topic of our current traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine – “Confronting Violence: Improving Women’s Lives.” But how far have we gotten? According to the World Health Organization, the global lifetime prevalence of sexual and physical violence among women aged 15 years and older is 30.0%. With doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals often the first to see women after abusive and violent incidents, it is imperative that healthcare professionals be vigilant in identifying and treating women who are victims of violence.

A neighborhood health fair organized by nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 1980. Image via the National Library of Medicine

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Become an Informed Patient with These Reliable Health Information Resources

We may not all be physicians here at the College of Medicine, but there is one thing that all of us can relate to: each and every one of us has been a patient at some point. As patients, it’s so important that we listen to the advice of our health care providers so that the we get the best outcomes for our own health. But it’s equally important for us to be informed patients. And that means knowing where to look to find reliable health information. These days, we all turn to the internet, and we all know that everything on the internet is true, right? Today we’re going to steer you in the right direction and show you some great health information sites you can actually trust.

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MedlinePlus: The Best Database You’re Probably Not Using

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on February 12, 2015.

Did you know you can access up to date, authoritative information on nearly 1,000 health topics in easy to read (i.e., non-medical jargon) language for FREE? The U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine have a terrific resource called MedlinePlus geared toward the general public, and not health professionals.

MedlinePlus: It's like you have a medical professional right in your computer

MedlinePlus: It’s like you have a medical professional right in your computer

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What’s New: Where to Find Health News Online

If you all have been following our blog, you’ve noticed that we have a reoccurring series called the Monday Morning Round-Up, in which we round up interesting news stories about health and medicine from around the web.  We like to keep up-to-date on what’s going on in the world of healthcare, whether that’s a new treatment that’s undergoing research and trials, news about global health threats, or updated health and wellness tips, and we bet our readers do too! We decided to round up a few of our favorite online health and medicine news sources for you so that you can keep yourself abreast of discoveries and events in healthcare!

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