Faith



'Thookkam' as part of a 'Kaavadi' procession - a scene from Karamana in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday; a sight that is not rare in South India. Three men hanging with hooks piercing their back on a moving vehicle and the chains they are holding to helping to distribute their weight.


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World AIDS Day

Since WHO staged the first World AIDS Day in 1988, many things have changed. Yet as we know, a vaccine or a cure is still out of sight and much is needed to be done for prevention and in care. Today, HIV is concentrated in the sub Saharan Africa with about two thirds of people living with HIV and three quarters of the total deaths. More emphasis is to be given in the prevention of mother to child transmission and providing access to antiretroviral drugs to the affected.  A message from Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General is posted on the WHO website to mark this occassion.


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See molecular biology in action!

I was amazed to see such a fantastic collection of videos and animations in Youtube elaborating the intricate mechanisms in molecular biology. I always wanted to see them happening than just imagine it myself after going through the text descriptions. It was an eye opener to the educative aspect of this famous video sharing site. I just had to enter the right key words to search to get into a goldmine of these fantastic science videos. I wish I could see them much earlier during my undergraduate medical education days. Click here to go to the search page in Youtube to see the videos.


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Medical Podcasts

UBC Health Library Wiki is an excellent resource for medical podcasts. It provides a detailed information on subscribing to podcasts and provides excellent links to contents from different medical specialties. Don't worry if you have only heard of words like podcasts, audiocasts or audioblogs but know little about them; the links in that wiki site will give you enough information to get you started! Feel free to browse through the links or add your own if it is not listed there.


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Technorati ping

Technorati Profile

Medical algorithms, calculators and Excel spreadsheets

I always knew that MS Excel can have immense applications in the field of medicine. I searched for good medical spreadsheets online with no luck for a long time. I was planning to create my own Excel templates for medical applications. But I never got time to learn the application in detail, let alone create my own spreadsheets. I was puzzled why such a simple yet fantastic idea never occurred in someone else’s mind.

But after a tiring search, I stumbled upon the gold mine.

Visit Medal.org if you are in search of high quality free medical templates online.

I also discovered that Martindale has already indexed free medical calculators for our use. The link is http://www.martindalecenter.com/Calculators1B_3_MedAC.html It is a fantastic collection of free online medical calculators.


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Odiogo

I've added the services of Odiogo in my blog from yesterday which will help you to listen to my blogs. I hope you like it:) Just click on the "listen now" button at the top of each blog to listen to the blog. You can also subscribe to my blog as a podcast and listen it in your ipod.


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Search safe with Opera

There are many Opera web browser users like me who always wished for a service like McAfee Siteadvisor to work with Opera. Now Scandoo provides a similar service and Opera users can add the search by just right clicking inside the input box and click on the create search option inside Opera. But you will have to manually add the search string as http://g.s.scandoo.com/search?hl=en&meta=on&q=%s inside the opera search edit dialog. Now I don't have to wait till McAfee creates an Opera compatible extension to make my browsing safer!


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Web 2 excerpts

There is a very interesting blog in the Clinical Cases and Images Blog about the Web 2 in medicine. Though the contents were in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, there were many useful web links which I thought is very useful for a netizen like me.


The following links were extracted from that presentation which I found useful in the presentation are the following :


Case reports and HIPAA rules: http://casesblog.blogspot.com/2005/07/case-reports-and-hipaa-rules.html


Top 5 podcasts to listen to: http://casesblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/top-5-medical-podcasts-i-listen-to.html


Get RSS feed for any medical journal from Pubmed: http://casesblog.blogspot.com/2005/06/get-rss-feeds-for-major-medical.html


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Amazing animations in biochemistry

How many times have you wished to visualize structure of the cell, DNA replication, photosynthesis or Krebs cycle in action? Johnkyrk.com offers amazing animations in cell biology and biochemistry. The animations are of high quality and don't require any extra plugins and loaded easily in my Opera browser. I just wish that the site adds more animations from more topics so that medical education becomes more enjoyable. You can access the site in 5 different languages.


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Medical Mnemonics

Medical mnemonics have always been an indispensable tool for a medical student to memorize facts. Medicalmnemonics.com is the world’s largest repository of medical mnemonics on the net and is accessible from PC, mobile or PDA or download all the mnemonics as a single PDF file. It is a nice place to share your mnemonics with others and contribute to the repository.


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RxPG - A great forum for medical students

The best internet meeting place for Indian medical students is undoubtedly RxPG Online. It claims to be the largest community website for medical students on the web which in my opinion is right at least in the Indian context. The website features extremely vibrant forums and discuss about almost all postgraduate medical tests. The forums are well moderated and the news team keeps the members updated about any news relevant to the medical students. There are many useful free downloads and tools which are helpful to any medical student aspiring for PG medical education. It is a nice resource to keep in touch with fellow students and also to relax by participating in the conversation threads in the Offbeat section.


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A cute environment friendly car

I happened to see the advertisement of Reva, a small environment friendly car which runs on electricity, about 2 years back and thought that it will soon revolutionize the Indian transportation. It seems so economic and ideal for the average Indian budget. The amazing thing about this car is its environment friendliness. It doesn’t gulp gallons of non renewable energy resource called gasoline and spit out toxic fumes in return. The cost of electricity one would use for every kilometer works out to be half a rupee per kilometre even if you buy really expensive electricity.


The memories of seeing that advertisement in a pamphlet was freshened when I my eyes met a small car belonging to the postal department. I was surprised to see that it is indeed the little environment friendly car which I always wanted to see in large numbers in the Indian roads. I wish that small car all the best wishes and hope that it gets into the Indian roads in large numbers.


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Its happening in India :-)

Government of India has an online Grievance forum at


http://darpg-grievance.nic.in/


You can use this tool to highlight the problems they faced while dealing with Government officials or departments Electricity board, Railways, BSNL, etc.

I know many people might say that these things don't work in India. I am yet to experiment this resource yet as till now I haven't yet got a chance to complain. So use this grievance forum and educate others who don't know about this facility. This way we can at least raise our concerns instead of just talking about the “System” in India. Invite your friends to contribute for many such happenings
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(The stock market benchmark Sensex today crossed the psychologically gratifying 19,000 points mark.)


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Doctor's Gude

Doctor’s Guide (Docguide) has been a ready reference for doctors for quite a long time. But as the name suggests, it is a website which caters only to doctors and the general public has little to benefit from that web site. The web site can be personalized and the resources can be arranged according to individual preferences. What I like the most is the top bar containing CME video links which is called Peerview Media Bar.


The site offers ready access links to a large number of medical journals, patient resources, case discussions and medical news from different specialties. It is a nice web page to be bookmarked as a homepage as all the important medical links can be neatly arranged in the personalized edition. You can also add the web sites of your choice to your personalized homepage. But you don’t have to give your username and password to access the personalized edition and this makes me wonder if someone can mess with someone else’s personalized homepage.


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Online Reference for Indian Pharmaceutical Products

I wonder why most of the American drugs are searchable by their trade names in the google, rarely is it possible with the Indian drugs. The only ways by which Indian doctors could refer to the trade names of the Indian drugs was to look into catalogues like CIMS and IDR which are available as books or CDs. But Medclik offers MedCLIK Drug Reference which the site describes as India's most reliable and comprehensive drug information for doctors.


You can also check the MCI (Medical Council of India) registration of doctors in India and get lists of hospitals accredited by the MCI and DNB. In addition the site offers a variety of services like medical news updates, health calculators, and resources for medical students and much more.


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Online Health Record

It is just a regular scene in my clinic when I ask a patient about the medical records he/she possesses about the past surgical procedures he underwent or some other significant illness, the patient responds innocently that it has been many years since that happened and the documents are now misplaced or not available. In this case, if only that patient had a unique ID and all the records were in an online database such incidents will be mentioned only in the history text books. So I was searching for such online databases which can be accessed for free and came up with the following links.



Interactive Personal Health Record - iHealthRecord – This service has been there for quite some time and offers a great service for free. But Microsoft has started it’s new service in consumer health care market by offering free personal health records on the Web which is called HealthVault. Similar to iHealthrecord, the personal information will be stored in a secure, encrypted database. Its privacy controls, the company said, are set entirely by the individual, including what information goes in and who gets to see it. But unlike ihealthrecord, Healthvault does not expect most individuals to type in much of their own health information into the Web-based record. Instead, individuals will give doctors, clinics and hospitals permission to directly send into their HealthVault record information like blood pressure, cholesterol, medicines prescribed etc. I believe that it could be only a matter of time when Google comes up with a similar service.




Clinical Cases and Images - Blog

The Clinical Cases and Images - Blog is a blog of ClinicalCases.org with medical, tech and other interesting stories and is one of the greatest medical blog site at present in the blogosphere.


URL: It's Interview Time Again for Future Residents -- See Helpful Tips

The clinical cases and images blog have compiled a few useful links for the U.S. medical students and international medical graduates (IMGs) who are preparing their ERAS applications and waiting for interview offers from residency program.Tags: , ,



World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year to raise public awareness about mental health issues. This year's theme is "Mental health in a changing world: the impact of culture and diversity." The 2007 World Mental Health Day campaign, an initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, will bring attention to trans-cultural mental health services and treatment.

According to the WHO one person in every 35 is an international migrant. Dramatically different languages, religions and cultures coexist in a single country and the cultural diversity may influence many aspects of mental health, including how individuals from a given culture communicate and manifest their symptoms, their style of coping, their family and community supports, and their willingness to seek treatment.






Transcendental Meditation


As an advocate of modern medicine, I’ve always been skeptic about the efficacy of practices like yoga and meditation and have never bothered to delve much into those areas. But I was always curious about techniques that will improve our ability to perform in our day to day lives and help us to realize our full potential. That is how I became interested in “Transcendental Meditation” as advocated by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and learnt some basics of TM. My Acharya (teacher) was Mr. Sasidharan of Maharishi Ved Vigyan Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram. The TM basically consists of 7 steps as was advised to me by my Acharya. 1) Sit comfortably 2) Close your eyes 3) Wait for about 30 seconds 4) Meditation proper 5) Stop meditation 6) Wait for 2 minutes or more with eyes closed 7) Open your eyes slowly

Meditation proper: Repeatedly chant the sacred mantra (in my opinion, it can be as simple as “Aum” or Om) inside your mind in a progressively decreasing tone and amplitude. The mantra should be chanted in the mind for sometime after which it becomes feeble and gradually disappears. The chanting should be revoked only when the external thoughts start disturbing your mind. The sacred mantra is just a tool to get into the state of meditation.

The theory: The human mind is compared to a large body of water where the waves on the surface represent the conscious mind and the thoughts. As you go deeper into the water, the ripples of water decrease in its amplitude and are very calm and still as it approaches the bottom. There are still higher states of mind beyond the TM stage which are attainable by people who practice regularly and have attained “Siddhi”. TM is only the fourth out of the 7 states of mind attainable according to ancient Indian scriptures. Transcendental consciousness is like a bridge between the materialistic and the spiritual states of mind. The state of TM attained is explained as a state of Restful Alertness where the body is completely relaxed; mind is very calm and relaxed but potentially active.


In my opinion, TM is a great tool to eliminate the stress experienced in day to day life and can work wonders with patients suffering from Hypertension and other stress related illnesses and can increase productivity in daily life.





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