Breaking News
November 20, 2018 - Skeletal imitation reveals how bones grow atom-by-atom
November 20, 2018 - Autism behaviors show unique brain network fingerprints in infants
November 20, 2018 - Location matters for inflammation clearance
November 20, 2018 - Towards finding a druggable cancer target
November 20, 2018 - Ultragenyx Announces Intent to Submit New Drug Application to U.S. FDA for UX007 for the Treatment of Long-chain Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders in Mid-2019
November 20, 2018 - Cooling ‘brains on fire’ to treat Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - Less pollution could increase the average lifespan of Copenhageners by an entire year in 2040
November 20, 2018 - Abramson Cancer Center becomes the 28th member institution of National Comprehensive Cancer Network
November 20, 2018 - The plug and play time-resolved spectrometer from PicoQuant
November 20, 2018 - Breakthrough technology offers new hope to people with glaucoma, retinitis and macular degeneration
November 20, 2018 - New report highlights key focus areas to help cancer screening realize its full potential
November 20, 2018 - International experts to discuss strategies to maintain spatial orientation in old age
November 20, 2018 - Scientists discover new inhibitor that decreases lung inflammation
November 20, 2018 - Participation project calls for relaxing research ban on germline interventions
November 20, 2018 - Karyopharm’s Selinexor Receives Fast Track Designation from FDA for the Treatment of Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
November 20, 2018 - Arthritis by the Numbers: Book of Trusted Facts & Figures
November 20, 2018 - Drug homing method helps rethink Parkinson’s
November 20, 2018 - AHF commends the passage of global AIDS funding in the House, calls for swift approval
November 20, 2018 - The search for new psychiatric disorder treatments
November 20, 2018 - New research offers hope for simpler way to diagnose and treat cancer
November 20, 2018 - Study sheds light on the infection mechanism of influenza virus
November 20, 2018 - Storage failures of eggs and embryos gain a new perspective
November 20, 2018 - Buyers of short-term health plans: Wise or shortsighted?
November 20, 2018 - Study indicates that frogs in virus-exposed groups breed at young age
November 20, 2018 - FDA Alerts Health Care Professionals and Patients Not To Use Sterile Drug Products from Pharm D Solutions
November 20, 2018 - Asthma may contribute to childhood obesity epidemic
November 20, 2018 - Live probiotics can change existing gut flora and alter immune response
November 20, 2018 - Researchers to explore the enigmatic role of unstructured protein in regulating circadian function
November 20, 2018 - Many patients with adenomas do not receive colonoscopy within recommended time frame
November 20, 2018 - Drug used to treat PTSD does not reduce suicidal thinking, may worsen nightmares and insomnia
November 20, 2018 - In-person social contact may offer protection against depression and PTSD symptoms
November 20, 2018 - Routine HCV testing in correctional facilities can best identify and treat disease, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Molecular DNA analysis could facilitate more accurate prognosis, treatment of aggressive brain tumors
November 20, 2018 - Breast Cancer Recurrence Rate Not Up With Autologous Fat Transfer
November 20, 2018 - Beta 2 Microglobulin (B2M) Tumor Marker Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 20, 2018 - Could bariatric surgery make men more virile?
November 20, 2018 - Urine test to check if patients take their medications will save the NHS money, say researchers
November 20, 2018 - Study reveals impact of residual inflammatory risk on clinical outcomes after PCI
November 20, 2018 - RNAi therapy shown to alleviate preeclampsia
November 20, 2018 - Replacement of dysfunctional microglia has therapeutic potential for neurodegenerative diseases
November 20, 2018 - Forming 3D Neuronal Models of the Brain
November 20, 2018 - Shoulder ultrasounds could be used to predict diabetes
November 20, 2018 - SGLT2 Inhibitors for Diabetes Linked to Increased Risk for Amputation
November 20, 2018 - Stem cell transplant cements Arizona men’s father-son bond
November 20, 2018 - Scientists try to develop portable systems that can quickly produce biologics on demand
November 20, 2018 - Automating Data Capture and Image Analysis in Continuous Experiments
November 20, 2018 - New drug shows promise for treating people with peanut allergy
November 20, 2018 - Researchers develop novel mouse model to study immunomodulatory therapies
November 20, 2018 - “Britain must not go backward on antibiotic controls to appease US trade deals” – Jim Moseley, CEO of Red Tractor
November 20, 2018 - Widespread errors in ‘proofreading’ cause inherited blindness
November 20, 2018 - Reaping the benefits of living longer
November 20, 2018 - New Program Hopes to Make Early Detection and Treatment of ALS a Reality
November 19, 2018 - Artificial bone-like substance mimics the way real bone grows at atomic level
November 19, 2018 - FDA Grants Orphan Drug Designation To RGX-181 Gene Therapy For The Treatment Of CLN2 Form Of Batten Disease
November 19, 2018 - Systemic mastocytosis – Genetics Home Reference
November 19, 2018 - Eye trauma secondary to falls in older adults increasing
November 19, 2018 - Empowering women in India to improve their health: A Q&A
November 19, 2018 - Researchers have trained a computer to analyze breast cancer images and classify tumors
November 19, 2018 - New glucose binding molecule could be key to better metabolic control for diabetics
November 19, 2018 - Biologists uncover novel genetic control of lipid maintenance and its potential connection to lifespan
November 19, 2018 - Warmer winters may set scene for higher rates of violent crimes
November 19, 2018 - Personalized program of physical exercise effective in reversing functional decline in the elderly
November 19, 2018 - Acacia Pharma Resubmits Barhemsys New Drug Application
November 19, 2018 - PDL1 (Immunotherapy) Tests: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 19, 2018 - Transforming pregnancy research with a smartphone app
November 19, 2018 - Stanford Medicine magazine explores how digital technology is changing health care
November 19, 2018 - Vision impairments may increase risk of falls in older adults
November 19, 2018 - Concomitant use of sleeping pills and opioids found to prevalent among people with Alzheimer’s disease
November 19, 2018 - Marijuana prevention programs should focus on promoting mental wellbeing of youth
November 19, 2018 - New report calls for greater awareness and emphasis on scale and impact of atrial fibrillation
November 19, 2018 - In throes of turkey salmonella outbreak, don’t invite illness to your table
November 19, 2018 - UK health policies should be redesigned to become more accessible for men
November 19, 2018 - Short Interpregnancy Intervals Tied to Adverse Outcome Risk
November 19, 2018 - New mothers’ breastfeeding pain can affect infant health
November 19, 2018 - Stanford Medicine magazine reports on ways digital technology is transforming health care | News Center
November 19, 2018 - Human drugs alter cricket personality
November 19, 2018 - Insilico Medicine to introduce ‘Cure a disease in a year’ program at Biodata World Congress 2018
November 19, 2018 - Experts debate over whether gut or brain is more important in regulating appetite
November 19, 2018 - Playing on fear and fun, hospitals follow pharma in direct-to-consumer advertising
November 19, 2018 - 2PG Company receives grant to develop sensitive, low-cost molecular diagnostic tests for tuberculosis
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