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Opinion

Thu
17
Apr
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UCaSeFiles: Clinical Cases from the UCSF Wards

Welcome to UCaSeFiles, a column in which short case vignettes are submitted by UCSF medical students, residents and attendings based on the stories of real patients seen on the wards, with each vignette followed by a brief discussion of salient learning points. Some cases are rare diagnoses; others are common ailments that might have had a unique or puzzling presentation. All are welcome to submit your medical mysteries to Theresa Poulos (Theresa.poulos@ucsf.edu) for editing and final submission.

By Theresa Poulos and Jenny Cohen
Staff Writers

Multiple Chief Complaints: Can There B1 Unifying Diagnosis?

Case Submitted by: Theresa Poulos, MS3, Marisa Hernandez-Morgan, MD, and Marcia Glass, MD

Thu
13
Mar
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Creating a Round Square at SFGH

San Francisco General Hospital record keeping remains fragmented

By Akshay Govind
Associate Editor

In my piece “Health Record Systems Affect Patient Care” (Feb. 27), I argued that the record keeping system at San Francisco General Hospital negatively affects both patient care and provider peace of mind.

The focus of the piece was to illustrate the challenges of trying to provide first-rate care from within a fragmented system, but I also suggested cost was the main factor that prevented the implementation of the electronic health record (EHR) already in use at UCSF. I have received some comments that my claim is overly simplistic if not offensive, and I feel this warrants a response.

Thu
06
Mar
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Build a Kirkham Trailhead For Better Access to Mt. Sutro

The proposed Kirkham trailhead is located at B-3 at the end of Kirkham St. and Koret Way and heads east through C-3.

By T. Booth Haley
Staff Writer

Mount Sutro is a rare, under-appreciated gem in UCSF’s backyard. Recent debates about UCSF’s long-term plan for this wild urban park have focused on how to manage the eucalyptus and other plants. While many residents have strong opinions on this issue, I would like to shift the focus. What makes the mountain special, regardless of what kind of understory is cultivated, is the ability of members of UCSF and the surrounding communities to access it.

The existing trail system on Mount Sutro is inadequate. The entire western flank of the mountain has only one point of entry which is very well hidden high on Crestmont Drive. The northern slopes are slightly more accessible, but from Parnassus (which has no trail sign) one must first ascend Medical Center Way, a stairway, a parking lot and then another stairway before actually reaching a forest trail.

Thu
27
Feb
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Health Record Systems Affect Patient Care

By Akshay Govind
Associate Editor

I started a rotation at San Francisco General Hospital at the beginning of February—my first one there since the summer of 2011. I had been avoiding the county hospital mostly because of the inconvenience of commuting to Potrero Hill from my home in the Outer Sunset, but maybe there was a part of me that had been eluding SFGH because of the constant feeling of inadequacy that comes from trying to provide quality care from within a clumsy healthcare system that seems so implausible in the year 2014.

To summarize record keeping there, progress notes and consultations are done either on paper or are dictated and transcribed a day or two later. Some people put new paper notes at the front of a chart, some at the back. Penmanship varies. The chart itself may be on its appropriate rack or it may be floating around with someone on the floor.

Thu
27
Feb
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A Letter From the New Interim GSA President

Michael Le has been elected interim GSA president.

Dear Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) Members,

At the February 2014 GSA Board Meeting, your GSA representatives, consisting of graduate, nursing and physical therapy students, approved my appointment as interim president of GSA, taking over for Joseph Foy, who stepped down as president due to taking a leave of absence from UCSF. I believe my multi-year experience in GSA and my experiences as a DDS/PhD student will help me in my new role as interim GSA president, a role where I aim to continue the work of my predecessor for the current academic year.

Thu
20
Feb
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Mama M.: Struggling with Self-Confidence

Dear Mama M.,

I am a student in the School of Nursing. I guess I don’t have a lot of self-confidence in general, but I know I am in the right place. The thing that I don’t understand is how other people seem so much more confident than me, especially the medical students with whom we occasionally share teaching sessions. It seems like they are so much more confident, and that they might even feel superior to nursing students. Or is it that I feel inferior to them?

It’s hard enough feeling OK about myself, I don’t need others to make me feel “less than.” Is my whole career as a nurse going to make me feel inferior to doctors? What am I getting myself into?

Inferiorly yours,
Less Than

_______________________________

Dear Less Than,

Thu
13
Feb
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Partner Up: Discuss your long-term goals with a trusted friend regularly

By Akshay Govind
Associate Editor

In last week’s issue of Synapse (February 6), Winnie Chan described a struggle many professional students experience: the effort to maintain the qualities they have always valued in themselves while working to keep up with the furious pace of their education. Adding to this problem is the self-doubt that naturally occurs from being in an environment where no matter what they do, someone around them has done more and nothing seems like nothing is ever enough.

Ms. Chan beautifully described the discord between tirelessly splashing away without ever feeling like it pushes one far enough forward and the disappointment that comes from several months or years gone by while proverbially treading water.

Thu
13
Feb
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San Francisco Should Embrace Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Policy

Vision Zero is a policy to reduce traffic deaths to zero in 10 years. Photo by Madeline Ragan/PT2

By Madeline Ragan
Staff Writer

On New Year’s Eve, six-year-old girl Sophia Liu was killed while walking in a crosswalk at Polk and Ellis streets in San Francisco.  That same night, 86-year-old Zhen Guang Ng was also killed at the intersection of Rolph and Naples streets. Both were struck by cars.

In 2013, San Francisco saw a spike in traffic-related deaths, including 21 pedestrians and four bicyclists. These recent deaths highlight the need for a better understanding of road safety and better adherence to the laws of the road, for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. Several leaders in other major U.S. cities have made statements of commitment to Vision Zero, which is a policy to reduce traffic deaths to zero in 10 years.

Thu
06
Feb
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Dream On: A med student hits the reset button

By Winnie Chan
Contributing Writer

"Just show your passions on your residency applications and everything else will work out," my mentor said.

I sat there and realized, “holy crap...I have not shown my passions these past three years. Hell, I don't even know if I have had any.” Having always thought my actions were driven by my passions, I was pretty shaken up at that moment. My mentor appeared unfazed.

My goal and dream for the longest time was to become a doctor. That was a big deal. It is a big deal. Passion was what got me into medical school. But once I got here, I stopped dreaming. I stopped looking forward. I stopped being the goal-driven person that once defined me.

Thu
06
Feb
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Science Mom: Top 10 Reasons for Having a Child While in Graduate School

Illustration by Jillian Varonin/BMS4

By Debbie Ruelas
Staff Writer

There are a lot of reasons why having a child in graduate school is difficult, but on the other hand, it can also be very rewarding. Below is my Top 10 list for why having a kid in grad school at UCSF is awesome:

10. Graduate student insurance. I think my baby literally cost me about $20 out of pocket. All my ultrasounds, check-ups and blood tests were totally covered.

9. Free baby stuff from postdocs and PIs. When I was pregnant (and even now that my kid is older) I had a ton of postdocs and PIs asking if I would like to use their children’s old clothes, strollers, cribs, toys, etc.

8. Access to absorbent pads from lab. Changing diapers can be messy.

7. No competition for PCR machines at 8 a.m. Yes, people with kids get up earlier, but it’s kind of nice having the lab all to yourself early in the morning.

6. Changing poopy diapers makes the mouse-house seem like a walk though a rose garden.

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