Tag Archives: mental health

The Black Mask and Mental Health in Iowa

Dave tries the latest YouTube beauty treatment. (spoiler: it doesn’t make him prettier)

Sometimes, Dave has ideas.  This time Dave’s idea was to get his long-suffering co-hosts to enjoy the YouTube beauty treatment known as The Black Mask.  Because, dermatology!  Which is better, the DIY treatment or the store-bought version?  Kaci McCleary, John Pienta, Adam Erwood, and Lisa Wehr will try to suss it out so you don’ t have to.  Also, we discuss Iowa’s shortcomings with respect to mental health–its recent closures of state mental health hospitals and the reduction of psych beds across the state–as well as Iowa’s recent moves counter to the trend–adding hospital beds and even residency programs!  Meanwhile, is the anesthetic ketamine poised to revolutionize emergency treatment for suicidal depression?  It’s been many years since we had a new class of drugs to treat depression, but as always there are risks and doubts to be considered.  On a related note, Dave attended a meeting of CCOM’s new chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and John reviews briefly the College’s new class “The Thriving Physician,” both meant as antidotes for medical education’s deleterious effects on mental health. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page where we often broadcast our recording sessions live so you can join in on Fridays.

Continue reading The Black Mask and Mental Health in Iowa

Recess Rehash: The Ultimate Taboo: Medicine and Suicide

sad photo
Photo by JoePenna

[With Thanksgiving late week, we didn’t record a new episode.  Enjoy this rerun, instead!]

Just hours before a new crop of medical students are to be welcomed into the world of medicine, Kaci McCleary, John Pienta, Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, and Lisa Wehr confront one of the most uncomfortable topics in medical education: resident and student suicide.  Among doctors, suicide rates are much higher than among the general population.  The long hours, high pressure (from both one’s internal monologue and from outside sources) to succeed, fear of public humiliation regarding one’s shortcomings, isolation, inadequate supervision, the stigma against mental illness, the career penalties faced by those who admit to unwellness, and more, all contribute to the problem.  Institutions also have a difficult time addressing incidents of physician suicide effectively, as they try to walk a tightrope strung between respect for the privacy of the deceased, the needs of colleague survivors to talk about it, the desire to avoid adverse publicity.  Meanwhile, the work does not stop. The only breaks are a moment of silence, a visit with a grief counselor, or an “open forum” to discuss one’s feelings.

Fortunately, the culture may be changing to allow for more discussion, prevention, transparency. Institutions like the University of Iowa and Harvard University are adding counseling capacity, student groups to support struggling peers, and a greater openness to acknowledging without shaming the fact of mental illness among physicians.

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The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.

Superstition is the Human Condition

zombie doctor photo
Photo by bionicteaching

Halloweeeeeeennnn! It’s upon us, and while we’re women and men of science around here, we’re not completely able to shed our lizard-brain’s need to take shortcuts.  Which is why we are not at all surprised to know that ER docs still think the moon’s revolutions around the big blue marble are in any way important.  Fortunately, the post-cave-dwellers at the Marburg Center for Undiagnosed and Rare Disease are putting IBM’s Watson to good use by diagnosing–in seconds– rare diseases that defy the efforts of meatier doctors.  And a Rutgers study finds that med school faculty severely underestimate students’ stress and mental health issues.

Continue reading Superstition is the Human Condition

The Ultimate Taboo: Medicine and Suicide

sad photo
Photo by JoePenna

Just hours before a new crop of medical students are to be welcomed into the world of medicine, Kaci McCleary, John Pienta, Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, and Lisa Wehr confront one of the most uncomfortable topics in medical education: resident and student suicide.  Among doctors, suicide rates are much higher than among the general population.  The long hours, high pressure (from both one’s internal monologue and from outside sources) to succeed, fear of public humiliation regarding one’s shortcomings, isolation, inadequate supervision, the stigma against mental illness, the career penalties faced by those who admit to unwellness, and more, all contribute to the problem.  Institutions also have a difficult time addressing incidents of physician suicide effectively, as they try to walk a tightrope strung between respect for the privacy of the deceased, the needs of colleague survivors to talk about it, the desire to avoid adverse publicity.  Meanwhile, the work does not stop. The only breaks are a moment of silence, a visit with a grief counselor, or an “open forum” to discuss one’s feelings.

Fortunately, the culture may be changing to allow for more discussion, prevention, transparency. Institutions like the University of Iowa and Harvard University are adding counseling capacity, student groups to support struggling peers, and a greater openness to acknowledging without shaming the fact of mental illness among physicians.

We need validation. Leave a review: iTunes

 

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.

Episode 031: Andrew Solomon, and Parents Raising Unexpectedly Different Children

The Carver College of Medicine’s conference on the intersection’s between the humanities and medicine was fortunate to book author and psychologist Andrew Solomon as its featured presenter this year. Solomon is an activist and philanthropist in LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts.

Andrew Solomon, PhD

His latest book, Far From the Tree, is an exploration of families coping with the differences between the parents and their extraordinary children: deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender.

These stories are courageous in their telling, as are the families who opened themselves up to Dr. Solomon over the eleven-year course of writing the book. Ultimately, they led Dr. Solomon to understand his own identity, and helped him with his decision to have his own children.

Students Rachel Press-Goosen, Eric Wilson, and Dwiju Kumar sat down with Dr. Solomon to discuss the book and find out more about the struggles and triumphs these families experienced.

Listen to Episode 031: Andrew Solomon, and Parents Raising Unexpectedly Different Children.

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The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.