Breaking News
February 18, 2019 - Researchers report progress in the treatment of aggressive brain tumors
February 18, 2019 - Scientists discover trigger that turns strep infections into devastating disease
February 18, 2019 - Scanning children’s teeth may predict future mental health issues
February 18, 2019 - Health Highlights: Feb. 14, 2019
February 18, 2019 - New knowledge could help predict and prevent depression
February 18, 2019 - More primary care physicians leads to longer life spans | News Center
February 18, 2019 - Patented IU discovery to treat ARDS has been optioned to Theratome Bio
February 18, 2019 - Male Y chromosomes not ‘genetic wastelands’
February 18, 2019 - Hormone therapy during gender transition may increase risk for cardiovascular events
February 18, 2019 - NICE renews accreditation for Advanced
February 18, 2019 - FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation to Amplyx Pharmaceuticals for APX001 for Treatment of Cryptococcosis
February 18, 2019 - Molecule effective in killing tuberculosis bacteria
February 18, 2019 - Columbia researchers unravel why some glioblastomas respond to immunotherapy
February 18, 2019 - Men who are able to do ten push-ups are less likely to have a stroke
February 18, 2019 - Blood-brain barrier disruption could lead to age-related cognitive decline
February 18, 2019 - Combination of PARP inhibitor and immunotherapy results in tumor regression in SCLC mouse models
February 18, 2019 - Heavy smoking could lead to vision loss, study finds
February 18, 2019 - New diagnostic test for malaria uses spit, not blood
February 18, 2019 - New therapeutic molecules show promise in reversing memory loss related to depression, aging
February 18, 2019 - Darla Shine joins anti-vaccination campaigners
February 18, 2019 - New study outlines sex-specific issues in ischemic heart disease
February 18, 2019 - Drug combinations could become first-line treatment for metastatic kidney cancer
February 18, 2019 - Lifetime adversity, increased neural processing during trauma combine to intensify core PTSD symptoms
February 18, 2019 - HRQoL Scores Decrease With Treatment Line in Multiple Myeloma
February 18, 2019 - Convincing evidence that type 2 diabetes is a cause of erectile dysfunction
February 18, 2019 - Study offers implications of advanced age in evaluation, management of ischemic heart disease
February 18, 2019 - Children from homes with flame-retardant sofa have high SVOC concentration in their blood
February 18, 2019 - Art Institute of Chicago announces results of research on five terracotta sculptures
February 18, 2019 - New PET/CT tracer shows high detection rate for diagnosis of acute venous thromboembolism
February 18, 2019 - Smoking may blight immune response against melanoma and reduce survival
February 18, 2019 - How Inactivity and Junk Food Can Harm Your Brain
February 18, 2019 - Diabetes tops common conditions for frequent geriatric emergency patients
February 18, 2019 - Longer-lived sperm produces offspring with healthier lifespans
February 18, 2019 - New dental adhesive prevents tooth decay around orthodontic brackets
February 18, 2019 - New eHealth tool shows potential to improve quality of asthma care
February 18, 2019 - New Australian initiative helps emergency clinicians to improve patient care
February 17, 2019 - Apellis Pharmaceuticals’ APL-2 Receives Fast Track Designation from the FDA for the Treatment of Patients with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria
February 17, 2019 - Researchers identify faulty ‘brake’ that interferes with heart muscle’s ability to contract and relax
February 17, 2019 - Support from trusted adults can reduce risk of dying in suicidal teens, finds study
February 17, 2019 - Heart attack awareness improved since 2008
February 17, 2019 - Exercise gives a better brain boost to older men than women
February 17, 2019 - New research disproves previous assumptions of how looks influence personality
February 17, 2019 - Cannabis use as a teenager linked to depression later in life
February 17, 2019 - Sinks by Toilets in ICU Patient Rooms Harbor Harmful Bacteria
February 17, 2019 - Cancer cells’ plasticity makes them harder to stop
February 17, 2019 - Young cannabis users have increased risk of depression and suicidal behavior
February 17, 2019 - Tasmanian Devils Likely to Survive Cancer Scourge
February 17, 2019 - Neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade seems effective in glioblastoma
February 17, 2019 - Personal, social factors play role in enabling sustainable return to work after ill health
February 17, 2019 - Mouse studies show ‘inhibition’ theory of autism wrong
February 17, 2019 - Study shows how neuroactive steroids inhibit activity of pro-inflammatory proteins
February 17, 2019 - Use of liver grafts from older donors decreased despite better outcomes in recipients
February 17, 2019 - MUSC researchers discover new mechanism for a class of anti-cancer drugs
February 17, 2019 - HPV misconceptions are causing women to miss smear tests
February 17, 2019 - Sanofi and Regeneron Offer Praluent (alirocumab) at a New Reduced U.S. List Price
February 17, 2019 - Researchers say auditory testing can identify children for autism screening
February 17, 2019 - New method analyzes how single biological cells react to stressful situations
February 17, 2019 - WVU gynecologic oncologist investigates novel treatment for cervical and vaginal cancers
February 17, 2019 - ADHD diagnoses poorly documented
February 17, 2019 - Majority of gender minority youth do not identify with traditional sexual identity labels
February 17, 2019 - AbbVie, Teneobio enter into strategic transaction to develop potential treatment for multiple myeloma
February 17, 2019 - Lower Birth Weight May Up Risk for Psychiatric Disorders
February 17, 2019 - Scientists identify reversible molecular defect underlying rheumatoid arthritis
February 17, 2019 - Moffitt researchers shed light on how CAR T cells function mechanistically
February 16, 2019 - Female Anatomy May Play Big Role in Sperm’s Success
February 16, 2019 - BMI may mediate inverse link between fiber intake, knee OA
February 16, 2019 - Movement impairments in autism can be reversed through behavioral training
February 16, 2019 - Studies address racial disparities in postpartum period and cardiovascular health
February 16, 2019 - Scientists implicate hidden genes in the severity of autism symptoms
February 16, 2019 - Decreased deep sleep linked to early signs of Alzheimer’s disease
February 16, 2019 - Neuroscientists show how the brain responds to texture
February 16, 2019 - Gilead Announces Topline Data From Phase 3 STELLAR-4 Study of Selonsertib in Compensated Cirrhosis (F4) Due to Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
February 16, 2019 - What Can I Do About Sweating? (for Teens)
February 16, 2019 - Companies navigate dementia conversations with older workers
February 16, 2019 - Newly developed stem cell technologies show promise for treating PD patients
February 16, 2019 - Collaborative material research could advance self-assembling nanomaterials
February 16, 2019 - Researchers take major step in creating technology that mimics the human brain
February 16, 2019 - Erasing memories associated with cocaine use reduces drug seeking behavior
February 16, 2019 - Artificial intelligence can accurately predict prognosis of ovarian cancer patients
February 16, 2019 - Racial disparities in cancer deaths on the decline for America
A lesson for future doctors: Listen to and learn from your patients

A lesson for future doctors: Listen to and learn from your patients

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The soft beeping sound that filled the quiet classroom had an unusual quality to it. The 24 high school and pre-med students enrolled in Stanford’s Science, Technology and Medicine Summer Program listened intently. The beeping was coming from inside their instructor’s chest.

Hugo Campos, a Stanford Medicine X ePatient and White House Champion of Change for Precision Medicine, was sharing an important lesson — how to “turn off” a defibrillator (in case of surgery or device malfunctioning). He demonstrated this using a small handheld magnet to flip the tiny reed switch inside the defibrillator entwined with his own heart. Once he removed the magnet, his defibrillator turned on again and the beeping stopped.

The students had just practiced one of the most important skills the course is designed to emphasize: the ability to listen attentively to patients.

“We developed this two-week summer course last year because we wanted to create compassionate individuals in health care,” Larry Chu, MD, executive director of Stanford Medicine X, told me. “What’s great about this program is they are learning from patients, and they are learning early on that patients have expertise to offer.”

Recently, Campos, who is shown on the right in the photo above, shared his experience and expertise with the students.

“When I was 37 I ran up stairs to catch the BART and I passed out on the platform,” Campos said. “Three years later I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,” a common genetic heart condition that can cause heart arrhythmias, congestive heart failure and sudden death.

To prevent cardiac arrest, Campos received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator — a surgically implanted device attached to wires threaded through the veins and into the heart. Unfortunately, because of his genetic heart condition and this device, Campos was twice denied health insurance before 2014, when he was able to buy insurance in the Covered California insurance exchange.

“I had a device in me and no idea if it was working,” Campos recalled thinking.

He needed to know if the device he trusted with his life was functioning, so he went online, bought a pacemaker programmer and enrolled in a course in South Carolina to learn how to use it.

“I wasn’t proud of this,” Campos said. “It’s not good that I needed to go to these lengths. But I just had to.”

The ordeal made Campos realize how important it is for patients to have easy access to their own health data.

“My Fitbit tells me when my battery is low, my doorbell tells me when someone walks by, and yet from a 30K defibrillator that lives inside my body… crickets, I get nothing. Would it make any sense to have a car where the dashboard of the car isn’t in front of you, it’s in front of the mechanic? … I should have a portal so I can see what’s going on with the device that’s in my body.”

A student asked if he could feel when the defibrillator worked.

“Yes,” Campos said. “It’s not pleasant.” The defibrillator gives a burst of eight ATP (anti-tachycardia pacing) pulses that can gently correct a heart rhythm, or an electric shock.

“What’s really scary,” Campos said, “is going through the experience of having your heart malfunction. It’s a bit like jumping out of a plane and the parachute doesn’t work, and then when the device is ready to deliver ATP it’s like the parachute opens. It’s a welcome relief.”

‘It feels, in a way, really empowering to talk about this,” Campos said.

He taught the students about pacemakers (they prevent the heart from dropping below a set rate) and defibrillators (which can prevent the heart from going too slow as well, but are mainly used to stop a fast, abnormal heart rhythm) saying, “even people who have these devices sometimes don’t understand the difference,” or how they work.

Defibrillators actually stop the heart, he explained. “In movies you see a person getting a defib shock and it looks like they are starting the heart. No. It stops the heart in hopes that the heart restarts on its own in normal sinus rhythm.”

He also taught the students to listen.

“When they become clinicians, they are going to think back to this and they are going to listen,” Chu whispered to me during class. “They will never not know what it’s like to listen to the patient.”

Photo courtesy of Stanford Medicine X

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles