This week’s roundup takes a look at the upcoming presidential election, a global herpes epidemic, and the racial divide in medical school enrollment. For more on how these topics are shaping this week’s headlines, read on.
Some New Doctors Are Working 30-hour Shifts at Hospitals Around the U.S. – The Washington Post
In 2011, nation-wide restrictions were placed on the number of hours first year physicians could work at a time. While the ban restricts these individuals to shifts no longer than thirty hours, findings show that this rule is experiencing a decline in observance. The ban was initially instituted to restrict inexperienced physicians from jeopardizing patient care through fractured judgement as a result of sleep deprivation or mental exhaustion. The resurgence of neglect for this rule resurrects the debate that initially birthed it. The move has researchers and medical leaders grappling with whether extensive and challenging work conditions is the most effective method of training physicians, or if it increases the potential for patient risk. Read more here.
You Probably Have Herpes, The WHO Says – Reuters
The World Health Organization made headlines this week when it claimed that rates of herpes have reached global dominance, as the incredibly infectious disease is said to have infected more than half of the world’s population under the age of fifty. The specific numbers demonstrate that nearly 3.8 billion people suffer from HSV-1, the virus that manifests as oral lesions. Additionally, another 417 million people aged 17-49 are infected with HSV-2, the virus that causes genital ulcers. The rate of individuals with HSV-2 is also rapidly increasing, and doing so primarily within the world’s wealthiest and most developed countries. Read more here.
There Were Fewer Black Men In Medical School In 2014 Than In 1978 – NPR
The Association of American Medical Colleges recently released a report outlining numbers of enrollment and graduation among the country’s medical schools. The report found that while every other minority group has experienced an increase in medical school attendance, the number of black males has dropped over the last 35 years. However, the number of black men graduating from college has increased in recent decades. This finding incites surprised reaction, along with an inclination among the medical community to address the deficit. Advocates for higher numbers of black male enrollment stress the importance of a diverse physician field, particularly for patient’s benefit. Read more here.
Processed Meats Do Cause Cancer – WHO – BBC
A report from the World Health Organization’s stating that bacon and other processed meat cause cancer made headlines this week. According to the WHO’s research, eating approximately 50g of processed meat a day raised a patient’s risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. While the report outlined additional risks of various cancers, including pancreatic, as associated with the ingestion of these products, the findings also made it clear that there were health benefits associated with the various foods. The report also discussed the potential causes, which included the chemicals involved in the cooking, or the high temperature method of preparation. Read more here.
Carson: Can a Man of Great Surgical Skill Lead a Nation? – STL Today
Following the third Republican presidential debate, neurosurgeon Ben Carson gained another surge of popularity. The physician’s ranking in the polls raised to number one, leading the race of republican candidates. Since then, the physician, who has never served in political office, has gained significant attention along with a variety of scrutiny, as people around the country attempt to learn more about this figure, his career, and what about his medical career makes him capable of running the country. This report delves into his background, discussing his success with storied operations, and his campaign for becoming the nation’s leader. Read more here.
To keep up to date with what’s new in medical news, check back with BoardVitals next week.