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Medical Health

Winter 2017

Medical leaders keep a community-based focus

Helping guide WSU’s community-based medical education are associate deans assigned to each of the regional hubs where students will spend their third and fourth years working alongside practicing physicians and others.

All are recognized innovators in medical education and were hired by WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine following a nationwide search.

They are Dr. Larry Schecter at WSU Everett, Dr. Kevin Murray at WSU Vancouver and Dr. Farion Williams at WSU Tri-Cities.

“These associate deans will teach, recruit faculty to teach, and further the college mission by building out clinical partnerships with the rural and underserved areas,” said Ken … » More …

Winter 2017

Reconsidering health

Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates proposed that four basic personalities were driven by excess or lack of bodily fluids, the “humors.” Discredited by biochemistry, we may consider the idea humorous, but Hippocrates’ theories began a centuries-long consideration of temperaments and personality in psychology and philosophy.

Other ideas of human health were first spurned and then accepted. Germ theory, the thought that many diseases are caused by microorganisms, was treated with disdain when it was proposed in the sixteenth century. It didn’t receive its due until nineteenth-century experiments by cholera researcher John Snow and chemist Louis Pasteur, among others, proved germ theory’s validity.

Even today we continue … » More …

Stethoscope on a doctor's neck
Winter 2017

Ethics and effectiveness in medicine

“Can you be an effective physician without also being an ethical physician?” That’s the question students in the inaugural class of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University faced for the first time on day two of classes. They’ll revisit it regularly as they make their way towards the MD degree and entry into a profession that has, many bioethicists and physicians believe, an ethic built right into it. To say that there is an ethic internal to medicine is to say that certain kinds of moral responsibilities are built right into what it means to be a part of … » More …

Winter 2017

Medicine to all corners

Washington State University has embarked on one of its most ambitious expansions. The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine is carving out its physician-training niche by emphasizing innovation, technology, and the importance of bringing high-quality care to some of the state’s most underserved regions.

 

The request came last spring.

Jim and Linda Bauer have opened their home to visiting symphony musicians, international artists, and others traveling to the Tri-Cities, and community leaders were turning to them again. This time, the Bauers were asked if they’d host a medical student for a weeklong stay at their Richland home.

“We were like, ‘Of course,’” recalls Linda … » More …

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen twins dolls by Mattel. Staff photoillustration
Winter 2017

Seeing double

The Washington State Twin Registry is a powerful aid in promoting better health.

 

Glen Duncan is an outlier in an obesogenic environment. While he’s fit and trim, two in three Americans carry too much weight for their own good and are largely sedentary during work and leisure time. It would help if he had a twin to compare himself with. As it is, he studies other twins in the hope of teasing out why some people are drawn to healthy behavior, others not.

Duncan has long been a runner, from high school races to weekend 10Ks. For the past ten years he has practiced … » More …

Peaceful scene with smartphone
Winter 2017

Be mindful with your smartphone

Tracy Skaer, a pharmacotherapy professor at Washington State University Spokane, knows that our fast-moving, constantly-changing world can stress us out. That includes the smartphones that many of us carry around constantly. A trained mindfulness practitioner, Skaer suggests using those same smartphones to give our minds a break from the stresses of daily life.

Skaer recommends some of the following smartphone apps to help with mindfulness exercises:

Headspace

Insight Timer 

Calm

Aware

Mindfulness Meditation

Stress & Anxiety (Pacifica)

Relax Meditation

» More …

Midwives tend to a newborn baby while the exhausted mother rests in bed, circa 1450. Another child lies in a cradle beside her, being rocked by a servant. Original Artwork: A miniature engraving from 'Histoire de la Belle Helaire' on a 15th Century manuscript from the Imperial Library, Paris. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Spring 2017

Call the midwife

ViviAnne Fischer practices midwifery in her clinic near Pullman, where you can see her connection to the long and complicated history surrounding the practice.

In a green-colored house along a dirt road, at the top of a set of stairs, a large, nondescript black suitcase stands before a crammed bookshelf, her “library” for families. Inside the suitcase is a mix of new, modern medical equipment beside bottles of herbal extracts.

On the other side of the room is an odd-shaped stool at the foot of a bed. The bed is almost cot-like but the wooden frame poking out from beneath the quilt is carved. The … » More …

Winter 2016

Knowing what to ask

Researchers believe greater interaction between doctors and patients can help improve the quality of care. But studies conducted at WSU Spokane showed that too often patients don’t know what questions they should be asking during medical exams and follow up visits.

To help, an interdisciplinary WSU health care team that included patients as well as medical professionals developed the following list of questions you should consider asking, particularly when being prescribed a new medication.

Why am I taking this medication and what will it do for me?
When and how should I take this medication? With or without food?
What are the … » More …

Fall 2016

Victoria Tung ’96

Some traveled for three days through the humid air of Vietnam to get to the clinic offered by Victoria Tung ’96 and her colleagues.

“We were in one of the poorest regions of Vietnam,” Tung says. Over the course of a week, the all-volunteer Venture to Heal team offered two clinics, treating nearly 1,300 people. “We had a 67-year-old man who had never before seen a health care provider.”

“I have always been interested in global health issues and in serving people in underprivileged areas,” Tung says. That passion led her to her first jobs after graduating from WSU with a nutrition degree, working as … » More …