Monday, July 26th, 2010 at
Hiccups might be a cute or funny bodily reaction, but when you’re experiencing them, they’re nothing but annoying. These not-so-pleasant spasms that make you say, “hic,” are the involuntary contractions of the diaphragm and sudden closure of your vocal cords. According to MayoClinic.com, hiccups can occur after drinking alcohol, eating a large meal or getting suddenly excited. Hiccups are usually nothing to fret over, but you also don’t have to deal with them all day, because there are several tried-and-tested home remedies designed to quiet your hiccups. Here are 11 popular ways to get rid of hiccups:
- Breathe Into a Paper Bag
This is an age-old trick that many hiccup sufferers swear by. Take a brown paper bag and, while holding the opening around your mouth and sealing it tightly, begin blowing in and out about 10 times. Some say to breathe fast or really hard to get optimal results, but it’s important to do it at your own level of comfort.
- Drink Water From Opposite Side of a Cup
This might sound complicated, but it’s fairly simple. First, fill a cup halfway with water and hold the cup right side up. Stand and bend over, while placing your mouth on the opposite side of the cup so the opening is around your chin. Drink as much of the water as you can and repeat until hiccups subside.
- Swallow a Teaspoon of Sugar
Swallowing a teaspoon of sugar is another tried-and-tested trick to get rid of hiccups. There’s really not much to it, but it may be easier to swallow if you tilt your head back and use a sugar packet, or hold the sugar on your tongue to moisten or wash it down with a glass of water.
- Hold Your Breath
When you don’t have any sugar, ice water or paper bags on hand, try holding your breath for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise, while taking time to catch your breath in between so you don’t overdo it.
- Get Scared
If sudden excitement is what caused you to get hiccups in the first place, it may require getting excited or scared again to get rid of them. If you happen to be around friends when you get hiccups, scaring you shouldn’t be hard to arrange, but if you’re alone, try scaring yourself or watching something scary. It’s said that getting scared causes you to constrict your diaphragm and throws off the hiccup pattern.
- Gargle with Ice Water
Gargling with ice water is recommended on several reputable health Web sites and may just do the trick to get rid of your pesky hiccups. Be careful not to swallow any ice cubes, but then again, this could trigger number five.
- Massage the Roof of Your Mouth
Don’t gag, but massaging the back of the roof of your mouth with a cotton swab will stimulate the vagus nerve and stop diaphragm spasms that cause hiccups.
- Pull Out Your Tongue
This is the only time when pulling out your tongue in public is not considered rude. The act of pulling out your tongue works the same way as number six, to stimulate the vagus nerve and ease diaphragm spasms, while avoiding any dreadful gag reflexes.
- Drink a Teaspoon of Vinegar
Drinking a teaspoon of vinegar or another sour juice has been found to cure some hiccup attacks. Some people even combine the sugar-vinegar remedy to make it taste better. Bottoms up!
- Eat a Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter, without the jelly, is said to keep hiccups at bay. Peanut butter and other sticky foods are said to work similarly to swallowing sugar because it stimulates the vagus nerve, causing your diaphragm to constrict.
Any one of these reactions can help get rid of hiccups. The thinking is that coughing, sneezing or burping causes the diaphragm to constrict and breaks the pattern of hiccups.
Sunday, July 25th, 2010 at
Doctors are very important people, who we admire, confide in and trust to keep us alive and well. While this may be true for many, there are tons of patients who repeatedly take doctors for granted and make it really difficult for them to administer the kind of care they are capable of. We sometimes forget that doctors are people too, but that doesn’t excuse inconsiderate, unprofessional behavior in their office. Here are 10 ways to irritate your doctor:
- Insist on a Prescription You Don’t Need
Doctors are highly trained medical professionals with decades of schooling and experience under their belt. Just because you watched an all day marathon of House does not mean that you are capable of making a medical diagnosis, and it certainly does not mean that you know what medication, if any, you need. Let the expert make the decisions that could improve or even save your life.
- Be Late to Your Appointment
Doctors are some of the busiest professionals on the planet. They do not have time for you to keep them waiting, but even if you do show up two hours late, they will do their best to fit you in to their hectic schedules. Try to be courteous and arrive to your appointment on time. The more punctual you are, the less time you’ll have to wait and the more time a doctor will have to answer your questions.
- Ask to See Your Doctor’s Notes
Not only do doctors have notoriously bad handwriting, likely making the notes illegible, but such a request indicates a lack of trust in your doctor and is a slightly paranoid approach to trying to understand what your doctor is telling you. If you aren’t clear on a diagnosis or explanation, don’t ask for the doctor’s notes just ask some careful questions to clarify what he or she is trying to tell you.
- Request Multiple Doctors’ Notes
Different from the doctor’s notes described above, doctors’ notes or excuse slips are used to verify that you were in fact at the doctor when you missed school or work. This official document tells whomever it may concern that you were at the doctor’s office because of an illness or condition that needed professional care. Patients who request multiple doctors’ notes irk physicians, because they may be trying to weasel their way out of work and hope the doctor will cover them with a note that says so. Don’t be a dishonest patient and don’t expect more than one note per visit.
- Ask Too Many Questions
Asking the right questions is an important part of medical treatment. Asking your doctor about the molecular mechanism causing your sore throat is probably a huge waste of time for both you and your doctor. Your doctor is there to answer your questions and encourage you to ask them, but in order to get the most out of your time with a physician, you should focus on asking the right questions rather than as many questions as you can think of.
- Bring the Whole Family Into the Room
The waiting room at your doctor’s office is not meant to be a family gathering. Doctors are usually patient with circumstances like your inability to find a babysitter or other family needs, but that doesn’t mean you can invite Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa and your six cousins to your annual checkup. Doctors try to maintain a pleasant and professional waiting room, so try to respect their facilities, as you would expect guests to do in your home.
- Complain Non-stop
Doctors know you aren’t feeling well and that you’re likely grumpy. But guess what? You aren’t the only patient they will see that day that feels the same or worse. Complaining rather than discussing symptoms will likely get you nowhere. Doctors want to help, but they are also human beings and deserve courtesy and respect just like everyone else. Complaining about services, waiting time and the doctor’s colleagues will usually only make things worse for you. If you have a concern about wait time, try to courteously ask why you haven’t been seen and if you aren’t satisfied with your appointment, ask to see the doctor again. Doctors know they are running a business and they want to satisfy their patients, but prefer to handle issues in a calm, civil way.
- Vaguely Describe Symptoms
“I’ve been feeling a little off lately” will not get you a diagnosis, because it doesn’t really tell the doctor anything. Try to be specific and detailed about your symptoms. If you aren’t, doctors won’t be able to help treat you accordingly. If you’re in pain, tell him or her where it hurts, when it hurts and if it’s constant or random spurts of pain. In other words, be specific. It will make your visit more efficient and help your doctor help you.
- Not Knowing Your Meds
Whether you are visiting a doctor for the first time or the 100th time, you should always know which medications you are prescribed to. If you can’t remember, bring your medicine with you or make a list of your meds, as well as vitamins, supplements and other nonprescription drugs you’re taking. Don’t expect the doctor to know each and every pill you take on a daily basis, but DO come prepared with the names of your current medication, so they can provide safe and effective treatments.
- Lying to Them
Not only is lying to your doctor a shameful thing to do, but it’s also a risky measure to take if your well-being could be at risk. Doctors aren’t mind readers, nor are they going to probe someone who they think is telling the truth. Tell them about everything that hurts or looks weird, and don’t hold back if you drink or smoke. You’re paying for their service, so get your money’s worth and be true to yourself.
Monday, July 5th, 2010 at
Graduating from medical school with an M.D. degree is a huge feat, and one to be proud of, but that’s only half of the journey to becoming a doctor. After you walk across that stage, you have another three to seven years of graduate medical education, also known as your residency. During this time, you’ll work in a hospital under the supervision of physicians, gaining invaluable experience in patient care and independent practice in the medical specialty or subspecialty of your choice. Choosing a prestigious, accredited residency or fellowship program is just as important as attending a prestigious medical school. Competition is keen and space is limited in these elite graduate medical programs, but they’re definitely worth applying to. Here are 10 exceptional places to do your residency program:
- College of Medicine Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is one of the most prestigious medical facilities in the United States, and a phenomenal hospital to do your medical residency program. For over a decade,
Mayo Clinic has received high marks in its level of medical care, specifically in diabetes and endocrinology, gynecology, cardiology, neurology and other major specialties. Mayo Clinic offers 248 medical residency and fellowship programs in nearly all medical specialties.
- Johns Hopkins University Program
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, The Johns Hopkins Hospital has maintained its ranking as the best hospital in America, and a top performer in ear, nose and throat, urology, rheumatology and second best in psychiatry, ophthalmology, gynecology and geriatrics, according to the 2009-2010 U.S. News and World Report. With this level of prestige, it’s no surprise why Johns Hopkins’ residency and fellowship programs are so elite. This teaching hospital has dozens of residency and fellowship programs for students to choose from and determine their area of specialty.
- Cleveland Clinic Foundation Program
The Cleveland Clinic is another highly-ranked hospital, and a top performer in gastroenterology, rheumatology and urology specialties. This teaching hospital also has one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the nation, with approximately 57 accredited residency programs and more than 70 advanced fellowship programs in a variety of specialties.
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital Program
Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a highly-ranked hospital for nephrology and gynecology. BWH has about 220 accredited residency and fellowship programs in virtually all medical specialties.
- The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, is the number one hospital in the nation for cancer treatment, as well as a leader in ear, nose and throat and urology care. MD Anderson has a variety of excellent residencies and fellowships for students who are interested in anesthesiology and critical care, pediatrics, pathology and other divisions of cancer medicine.
- Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital Program
Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, is the leading hospital in psychiatry treatment, and a top performer in diabetes and endocrinology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, geriatrics and other specialties. It is also a great hospital to complete a residency or fellowship program in one of their many specialties, such as adult and child psychiatry, emergency medicine, radiation oncology or oral and maxillofacial surgery. Many of the specialized residencies and fellowships are affiliated with Harvard Medical School and share resources with other Boston-based medical facilities.
- Univeristy of Pennsylvania Health System
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is another highly-ranked medical facility that excels in pulmonology, ear, nose and throat, cardiology and other specialty care. The University of Pennsylvania Program has superb graduate medical training in more than 50 accredited specialties and subspecialties.
- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
University of California Los Angeles Medical Center is a prestigious hospital and leader in a number of specialties, such as geriatrics, urology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, psychiatry and more. There are several prestigious residency training programs to choose from, including anesthesiology, dentistry, pediatrics, nuclear medicine and much more.
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus) Program
New York-Presbyterian Hospital is a leader in nephrology, as well as psychiatry, diabetes and endocrinology, neurology and neurosurgery. It’s also a prestigious teaching hospital to complete a residency and fellowship program in one of the many medical specialties available to students, such as otolaryngology, child and adolescent psychiatry or general surgery.
- Duke University Hospital Program
The Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, is a leader in several medical specialties, including gynecology, orthopedics, urology, ophthalmology and geriatrics. The Duke University Hospital Program also has an array of approved residencies and fellowships for students in community and family medicine, dermatology, pathology, pediatrics, radiology and other varied medical specialties.