April 6, 2012
Volume 1: Issue 2
A Monthly Periodical - Established 2012 -
2: No Mediasite for You!
by Virginia Parker
Remember the days of undergrad when the alarm never went off and you frantically ran across campus in order to be on time for the 8:00 a.m. lecture? Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case here at Ross University. Mediasiting is some students’ entire source of class, which they can conveniently do anytime…but not everywhere. The accommodation of watching lectures ends as soon as one walks off campus – unless enrolled in the Progressive Academic Education (PAcE) program. Is this fair, some ask? Dr. Maria Sheakley, head of PAcE , shared the history of the program and possible reasons for this ADVANTAGE. She explained that what brought mediasiting to Ross was the Scholar Program that began in 2005, the predecessor to the PAcE program. In the Scholar Program, only students in the program were offered mediasite on campus, and students not in the program had to attend class. In 2007, the PAcE program replaced the Scholar Program. During the transition, on-campus mediasiting was extended to the entire student body. In order to
increase the number in PAcE, students were offered the perk of off-campus mediasiting. Dr. Sheakley stated that, to the best of her knowledge, one of the reasons off-campus mediasiting was not offered to the whole student body was because of an IT problem, in that there was not enough bandwidth. Dr. Gannady Raskin, Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, believes that another reason for not offering off-campus mediasiting to everyone was that it could possibly pose an accreditation problem, but he couldn’t say for certain. If offered to the entire student body, Ross could resemble an online medical program, which could affect the school’s credentials. However, couldn’t offering some students more access to the same curriculum pose an accreditation problem? According to the United Nations UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, the fulfillment of the right to education can be assessed using the “four A’s framework,” which asserts that for education to be a right, it must be available, accessible, acceptable, and adaptable. More specifically, the accessibility component states that all should have equal ac-
cess to school services, and students should be given all possible tools to further their education. According to these rights instilled by the United Nations, does Ross have the validity to withhold off-campus mediasiting from the rest of the student body? Furthermore, it is contradicting that PAcE, a program designed for students who find it beneficial working in small groups, offers a tool to increase the students’ self-study time. Mediasite is a completely self-learning tool, unlike class which involves interaction between professor and student. To benefit the students and the PAcE program as a whole, the factor of offcampus mediasiting should be taken out of the equation in order to reveal the true reason that many of the students are in the program; which is what? A letter of recommendation? Bottom line: No one seems to know the real reason why all students don’t have access to off-campus mediasiting. Students should be allowed every opportunity to succeed, and to do so, equally. Since each student is paying the same amount of tuition, perhaps each should have the same access to their education.■
Photo of the Month Winner
Letter From the Editor
Photo Credit: Aalyia Ali
Live in the moment. Be present. Embrace today. What does that even mean? I’m right here! The 2011 Merritt Hawkins survey reports that 40% of physicians plan to drop out of patient care in the next 1-3 years. While this isn’t a perfect determination of happiness, it’s certainly raising concerns. Psychotherapist and author, Richard O’Connor attributes this to the strenuous process of obtaining a medical degree, the intense training thereafter, the isolation throughout, and a stressful work environment. (Sounds exhausting when you put it like that.) We are constantly in preparation for our next exam, but are we prepared for this so-called “unhappiness?” One way we might avert our impending doom is to remove the countdowns-- two days till mini 3, only two semesters till I’m back in the US, and then just another two years until I finish clinicals, and then…why not try enjoying the journey now? IF you keep putting off your happiness, then you’re probably setting yourself up for a big disappointment when you finally get there. Get where? Retirement? Enjoy! Good luck on finals! PS. 11 days till the semester’s over ;) ■ Sincerely,
Email your submissions to RossedDaily@gmail.com
Photo credit: Salma Rashan
3: Final Exam Finally Finalized by Jack Hamson
Other than security concerns, no subject is more sensitive to students this semester than the decision and reversed decision to implement an NBME-prepared final exam for third and fourth semester students. The decision to postpone the implementation until next semester only defers students’ uncertainty about how an NBME final exam will differ from the current in-house final exam. Currently, the administration’s plan to implement an NBME final exam will occur over the following two semesters – third semester students in Summer 2012 and third and fourth semester students in Fall 2012. In other words, current third semester students will receive an in-house final exam in their fourth semester and current second semester students will be the first class to receive the NBME final exam in their third semester. Interestingly, a recent survey within the current third semester class showed that 55% of respondents were in favor of having an NBME final exam next semester and another 8% were indifferent. Given the cumulative nature of the NBME questions (fundamentals and pathology/clinical presentations), first and second semester classes in future semesters will not receive an
NBME final exam. Expansion of NBME exams to replace mini exams may be considered in the future, but only after the completed phase-in of the NBME final exams for semesters three and four. NBME exams are web-based. NBME will house the servers and software that process and store the final exams. Thus, the technical problems underlying the recent change to paper version of in-house exams are not applicable to the NBME final exam. The administration of NBME exams will depend on the continuity of Internet connectivity. Ross campus Internet service is provided through Lime and we have all noticed some interruption of Internet service on the island. These interruptions have been infrequent and short, but these instances serve as a warning that contingency planning for NBME exams is very important (previous NBME exams at Ross several years ago were paper-based). The administration is currently developing a contingency plan, but given the unavailability of NBME paper exams as an option, any disruption of Internet service during the final exam will necessitate interruption of the exam and sequestration of students until the Internet connection is restored. However, if the event of
an Internet problem that lasts several hours, the exam may be rescheduled to the following day or the use of an in-house paper exam may be permitted. The possibility of rescheduling the exam may lead to students being advised not to book flights to leave the island the day following a scheduled final exam. The process of question selection of NBME exams is ultimately controlled by the faculty that presented the material. The process is outlined below: 1. NBME provides a detailed organ-based content outline, similar to the “Step 1 Content Description and General Information” handout that is available at USMLE.org. 2. Faculty and chairs of each department will create a “blueprint” by selecting topics, by semester block, from the content outline that are consistent with lecture presentations. For each topic, a range of number of questions (ie, 0-2) is assigned. A number range is necessary given the number of topics selected is normally greater than the number of questions on the final. For example, within the cardiovascular pharmacology heading, eight topics (e.g., antiarrhythmic drugs, antihypertensive drugs, etc.) are selected for six exam questions, with a range of 0-2 questions per topic. This means that for each Continued on page 2
Photo credit: http://www.medscape.com
Staff Editor-in-Chief: Jodi Midiri Production Editor: Joey Wallach Production Associate: Katie Angelova Editors: Ambica Nakhasi Brittany Jewkes Natalie Moreo Erica Morgan Virginia Parker Photographer: Adam Beaton Business Sales: Ian Kahane
April 6, 2012
1: New Class, New Changes
by Latrice Roberts
by Brittany Jewkes
Its March Madness they are playing for keeps, when forward T. Swisher makes a wild leap. He lands in a pile, hands on the ball. His team gets possession, so it worth the hard fall! He is stunned for minute, but to teammates quick to say It’s all good, I’m okay. while rising, pain forced his knees to give way. Trainers rush to his side to inquire “What’s wrong? Swisher screams in agony, “I think I broke my dong!” “ I need a doctor, ohhh please be quick.” Ooohh I think I’m going to be sick! On to County General, please make it fast. “Someone call my Mom because I don’t think I can last. Lucky for him, as he was wheeled through the ER door, A recent Ross Graduate was working the floor. Dr. Roberts referred to by coworkers as Dr. No Drama, was trained on “The Rock” to handle any stress or trauma. On assessment, Left testicle severe pain and edema. Also marked erythema Armed with a detailed history and a Doppler view, She made her diagnosis within a minute or two. “Mr. Swisher, I will get straight to the gist, Unfortunately your left testicle is in a twist. He looks at her, fear in his eyes, The young fellow looked as if he were going to cry. Doc assures Swisher she knows a great fix. “Nurse Henderson, please prep him for surgery. You must be quick!! Rolling to the ER a silent prayer on his lips, Dear God, whatever happens, PLEASE don’t let the scalpel slip!! Hours later, in recovery, now awake, Scared to gaze down for fear there will be a mistake. Doctor reports success to Swisher’s delight. The family jewels are intact, you should be home in a few nights. In Mom’s car, finally leaving the place, He picks up his cell, dialing at a rapid pace. Coach answers, no small talk, Swisher is on a mission. “You need to find a new forward to permanently play my position. It’s a disappointment, sorry but true, but Coach there is little I can do. My groin hurts as if a bull did gore, I will be damned if I play basketball anymore!” ■
3: Final Exams Finally Finalized Continued from page 1
topic, NBME can select 0, 1, or 2 questions, up to six questions in total. 3. NBME uses an algorithm to select individual questions from its question bank and the number of questions per topic. NBME provides a proposed exam together with a pool of backup questions to Ross. 4. Faculty within each department will review the proposed exam questions and either accept the proposed question or select a replacement from the pool of backup questions. 5. The question selection process is designed to ensure that NBME exams will be consistent with the objective of in-house exams – distribute questions evenly across blocks, lecture topics, and learning objectives. 6. NBME questions are cumulative in the sense that students must know normal physiology as well as pathology/clinical correlations. Students will notice some changes with the NBME exams, as follows: 1. In order to facilitate scoring exams by semester block, questions will be sequentially organized by block. In other words, the first one-third of the final exam will be related to the first semester block, the second one-third will be related to the second semester block, etc. 2. NBME exams allow highlighting and strikeout. 3. No option for student comments will be available. This option was an added feature to the current in-house exam software but is not available in NBME exam format. 4. Final exam coaching reports will not be available at the beginning of the following
Orientation week began and the new first semester students gathered. Most were tired and dehydrated as the late nights of meeting new people and acclimating to the island were taking their toll. The only thought crossing these first semesters’ minds as they entered St. James each morning, What grades do I need to achieve in order to move off this island and begin the fun stuff, clinical rotations? The answer...maintain a 70% or higher to not have to worry. Most first semester students were delighted to hear that answer, as 70% was a score they had succeeded above and beyond while in undergrad. This delight soon faded, however, once the upper semester students began returning to the island and discussing how the scores that were expected from them were quite different from the scores that were expected from the new first semester’s. The upper semester’s percentage for a guaranteed passing was just a 65%, with their gray zone (an area of uncertainty that becomes clarified at the end of each semester after the class average for each block has been determined, i.e. the minimum passing score or MPS) beginning at a 55%, a major difference from the new first semester’s, with a 70% being a guaranteed pass and a 62% being the start of their gray zone. After hearing about the other semesters’ MPSs, the new first semester students went from being calm about the scores that were expected from them to baffled, leaving them to question, Why the sudden change? According to Dr. Schroeder, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, “[The] first semester students were getting poor grades in the major disciplines, but were able, at the same time, to pass the blocks because of the way the grades were calculated. By raising the MPS, It encourages students to get decent scores in the disciplines.” On the other hand, the best explanation for this -- drawn straight from the ‘Rossip’ rumor mill -- was that the majority of students who barely passed each semester with
the lower MPS were not passing the Comp, a prep test given by Ross to ensure success on the USMLE Step 1 and, therefore, were unable to continue on with their medical education. Either way, the new first semester students are held to a much higher standard than any of the previous semesters that came through Ross before them. Besides the new change in MPS, another change took place that seemed to be the cherry on top of it all. The Anatomy Practical went from being 50 multiple choice questions to 50 fill-in-the-blank questions, leaving the first semester students to question Ross’ curriculum once more. “Students must be able to use the knowledge they have gained to answer a question without having a choice provided to them. When you embark on your career as a physician and even when you get to clinical rotations, you will be asked to answer a question posed by an attending, read a radiograph, or interpret lab data and there will be no “A”, “B,” “C,” [etc.],” explained Dr. Schroeder. With the new format, students are forced to have quicker recall and correct spelling, which can only ensure better results as future physicians, since most physicians do not have time to spell-check or Google medical terms when meeting with a patient. This new grading scale only affects the incoming students, as the upper semester students came in to Ross under a different set of grading policies, which can be found in the handbook associated with their semester. Any new policy implemented will usually only affect the incoming class for that semester. As the new changes took shape, the first semester students adjusted accordingly. Sure, they complained, questioned, and even challenged Ross’ decisions for such implementation, but, in the end, they put their hands up, shrugged their shoulders and followed order. Students who are enrolled at Ross must remember that Ross is full of surprises and this can only be beneficial since no day is the same in the life of a physician -- right?!■
semester. NBME will provide individual performance reports by discipline but this report will not include concepts or actual and correct answer choices. Consistent with the NBME comprehensive exam that students take in the fifth semester, the NBME final exam will likely not be subject to any post-exam review or alteration of questions (deletion, double/multiple keying). In other words, students will not have an option to “grieve” any final exam question. The NBME question bank is comprised of questions that are “experienced” – questions included in previous exams that are not scored, but are subject to discrimination testing by NBME. Discrimination refers to questions that result in a wide range of responses with no majority for the correct response, potentially indicating a flawed question. Those questions that are statistically valid, however, are subsequently included as scored questions in NBME exams. At a recent town hall meeting, Dean Flaherty stated that the goal of this change is to help students be better prepared for the comprehensive exam and USMLE Step 1. The logic of his argument is sound, but students don’t like change. Predictability helps to maintain our sanity as we are working harder than we ever have in our lives. But like it or not, NBME final exams are coming and I hope this article has alleviated many questions about this important change in the determination of our grades ■
Photo Credit: Vishal D. Patel
April 6, 2012
Boiling Lake: Impossible or not? by Brenden Brunner Where is the most beautiful part of Dominica? Many pose that question and commonly the answers are snorkeling at Scott’s Head or soaking in Emerald Pool. However after my recent adventure my answer is by far is the hike to Boiling Lake. I’ve heard many things about the hike before I attempted it, ranging from it being unforgettable to miserable. One said, “It’s like being stuck on a Stairmaster for seven hours.” These wide range of answers increased my curiosity and I had to find out for myself. After completing the hike, I must assure you that you can and should hike to the Boiling Lake, because it is a memorable experience. The trail begins near the village of Laudat, which is six miles east of Roseau, located at the entrance to Titou Gorge (which is a great way to cool off after the hike). After you walk up a few steps, carved right out of the stone, you have officially begun your journey to the Boiling Lake. The first hour or so, depending on how fast you walk, is very flat and easy. It takes you deep into the heart of Morne Trois Pitons National Park where the tropical forest is bustling with wildlife. Birds sang their unique melodies
from all different directions, vines hung down and felt as if they were surrounding you, mentally creating the idea that you are the King of the Jungle and could simply jump on one and swing from vine to vine.
Calypso Chicken Dominica Style by Henri Zhuri
For this month’s Taste of Dominica I would like to share with you a delicious meal that incorporates various distinct Caribbean flavors coupled with a great source of nutrients. Calypso chicken is prepared throughout the Caribbean. I will be sharing with you the Dominican version with a kick. This particular meal takes about four hours to prepare and cook. Personally, I like to marinate the chicken a day ahead and let it sit in the marinate juices overnight. All the ingredients can be found at IGA and at various local stores.
Ingredients for 6 servings: 3 lbs Chicken breast 4 Ounces of mushrooms ¼ lb cashew nuts 6 Slices ginger 3 Onions 2 Garlic cloves 2 Teaspoons salt ¼ Teaspoon pepper 2 Tablespoons sugar 3 Tablespoons red wine 2 Tablespoons margarine ¼ Teaspoons chopped fresh thyme 1 Tablespoon Vinegar Vegetable or Olive oil for frying 1 Lemon or Lime
Photo credit: Brenden Brunner
The next hour is the hardest part. Slowly but surely, you climb 1300 feet making your way to 3200 feet above sea level. However, it is not as difficult as it sounds because every step of the way is made from logs dug into the ground, creating a well-defined natural staircase that takes you all the way to the top. This leads you to the highest point of the hike offering breath taking views of the surrounding landscape as well as the Atlantic and Caribbean. The final hour and a half takes you through the sulfur filled, boiling pits of the dreaded Valley of Desolation where water bubbles out of the ground in an almost musical fashion. As you follow the course of the water through the valley, small waterfalls and natural hot tubs line the trail. Then, as you turn to the north and pass over a few small ridges, there is one last push up the final climb that brings you to the edge of the cliff, overlooking the second largest boiling pot of water in the world. A feeling of accomplishment and awe quickly follows. Yes, your journey is only halfway complete, but the sights, sounds, and memories are completely worth the hike to Boiling Lake. ■
Breakfast River, the first landmark, is a great place to rest and catch your breath. More importantly, it is the last place to fill up with clean water, which I strongly suggest you do!
Cooking Directions: 1. Slice the chicken breasts in half, and wash with cold water 2. Place the pieces of chicken in a large mixing bowl 3. Season with salt, pepper, one garlic clove, vinegar, and thyme. 4. Marinate for at least 3 hours. (If you want more flavor leave covered overnight in the fridge) 5. Heat a large skillet, add margarine, sugar, and place the chicken in the pan until it is brown on both sides. 6. On a smaller pan, heat the oil of choice and fry all the cashews 7. Set cashews aside and on the same pan, fry the remaining garlic, chopped mush rooms, chopped onions, and ginger. 8. In the original skillet add the red wine and ¼ cup of water. 9. Add chicken, to the skillet and let it cook for about 25 minutes until the chicken is tender. 10. You can choose to thicken the chicken by adding some flour with warm water. 11. Cook for another 3 minutes. 12. Add the garlic, onions, and mushrooms, 13. Sprinkle the chicken with the cashew nuts and voila.
Photo credit: djmastermum
Nutritional Facts: Serving size: 1 (293g) Amount Per serving Calories 470.2 Calories from Fat: 300 Total Fat: 33.4 g Saturated Fat 8.3 g Cholesterol 103.5 mg Sodium 1039.8 mg Total Carbohydrate 12.1 g Dietary Fiber: 1 g Sugars Protein 29.4 g
% Daily Value 63% 51% 41 % 31% 43% 4% 4% 22% 58%
Remember, you can always modify this recipe to better suit your nutritional requirements. (Ex. Add less salt, or use less sugar etc…) ■
Nature Isle Marathon 2012 Recap by Brenden Brunner Six a.m. on March 25, 2012 was finally here. Jon Dewald, Philip Breaux, Joseph Vukin, and Michael White, departed from the Fort Young Hotel to begin their marathon journey back to campus. It started out smooth, the conditions were calm and cool; what some would consider the perfect weather to run in. However, that all changed once that sun poked its fierce rays over the peaks that characterize this island simply as, “The Rock.” Then the fun began. Plagued with dehydration and tortuous heat, the runners clawed their way back to school one step at a time. Traversing 27.5 miles and over 3,200 feet of climbing, all four finished what they had begun, and in
quite a decent fashion too. Michael crossed the line in 3 hours 40 minutes and earned the title, ‘Nature Isle Marathon King.’ Jon followed, finishing in 4 hours 20 minutes, thus completing his first ever attempt at the distance. Philip followed and finished in 4 hours and 25 minutes, completing his first marathon as well. Joe was close behind and crossed that fateful finish line in 4 hours 40 minutes. Collectively, they raised over 1000 EC for the Blood Donors Group and etched one incredible memory into their minds forever.■
Jon Dewald, Joseph Vukin, Phillip Breaux
Photo credit: Himesh Sheth
Rossed Daily Death on Doctors’ Hands Top 10: Most Commonly
by Greg Grandio As ambitious physician candidates here at Ross University, we are all striving to become that perfect doctor we have dreamed of time and time again. Unfortunately, this is a dream that cannot come true, because as humans, we are not perfect. This is supported by a report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) titled, “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System.” In this report, the IOM compiled data from various studies to conclude that, each year, as many as 98,000 Americans die as a result of preventable medical errors.1 Many of these problems, such as prescription medication errors, stem from poor communication as the leading cause.2 This has not only caused patients to lose faith in the healthcare system, but it has also caused distress among healthcare professionals. This added stress feeds back in a vicious cycle contributing to more medical errors.5 But what’s most concerning about the report, is the fact that these errors were preventable. Since the release of the IOM’s report in 1999, medical institutions have implemented various strategies in an attempt to reduce these errors, partly because they are extremely expensive,
April 6, 2012
costing between $17 and $29 billion per year in hospitals nationwide.1 In 2004, Intensive Care Units (ICUs) throughout the state of Michigan launched a program aimed at decreasing catheter related bloodstream infections. The program was able to reduce the occurrence of these infections by 2/3 using simple methods such as the implementation of a checklist for the proper handling of catheters. The initiative also aimed to change the mindset of the entire ICU staff, so that they could successfully operate as a unit.3 Along with large-scale programs, such as the one in Michigan, there are ways in which the occurrence of these medical errors can be decreased. We could reduce the number of deaths caused by medical errors by following the SPIRIT Competencies (yeah, I said it). When push comes to shove, the basic sciences we learn here on the “rock” -- and even the clinical sciences we learn in the States (or Canada) -- are only part of what molds us into good physicians. It is up to us as individuals to exhibit professionalism and show our patients empathy in order to build trusting relationships. Improved communication will help reduce these preventable errors. So, maybe we’ll never be the perfect physician we dream of becoming, but we can always try.■
References 1. Kohn L, Corrigan J, Donaldson M. To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000. 2. Hickner J, et al. Field Test Results of a New Ambulatory Care Medication Error and Adverse Drug Event Reporting System - MEADERS. Annals of Family Medicine. 2010; 8: 517-525. 3. Pornovost P, et al. An intervention to decrease catheter-related bloodstream infections in the ICU. N England Journal of Medicine. 2006; 355: 2725-2732. 4. Greider K. Hospitals May Be the Worst Place to Stay When You’re Sick. AARP Bulletin. March 1, 2012. http://www.aarp.org/health/doctors-hospitals/info-03-2012/ protect-yourself-from-hospital-errors.html. Accessed March 21, 2012. 5. West C, et al. Association of Perceived Medical Errors With Resident Distress and Empathy. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2006; 296: 1071-78.
Lose Weight Without Trying?: The Science Behind Sensa® by Natalie Moreo We are all busy…we are all sedentary! The Freshman 15 lost during undergrad does not compare to the “Firstie”15 gained from The Shacks. Many of us have deemed it our own personal goal to “get in shape,” on top of attempting to get straight A’s, volunteer for numerous extracurricular activities, and have somewhat of a social life. It could have something to do with being overachievers, always striving towards perfection. So now that a new miracle drug, Sensa®, is on the market, it seems that this goal is even easier to achieve than we originally thought: the drug’s website claims that you can lose 30 pounds in a semester and a half, without even trying. It sounds like the typical gimmick, but curiosity still lingers: without even trying? The Sensa® website boasts its drug’s ability to help you lose weight “naturally” without changing your diet or exercise routine. Just sprinkle a packet of this crystallized drug over your plate like salt and pepper, and think about it no further as you carry on with your busy day. The spiel sounds enticing to most, especially medical students who have no time to spare. The Science: Vague. Despite some digging, the actual chemical composition of the drug was unable to be determined via Internet search, and the absence of this drug’s review in the literature leaves one with much speculation. According to the Sensa® website, the drug works by “stimulating the satiety center in the brain” (the ventromedial nucleus in the hypothalamus), thereby suppressing appetite. The Evidence: Lacking. The two studies Sensa® has undergone were conducted by the Sensa® creator himself, Dr. Alan Hirsch, and cite only Dr. Hirsch’s previous work as scientific references. The studies do not sufficiently divulge proper methods, do not provide explanation for the pharmacodynamics of the drug, and do not adequately venture into the adverse References
effects. The poster abstracts1,2 provided for the studies may be interpreted as biased and marketing orientated. The first study1 followed 1,436 obese or overweight subjects for six months. The treatment group averaged a weight loss of 30.5 pounds, compared to the control group with an average weight loss of 2.0 pounds over the course of the study (p < 0.05). Participants were instructed to make no changes to their diet or exercise routines. The second study2 was an independent, double-blind, placebo-controlled study following 83 volunteers who were randomly allocated to either the treatment group or the placebo group. Again, subjects were instructed to make no changes to their diet or exercise routines. After six months, the treatment group averaged a weight loss of 27.58 pounds, versus the placebo group with an average weight loss of 0.34 pounds. The author(s) claimed that no negative side effects related to the use of the treatment or placebo products were reported by test subjects. The Verdict? Being able to sprinkle a miracle drug over any food you wish to eat and watch the pounds magically slip away over the months seems, to be candid, like a dream-come-true – especially for busy medical students who have watched the pounds pack on since day one in Dominica. Based on the data presented, the drug seems to work, but one must be speculative of the study design and the potential for bias behind the reporting of the data. As medical doctors-to-be, we must remember to remain vigilant to marketing gimmicks and observant to faulty reporting of scientific data, especially if we are to “do no harm” to our future patients – or ourselves. Until better evidence is revealed about the science of Sensa®, good-old-fashioned lifestyle modifications may be the best way to go.■
1. Hirsch AR. Use of gustatory stimuli to facilitate weight loss. (Poster). http://www.trysensa.com/media/pdf/Abstract_Poster_Use_of_Stimuli_for_ Weight_Loss.pdf.Accessed March 23, 2012. 2. Efficacy determination of weight loss through use of crystal tastants. (Poster). http://www.trysensa.com/media/pdf/Abstract_Poster_Double_ Blind_Study.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2012.
Abused Prescription Drugs by Kofoworola Ojo Abuse of prescription drugs has been receiving a considerable amount of attention. According to MedlinePlus, “an estimated 20% of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons”. Canada, meanwhile, is listed in the top 10% of countries in the use of “benzodiazepines, opioid prescriptions and stimulants,” according to the article “Prescription Drug Abuse in Canada”. So, without further delay, here is a list of the most commonly abused prescription drugs! Disclaimer: I do not endorse the illegal use of any of these drugs, no matter how amazing they may seem to be.
1. Adderall A stimulant is any substance that raises an individual’s psychological or physical activity. Prescribed for those with ADHD, Adderall works by blocking the dopamine receptor in the brain, thereby increasing intrasynaptic levels. Among other things, dopamine is associated with attention, cognition and motivation: it’s basically the ‘reward-center’ neurotransmitter for the brain. So it isn’t a surprise that an increase in this chemical would help a person achieve above-normal concentration. Those who abuse Adderall do so for its performance-enhancing ability. It’s especially popular among college and graduate students. Need help pulling an all-nighter before an exam? (Warning: bad idea.) Pop a pill, and one can stay seemingly focused for hours. The catch? Highly addictive.
2. OxyContin (Opiod) Opioids are a group of drugs that are commonly prescribed for pain relief. These drugs act by binding to the opioid receptor in the nervous system, thereby reducing one’s perception of pain. Because of its high potential for abuse, it’s registered as a Schedule II drug. One of the biggest dangers comes to a person who takes OxyContin after he or she tries to quit “cold turkey”: since withdrawal lowers tolerance, overdosing can happen with a smaller amount.
3. Xanax (Benzodiazepine) Benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system, making the user feel sedated and calm. Xanax is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety disorders and, according to the Forbes’ list of “Most Popular Prescription Drugs,” is the most prescribed and misused benzodiazepine in the U.S. The drug’s ability to ‘calm one’s nerves’ is the main reason for its (and other ‘downers’’) addictive potential.
4. Ambien (Nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic) Commonly given to those suffering from insomnia, Ambien is a popular prescription sleep medication. Ambien is classified as a Schedule IV drug, meaning it has a low potential for physical dependence. However, because it causes blackouts and memory loss when taken with alcohol, is tasteless, and is more accessible than Rohypnol (“roofie”), Ambien is becoming more popular as a date rape drug.
5. Trenbolone (Anabolic steriod) Trenbolone has been the most widely used and abused steroid for decades, becoming popular in the 1970’s ‘Golden Age of Bodybuilding’. It is commonly given to livestock to increase muscle growth and appetite. Trenbolone, seen as the ‘holy grail’ of steroids because of its versatility and fast results, is illegal in the U.S. and is labeled a Scheduled IV drug in Canada.
6. Soma/Carisoprodol (muscle relaxant) As the name suggests, a muscle relaxant is a drug that can reduce muscular tone, and it is mainly prescribed for those suffering from lower back pain. According to a 2011 USA Today article, the amount of people admitted to the ER because of Carisoprodol abuse has almost doubled in the past year. Dependence on this drug develops because the liver converts it into a chemical with anti-anxiety properties.
7. Fentanyl (Opiod) Fentanyl is a generic name for a group of opioids given to those experiencing chronic pain from cancer treatment. Although the “high” is not as euphoric, the biological effects of fentanyl are similar to that of heroin. Addiction in regular users develops quickly because of the drug’s rapid onset and short duration of action.
8. Diprivan (Sedative-hypnotic) Also known as Propofol, this drug is commonly used for general anesthesia. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration, a survey of Propofol abuse in academic anesthesia programs showed that 18% (23 out of 126) of anesthesiology departments in the U.S. experienced one or more of its faculty members abusing Propofol in the last 10 years. With its relaxing effects and ease of availability, Diprivan is the drug of choice for anesthesiologists, nurses and technicians who are abusing, and looking for a short nap.
9. Ketamine (Dissociative anesthetic) Dissociative drugs are a class of hallucinogens that either block or reduce signals to the conscious part of one’s mind: or, basically, they “knock you out” by putting you ‘out of your body’. Ketamine has legitimate medical uses, mainly in the areas of anesthesia and veterinary medicine; it also can produce a wide range of effects in humans, many of which are comparable to that of phencyclidine (PCP), which is another drug in the same category. At significantly high doses, ‘Special K’ (Ketamine’s street name) can induce psychological states similar to those of schizophrenia, out-of-body experiences or near-death experiences.
10. Morphine (Opiod/Analgesic) No prescription drug abuse list would be complete without morphine! Considered to be a gold standard for the treatment of chronic and severe pain, morphine is a Schedule I drug in Canada and Schedule II in the U.S. It is a highly addictive substance, having an ‘addictive potential’ identical to that of heroin, which can develop rather quickly. ■
Sources: 1. “8 Most Abused Prescription Drugs | Masters in Health Care.” <http://www.mastersinhealthcare.com/blog/2011/8-most-abusedprescription-drugs/>. 2. “Propofol Abuse Growing Problem for Anesthesiologists.” <http://www.anesthesiologynews.com/ViewArticle.aspx?d_id=1&a_ id=7579&ses=ogst >. 3. “Research Reports: Prescription Drugs: Abuse and Addiction.” <http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescrip tion-drugs>. 4. “Top 10 prescription drugs medical professionals use or abuse | Addiction Blog.” <http://prescription-drug.addictionblog.org/top10-prescription-drugs-medical-professionals-use-or-abuse/>.
Word of the Wise by Arthur Dermen
Dr. William Osler (1849-1919): Creator of the first residency program • “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability.” • “He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.” Dr. Sara Murray Jordan (1884-1959): First woman president of the American Gastroenterology Society • “In medicine, as in statecraft and propaganda, words are sometimes the most powerful drugs we can use.” Hippocrates (460BC-370BC): Father of modern medicine • “Life is short, the Art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult. The physician must be ready, not only to do his duty himself, but also to secure the co-operation of the patient, of the attendants and of externals.”
Charles Value Chapin (1856-1941): Pioneer in public health and epidemiology • “Science can never be a closed book. It is like a tree, ever growing, ever reaching new heights. Occasionally the lower branches, no longer giving nourishment to the tree, slough off. We should not be ashamed to change our methods; rather we should be ashamed never to do so.” Isidore Auguste Marie Francois Xavier Comte (1798-1857): Philosopher • “In mathematics we find the primitive source of rationality; and to mathematics must the biologists resort for means to carry out their researches.” Reginald Aldworth Daly (1871-1957): Geologist • “At bottom each ‘exact’ science is, and must be speculative, and its chief tool of research, too rarely used with both courage and judgment, is the regulated imagination.” Francis Darwin (1848-1925): Botanist, son of Charles Darwin • “But in science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs. Not the man who finds a grain of new and precious quality but to him who sows it, reaps it, grinds it and feeds the world on it.”■
Faculty Five: Dr. Nine by Jodi Midiri He is a pathology genius and master of autopsy. Armed with spirituality and a true sense of calm, Dr. Jeffrey Nine is somewhat of an academic hero to the students at Ross. At the age of three, Dr. Nine knew he wanted to be a professor. His precocity didn’t end there as he earned a combined BA/ MD degree straight out of high school and by the time he was twenty four. Dr. Nine first began as a surgery resident, but quickly realized that pathology was his passion. After residency and a fellowship in forensic pathology, Dr. Nine held positions at various medical examiner offices. He arrived at Ross in December of 2009, and in addition to being a professor, Dr. Nine is also the Pastor of Ross Christian Fellowship, and the medical examiner for Dominica. His long list of accomplishments and success over the years, is surprisingly not what is most important to Dr. Nine or what I consider to be most impressive. He has a true appreciation for purpose and an air that can only be described as humble confidence. How can you not want to be in the company of someone who openly admits, “I just love cutting up dead bodies.” He has a certain ease in which he allows his life to unfold without controlling it at every turn- a rare finding especially in a medical school setting. Meeting Dr. Nine was bittersweet. After having served Ross and the Dominican community for two and a half years, he will be leaving at the end of this semester to become the Director of Autopsy Services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. There he will be overseeing all autopsies in Pittsburgh and teaching at the university. Even though he’s originally from Ohio he considers the move “going home,” since that’s where he first met his wife of twenty years. Best of Luck Dr. Nine! You will be missed! Department: Pathology Graduated/Degree: Combine B.A./M.D NEOCUM program at Cleveland State University
Dr. Nine & his wife, Tina
Photo credit: Dr. Nine
April 6, 2012
Scoregasmic Football by Toni Deason
Powderpuff weekend has come and gone yet again. For a lot of us, it’s our favorite time of the semester, whether it’s because us ladies finally get out some serious aggression, or maybe it’s because of the free ribs, burgers, and juice from the Canadian Society. Either way, it’s what I personally look forward to the most. Due to lack of creativity, the teams had very similar names with the Lowers being the Multiple Scorgasms, and the Uppers being the Scorgasms with the motto “Quality, not Quantity.” The upper semester team was such a small squad that players were begging other ladies to play, but the small team still packed a powerful punch. Captain Melissa “Speedster” Gomez was the quarterback and leader of the Uppers offensive squad, while Anjelica Hodgson was captain of the Multiples and “The Beast” on defense. The Multiples led off the game on offense. It took a bit for the defense to realize that the game had actually began, but still, it only took 5 plays before Multiples had to “punt.” On the third play of the Uppers on offense, Melissa Gomez threw a bomb to star receiver Jessi “Outfielder” Williams who juked her way into the end zone, and proceeded to do the only true touchdown dance of the game with fellow receiver Anh Dinh. Melissa tried to run in the extra point, but her flag was pulled just short. The following offensive drive by the Multiples was a slow but steady one that was assisted by two penalties on the defense. With quarterback Stephanie Reynolds and receiver/ running back Leili Khorassani leading the assault. It seemed as if the Uppers were going to stop this drive a little over 10 yards from the goal, but with 4th and short, the Multiples went for it with a short pass to Leili who got them to first and goal. On the third down, the pass was completed in the end zone to Leili where she almost managed the extra point as well, but it was incomplete. This tied the score 6 to 6 at halftime. The halftime show consisted of people waiting in line for food, but DJ A-Bomb (Anatol Silotch) and emcee, Paul Catella, kept us entertained. The second half brought about the most controversial play of the game. Rocky Doshetty, coach of the Uppers, was quoted as saying, “Anjelica made a very athletic play on the ball,
just the rules of flag football were against her.” On a blitz, she rushed the quarterback and hit her arm taking the ball with her and running into the end zone. This play was overturned and, in my opinion (take it as you will), should have been ruled as roughing the passer. Here is an excerpt from Ross Intramural Football rule book: “Roughing the Passer – While the passer is in the act of throwing a forward pass: Any contact that is made with the passer’s throwing hand or arm. Any contact is made above the passer’s shoulder, including an attempt to make a ‘tackle’.” Instead, this was just ruled as a dead ball and a down. Jessi had an interception that led to the Uppers next scoring drive. Melissa ran it in with the help of some well-placed blocks, and Deason made a catch in the corner of the end zone for the extra point. The Multiples just couldn’t get their offense going after that. The Uppers defense took a few hits, and even had quarterback Melissa stepping in on defensive line to keep the defense holding strong. After the game, 1st semester ladies were overheard saying they were taken aback by the level of physicality in the game. If only they had of witnessed the past two seasons, which I would say were far rougher with tackles happening and not being called. Last semester, ladies dubbed the Powderpuff game “Tackle Galore,” and the previous season to that was “the Punch heard all the way to the Fishbowl.” Another first semester lady, Maryann stated, “It was my first time EVER playing football; My coaches and teammates did a great job in explaining what goes on, what is what, who does what, and what my job was, so I was excited when I snatched a flag and stopped 2 girls from running through.” As this was my last game on the Rock, I wish extra special good luck to my teammates in next year’s match and have given them our winning football (it’s never lost a game) to keep up the good work. Winning team: Scorgasms (aka Uppers) Toni Deason, Melissa Gomez, Jessi Williams, Leesa Larson, Krishna Patel, Rachel Cadelina, Robyn Borsuk, Marissa Novack, Andrea Parks, Kim Omwanghe, Jenna Hayden, Anh Dinh, Funto Fashanu, Chiz Usuwa, Maria Gutierrez, Okwuchi Ogbonna, and last but definitely not least Nikki Adams. Coaches were Brandon Stokey (head/offensive), Matthew Parisi, Vishal Patel, Rocky Doshetty, Vivek Varki (defensive.) ■
Question #1- What would students be surprised to learn about you? I’m an avid computer gamer. I used to play in Cyberathlete Amateur League( CAL.) (In response to my confusion,) games like Counter Strike and Call of Duty? Question #2- If you could bring anything from home back to Dominica, what would it be? Dunkin donuts is the big one and McDonald’s sausage biscuit. Question #3- What’s your favorite kind of music/band/artist? Two things- Christian worship music, and video game soundtracks. Two favorites are Lord of The Rings Online and Tribes 2 which is very techno. Question #4- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? New Zealand. The reason being that it’s my 99 year old aunt’s favorite place of all time, and she has travelled all over the world. Question #5- What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? When I was a surgery intern, my chief resident said to me, “If you think you should be doing something, then do it.” I think he meant this to apply only to medicine, but I apply that to every part of my life.■
Krishna Patel, Tony Deason, Andrea Parks, Jessi Williams
Photo credit: Lisa Maguire
April 6, 2012
Sh*t Ross Students NEVER Say by RD Staff
Photo credit: Adam Beaton
Erik Cabrera, Romina Bromberg, Greg Grandio Photo credit: Anatol Silotch
Rossip by Katie Angelova & Steven Shanab The first ever issue of Rossed Daily created quite a stir last month. Our very own production associate was spotted jogging to all corners of campus with a massive stack of fresh-out-the-oven papers. It’s been reported that she lost 8 lbs and half a toe in the process. One faculty member described the paper as “BLOODY HILARIOUS!” while another took time out of a soothing yoga session to calculate the amount of trees that perished at the merciless hands of our little chronicle. Rossies continued to leave their homes in the raging midst of centipede season and bone-chilling temperatures of 82 degrees. DJ A-Bomb made his debut at De Champ this month, re-introducing party-goers to the definition of ‘party,’ while Splash Bash revealed one thousand and one ways to turn a dull, unfashionable white T-shirt into… naked. Following 2nd Semesters’ Mini, a series of toasts to one man’s unprecedented shorts echoed across the beach. Peter K was reported to have spent 2 hours at the Portsmouth Police Station after spotting a local named ‘Short Fingers’ wearing his shirt and socks. After Fingers was asked to remove the clothes and surrender them for evidence, it was discovered he had also appropriated Peter’s underwear. Dominican laundry services continue to operate as usual. A Mediasiting freak-out in Classroom 4 turned out to be nothing more than a classic “biddies be cray” upon further investigation. A certain Jason Medstudent appeared on a number of Ross-related Facebook groups this month, delivering truth, stupidity, justice, and not-so-common sense to the online community. Although no one knows where our hero comes from or what unspeakable events have caused him to hide his righteous face from the world, many have agreed that he sounds like a dumber version of MC. Thanks to Ross’s “community cleanup”, the fishbowl has been smelling a lot less... fishy. In other news, IGA is indefinitely out of Febreeze. ■
Photo credit: Ordovich Klarxonov
Oh, yay, time for anatomy! Is there anything Kallie can’t do? The library smells like hands! I’m gonna miss the shacks. The first thing I’m gonna eat over break is Subway. I am 100% sexually satisfied. I love LIAT airlines! The fishbowl smells nice today. I learned so much in PBL this week! I can’t believe my package got here so fast! Wikipedia? I just use my textbook! After that lecture, I want to be a radiologist, for sure. I wish I knew the molecular structure of that drug. So, I was Mediasiting Dr. Moore at 0.5x speed-That anatomy demo didn’t have any “errata.” Oh, I’ll just grab some milk at IGA. ICC really helped put everything together for me. I read it in the Daily Announcements! I wish they’d ask more behavioral questions. None for me, I don’t drink caffeine. Yes! Embryology today! Dr. Martin’s lectures have way too many pictures. You want to go to the mall this weekend? My flight’s at 8pm. “SNOWDAY!” When I want a reasonably priced meal, I go to The Tomato The architecture is so avant-garde. Sorry guys, I’ve got PBL and only 3 hours to prepare. I gotta go, the Dominican National Cricket game is on. Rent here is mad cheap. This Ross umbrella made it through all 4 semesters. My classmates ask such relevant questions in class. I love the smell of formaldehyde after lunch. I wish we could do all ten semesters on the Island. I feel good about that final exam. I just got an email that the bank & the clinic are open. That was some speedy service. I wish Dr. Buxbaum taught this class! I know it’s not testable, but I’m sure glad we got that info anyway. I wish Ross had a newspaper. ■
The Bunion Sustainability Project Relieves Stockholders It started as a standard soil aeration project. Ross has been dedicated to keeping the sand around the perimeter of campus arable by hiring workers to dig, then fill in, ditches at night. Campus sustainability has been a goal since 1983, when the program was implemented to allow Ross students to live off the land in the event of unforeseen pirate activity. A Ross Newsletter from the early 80’s describes the program, saying “Ross won’t be caught with their pants down, unlike some other Caribbean medical schools that we could mention.” Since the implementation of the soil aeration project, over 300 miles of ditches have been dug and filled around the Ross campus. This semester, the ditch in front of the CAC steps was to be no different. “We have dug that ditch and filled it at least 15 times since 1983” says a work control administrator. But this time was special.” Slightly
after midnight, the workers damaged a water pipe during their excavations, and the situation quickly got out of control. The torrent of water that caused a days long shutdown of the water supply on campus rapidly deepened the aeration ditch several feet past Ross standard. During his efforts to repair the pipe, a Ross employee made an amazing discovery. “At first, I thought it was just a shovel that someone had left in the ditch when the water started,” remembers the foreman of the operation, “but when I looked a second time, I saw the treasure!” Ross sprang into action, flying an expert in 18th century pirate treasure down to Dominica overnight. When the value of the booty was assessed at 5.8 million, the administration was overjoyed. Due to this project, Ross ensured that the shareholders of Devry will receive another banner year of dividends, perhaps even surpassing the 25% bump from
last year! When asked if any of the funds would contribute to a scholarship fund for Ross students, Ross administration could not be reached for comment. ■
Photo credit: Adam Beaton
New Diploma Controversy The Class of 2012 received their diplomas on standard 8.5 x 11 white stock paper. Many students were angered by the unprofessional look, but administration said it was essential for their new “We Care Less About What You Care About Most” budget plan. The biggest issue that emerged was not the lackluster look, but that nearly half of the diplomas were missing “M.D.” No one in
the Ross administration seems to know how or why the mistake happened but following a work order email, another email explained the ramifications of this dilemma. “Those students who did not acquire the M.D. on the diploma will be asked to repeat semesters 1-4 as there is no real way of knowing you attended Ross. We sincerely apologize.” Ross administrators assured students that a satis-
faction survey would soon follow. Angered students boycotted their mandatory ICC in protest. Unfortunately, in an email sent later that day, admin stated a new policy, “From this day forward, if you miss ICC, you will be required to repeat semesters 1-4.” ■
April 6, 2012
Affordable Care Act Obamascare by Joey Wallach
Is PPACA constitutional?
“It’s unconstitutional,” and “It’s socialized medicine,” are just a couple of the common complaints against the Affordable Care Act spewed by various Republican members For http://www.famouscutouts.com/ of Congress. example, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this year, Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann claimed, “Every single American is negatively impacted by Obamacare.” Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010, Americans have been inundated with political posturing on one side of the aisle. All attacks are meant to serve one purpose, to attempt a repeal of PPACA and garner additional public support for reelection. However, these politicians are playing poker with the health of America. PPACA is crucial to both, the economic well-being of the Unites States and the health status of the general population. Is healthcare a good or a right? Ultimately, it is the answer to this fundamental question that shapes an individual’s final opinion. Ted Kennedy, the late Senator from Massachusetts would say it is a right, stating many times throughout his life, and most recently at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, that “Every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.” In contrast, Ron Paul, a Republican Representative for Texas and an OB/GYN, disagrees stating in a 2009 interview with Yahoo! Finance, “I don’t have a right to medical care…[however] I want everybody to have maximum care at the best price. And that’s why I want the government out of it completely.” But is this really possible? Paul seems to forget American history, that without government regulations, prices skyrocket. The uninsured wait to receive the treatment they cannot afford until their condition is life-threatening and expensive, at which point government (taxpayers) are left footing the bill. Should healthcare be a right or a commodity made available only to those who can afford it? Health care should be a right guaranteed and protected by the State, if for no other reason than because it saves tax dollars.
Effective January 1, 2014, it will be required that all applicable individuals not receiving healthcare through their employer, purchase health insurance satisfying the “Essential Health Benefits” to be determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and presented to the House Appropriations committee. In effect, this will be equivalent to the current average employer-provided healthcare benefits. However, can the Federal government legally mandate that citizens make this purchase? Does the constitution grant Congress this power? According to the PPACA, this requirement is “commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce.” The use of this rationale is crucial, as Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution states, “[The Congress shall have Power] to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.” Therefore, mandating coverage is clearly within the powers given to Congress. This notion is further supported by the 2014 implementation of an “Affordable Healthcare Exchange” where “individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans.” Contrary to Republican threats of socialized medicine, these exchanges will be a place where individuals can compare the various private insurance plans that meet the Essential Health Benefits requirement, much in the way car insurance options can be compared online, side-by-side. Does PPACA hurt society overall in a health and financial sense? Contrary to Ron Paul’s assertion, PPACA is not a government takeover of healthcare. Rather, it encourages a state-by-state competitive marketplace, the hallmark of capitalism, which will ultimately reduce insurance premiums. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, PPACA protects individual health by encouraging preventative medicine and ensuring that insurance plans cover basic healthcare services. To return to the original question: Is healthcare a good or a right? As a future doctor, “I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.” Thus, as it is implied in the Hippocratic Oath and ingrained in the medical tradition, healthcare is a right. Does a physician really have the luxury to believe otherwise? ■ The Affordable Care Act can be found at: http://housedocs.house.gov/energycommerce/ppacacon.pdf
Please Rate the Following Facilities
by Ian M. Kahane The Obama administration has detracted a lot from this country. Amongst the most hurtful of its policies, one stands alone to do the most damage: Obamacare. http://www.famouscutouts.com/ Known in Washington as the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare was written two years ago with a big heart and no brain. Of course, it’s altruistic to want every American to have health care coverage. Of course, most Americans would love to see their countrymen taken care of. But the costs of this legislation were simply not properly assessed. And as a result, according to February 2012 Gallup poll , the majority of Americans are against Obamacare. When Obamacare first was analyzed, the White House assessed the cost to be 940 billion dollars over 10 years. However, on the 13th of March 2012 the congressional budget office found that the bill will cost the United States government 1.762 trillion dollars over its first decade. This appalling mistake in cost assessment shows that even before Obamacare is up and fully running, it’s already being surrounded by typical government inefficiency and mismanagement--to the tune of about a trillion tax payer dollars. Naturally, the insurance companies have felt the economic squeeze from this bill and like always, when the government increases cost to a business that business passes its new cost onto the consumer. The small business administration reports that there has been approximately a 12.5% increase in the cost to insure workers each year over the past two years. So, let’s say that I am a business owner whose company has 20 workers who each make 50K per year. My cost to insure those work-
ers for health, dental, life, etc is 200k per year. Well, due to Obamacare my costs just went up 12.5% per year for two years, so now my insurance cost is 250K, instead of 200K. As the business owner, I have two options: pass the new 50K cost onto the consumer, or fire one of my workers. In a recession especially, companies choose to fire workers and with over 27.5 million companies based in America, that’s a ton of jobs. This means that the 30 million jobs that have not yet returned since the recession started can be directly attributed to the not-so affordable care act. The decision is up to you! Would you rather have government sponsored healthcare, or would you rather have a job which offers healthcare and provides food and a home through a salary? Countries like Canada and Sweden have already seen socialized healthcare hamper their economies. Canada has a sales tax rate of 15% and Sweden has an income tax of almost 60% for some economic groups! When people in these countries need to purchase goods or make a quick dollar, what do they do? They go elsewhere. Having low tax rates is great for business which is why founding fathers like Thomas Paine thought income tax would never exceed 10% of one’s income. With egregious policies like Obamacare, people are going to be paying deleterious Canadian and Swedish taxes shortly. The Affordable Care Act is a nice idea in theory, but it’s just not pragmatic. We do need reform to preclude people from going bankrupt over medical bills, and we need reform to make preventative care more ascertainable, but we need to do so in a way that doesn’t stifle the economy. If no one has jobs, no one will have healthcare. America needs a healthcare system that is smarter and fairer, not just government legislation that will be inadequate and weaker. ■
The Results Are In! It looks like the exam process needs the most improvement. Here are some survey comments: - More open study spaces, large tables like in the library - Quality of mediasite slides. Include where professors are pointing. And try to decrease blurriness of presentations. For example: Dr.Buxbaum’s slides - We live 8 degrees above the equator. For the love of all things holy, please, turn the AC on and LEAVE it on - PRINTING... - Exam review process is absolute [garbage] - Getting some food on this campus that isn’t expired by 10 years - Not so much faculty expertise as much as teaching style. Some of our professors are very smart but cant teach to save their lives. - More transparency on statistics (e.g. % passing, the actual grade distributions that they’re basing MPS off of, # getting matched, etc...)
April 6, 2012
Inside Ross SGA
by Mike Cutting
Photo credit: Jodi Midiri
The Sky’s the Limit by Joyce Busch
I am sure you’ve heard somewhere along your journey that obtaining a degree from a Caribbean medical school may be limiting or you will be stuck in either internal or family medicine. Well, that’s not the truth for everyone, at least not two of our Ross graduates. Yesterday afternoon, I was watching Medical Mystery Diagnosis and recognized a familiar face from the Ross website. It was Dr. Amy Rezak, a trauma surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who along with her twin sister, graduated from Ross in 2001. WOW, that was so cool and refreshing to see a Ross graduate reach heights far beyond Dominica. I could just imagine myself on a television show like, “The Doctors” or co-staring on the Dr. Oz show. Wouldn’t that be great? Where do you see yourself beyond Dominica? I’ve come to realize that the sky is the limit to where you can go and where you are going, if you believe it. Pin pointing exactly where you would like to practice will come in time, I’m told. But, just imagine yourself as a sought-after brain surgeon. Or maybe you’re a top-notch plastic surgeon who just successfully reconstructed a little girl’s face after a horrible automobile accident, or a palliative care physician who has provided comfort to a patient dealing with end-of-life issues. These specialties come with lifelong rewarding experiences that will be worth it in the end.
Now, do not get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with specializing in internal medicine, family medicine or OB/GYN. As a matter of fact, there are numerous opportunities in these fields and the US government will pay residents up to $170,000 bonus in return for a 5-year commitment to practice in demographics where there is a shortage in these fields. Such as, in the state of Texas there are currently over 83 positions open for family medicine, internal medicine, OB/GYN, pediatrics and psychiatry with a starting commitment of two years. What a great opportunity and powerful incentive, especially with about $250,000 in student loans after med school-cutting them down swiftly looks appealing as a family practitioner or OB/GYN. As I was told earlier on this quest, do not worry about the investment required. Look at the return on the investment. The opportunities are limitless and plentiful. Anything worth having requires an investment of time, resources, and dedication. With the right attitude and USMLE scores, of course, the sky is the limit. Start visualizing yourself doing great things with what you are learning here at Ross and just like Drs. Rezak, you may very well find yourself landing amongst the stars. Look out Dr. Oz, here I come. Coming soon...the Dr. Joyce Busch Show. All things are possible to those who believe.■
Ryan Davis (semester 3) creating CO2 with his daughter, Joy, for science fair project.
Photo credit: Amanda Davis
When the idea came up to write about the Student Government Association (SGA), I was not quite sure what to talk about. What is so exciting about dealing with Ross’ bureaucracy and students who cannot find today’s lecture on mediasite? Not a whole lot. So, I figured I would simply write about why I joined the SGA and how I feel about Ross after experiencing things from the “inside.” The main reason I decided to run for SGA was because I complain a lot. I figured it was time to put up or shut up. There are number of things which I find fundamentally wrong at this school, and merely complaining about them is never going to get them fixed. It was my hope to find out who made these fallible decisions and then shake them into submission. So I joined the SGA ready to challenge any faculty member I could in an attempt to influence the way the school was run. Boy, was I dumb. One of my first attempts was trying to dissuade one of the deans from the new Saturday check-ins and Sunday orientations. I thought my fellow SGA members and I made a convincing argument and she would value our opinion, but the reply we got showed me how little influence we really have in the SGA. Simply put, we were completely shut down. Over the next few weeks in the SGA, I discovered that Ross is not just an institution, it is more like a person with its very own personality and this person is kind of annoying. It reminds me of the overly accommodating “yes” person who tells everyone exactly what they want to hear, but never really accom-
plishes anything. This all stems from the fact that most decisions seem to be influenced by the countless committees, task-forces, and investigative panels employed by Ross. This type of decision-making is great in theory but because no one is willing to tell anyone in the group that their idea is bad, these ideas get incorporated into decisions which ultimately prevent concise, positive change. They dilute potentially good ideas, and are prone to a lot of mistakes ( i.e. the NBME finals go/no go, numerous exam center debacles, etc). Decisions by committee, albeit motivated by good intentions, lead to a lot of irrelevant, time-consuming B.S. I am sure at one time PBL, patient interviews, ICC, simulations, etc. seemed like a really good idea, but in reality, it takes up too much time and distracts us from what we should really be focusing on-the fundamentals. After all, learning how to shake hands with a patient does not help us with our next mini, nor does it for the final, COMP or STEP I. As I see it, all we really need is enough time to study, reasonable professors, fair questions on exams, and a safe, quiet environment in which to study and live in, oh, and love. There may be readers cursing me or shouting out to no one in particular, about how much they love committees and how they love playing doctor in CCSB-inspired events. If this is the case, join the SGA and fight for what you believe in. I assure you it is not all doom and gloom; we do make small differences to the benefit of the student population. However, I hope anyone who takes on a position fights for all the students, not just for him or herself, and never stops looking for a better, simpler way.■
April 6, 2012
Merp Strong lives up to their name; 3 time IM Football Champions by Phillip Yadegari In an amazing feat of consistency, Merp Strong has once again prevailed and won the Flag football Championships for the third time. Merp Strong, a team of 4th semesters butted heads with a formidable 2nd semester squad, The Mooks, handed Merp their only loss of the regular season. In the Championship game, Merp started the game with the ball and quarterback Ricky Bowser went straight to work. On the opening drive, he went 3/5 in the air, and had a couple of nice runs as well. After a deep ball up the left sideline to wide receiver Doug “Thunder” Reed, Ricky capped off the drive by again targeting his tall wide receiver, this time for a score. Ricky was living up to his Super Mario bad guy last name. After a few 3 and outs by both teams, Mooks quarterback Travis Nelson was able to answer back. Unlike Bowser, Nelson did his work on the ground. Nelson flashed his elusiveness to create two marvelous runs off of dead plays, putting the Mooks in position to put one in the end zone. He did just that on the next play, firing a bullet over the middle to wide receiver John “Perfect” Gigioli, tying the game 6-6 going into halftime. At this point, Merp had successfully contained the Mooks main receiving threat, Paul Sapia. The second half was all Merp Strong. After two short plays, Ricky showed off his arm strength, sending a pass deep to the left corner
of the end zone, where wide receiver Rocky Doshetty made an acrobatic catch after a beautiful adjustment at the end of his route. Down 12-6, The Mooks knew that had to ramp it up and get Sapia going, but the Merp defense was ready for the challenge. On the first play of the drive, Nelson was hurried into a premature throw, thanks to some timely pressure by Merp defensive linemen Dan Torino and Arshish Dua, and was picked off by Reed while trying to force it to Sapia. The interception was returned to within the ten yard line, and Ricky would eventually run it in up the middle for a touchdown. A final interception by Rocky would all but seal the victory. After the loss, Mooks captain Brian Jenson had this to say:
a bunch of guys who love football and combined people from Merp Bahamas and Miami. I never clicked with receivers so quickly. We just meshed well and we’re all friends. I mean we played great teams and had a lot of close calls but we never felt we were out of a game. That’s where our team name comes from, Merp Strong. Merp Strong will finish their football careers at Ross with a combined record of 29-3 over 4 semesters (including postseason), with 3 championships to show for their efforts. After
having to go through quality opponents, like The Mooks in this year’s final and These Guys in last year’s final, they can hold their heads up high. Congratulations to Sterling Riddley, Rocky Doshetty, Alberto Goizueta, Jacob Smith, Lincoln Matheson, Arshish Dua, Dan Torino, Doug Reed, Vishal Patel, Matthew Parisi, Michael Kaster, and Richard Bowser! Mooks, you guys did a great job this season. Next semester you’ll be seeing These Guys in the final, so be ready :) ■
Unfortunately we couldn’t get it done today, but we had a great season and we’d like to congratulate Merp Strong on their Spring 2012 Championship. I’d also like to give a shout out to our teammates that couldn’t be out there with us, Nick Rickert, Trey Gunter, and Abdul Moniem. We’ll look forward to having them back next semester. When asked to reflect on the win and the last few seasons as a whole, Ricky Bowser had this to say: Being that today was going to be our last game as Merp Strong, it was was bittersweet. But on the other hand it was a great way to go out. We are just
PHOTO CREDIT: TONI LEIGH DEASON
PHOTO CREDIT: HANNAH HARTNETT PHOTO CREDIT: MEREDITH AUSTIN-APPLETON
PHOTO CREDIT: LEESA LARSON PHOTO CREDIT: BIJAL PATEL
PHOTO CREDIT: LINDSEY LING
Intramural Standings Vollyball
Ross Ball Hockey
April 6, 2012
A Fun Final by Ayla Gordon
My Desert Oasis by Emmanuel U. Obi Where there was once A dusty barren wasteland, With dry brown fields of shrub. There is now a Beautiful rich pasture of land, With lush green fields of grass. Where there was once Dusty winds of the Central Plains. With dried up features on the river bed. There is now an Oasis of paradise, With a magical stream of water. Hopeless is my existence without you. Like the rusty mechanical oil drills; With their slow, and dull repetitious strokes. Hopeful is my existence Like the energy harnessed from the crude oil. My life is now filled with vigor and excitement. Where there was once hopelessness now lays hope. ■
Three Doctors in Heaven by Henri Zhuri
Three doctors found themselves in front of the Pearly Gates confronted by God. “Heaven is full right now, I don’t know if there is any more room for you three” Said God. “But wait, I discovered antibiotics and revolutionized the field of medicine, saving millions of lives” said the first doctor. “I guess we can make room for you in heaven” Replied God. “And I discovered the first vaccine for malaria,” said the second doctor. “You too may enter,” replied God. “What about me? I discovered HMO’s. Surely there must be a spot for me in heaven as well,” jumped the third doctor. “Okay, okay! You can come in Heaven too,” said God. “But you can only stay two days.”■
ANSWERS to “A Little Everything Ross”
April 6, 2012
MESSAGE BOARDS “We Love You Ian M. Kahane!” “Fifth semester in Miramar?” -Stress relief -Fun -Self defense ----DrGuns.com
“Thanks for a memorable first semester!” -Cookie, Nuva Ring, Jeremy Lin, Missionary, 3 minute man, Umbrella, Hans and feet, Chocolate Muscles, Dora the Explorer, Alone...Forever, Lassi, Lordosis, Goya, Baby Daddy, Chanel, Hieny Boots, Corey Matthews, Jeffy Cakes, Row Row, Oh Leg, Enchilada, Deepy, Dancing Queen, Menage Trois, Rick Ross, Sutures, and Lez-B-Honest, K?.
“Rachel, don’t leave me.”
“We’ve only known each other for months, but I know you and I are meant to be together. Will you marry me?”
To Henri: Cant wait for you to come home and practice ever hing you’ve lear ed on me. Good luck on all your exams, Te dua. Love, Wifey “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose...And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed).” ~ Dr. Seuss I couldn’t be more proud of you. I love you, Brenden! Lizzie Shout out to Ross Christian Fellowship! Thanks for a great semester! -J.S.
“Shout out to my girly Priscilla Jiron. Come get it.” -Neel Parikh
Dear B, A good friend knows all your best stories, a BEST FRIEND has lived them with you... Thanks for always being there for me. Your friendship is irreplaceable. Love, Jo
1st semester: Kknoocked Ovverrr So glad youre my other half! “I am not stupid. Thank you. Goodbye.” :)
Shout out to a friend for 20EC/10US! Email or Paypal: RossedDaily@ gmail.com
“Thank you to all those who came and joined us during the Ceremony of Thanks to cerebrate and express our gratitude to our silent teachers.” Dr. Kirera
“Good Luck on Finals!”
LOVE, Ebony and Ivory + The Spanish
Thank You Dean Flaherty, Shannon Loeck, William Kennedy, Marko Anikin, & The Usual Spot for Your Support
“Good luck CAMM! That’s what she said.” From, Anjelica and Mich
“I Feel Pretty....”
Adopt-a-Pet This is the famous subway cat that loves to exchange purrs and cuddles for bits of sub sandwiches. It is very affectionate, playful,and gets along well with other cats. Contact the PAWS Facebook page for more info.
- Do this for guaranteed success at Ross.
“Juanita, Will You Marry Me? -Engelbert”
PAWS: Semester in Review by Sarah Thomas The Ross PAWS group believes in the idea of nurturing one’s surroundings and appreciating life across the species barrier. It is a club that specifically strives to control the animal population humanely through surgical birth control methods and also makes every effort to improve the quality of living for the local stray animals, mainly dogs and cats. During this semester’s traditional PAWS vet day, 5 local cats and 7 local dogs were spayed and neutered, all of them also getting proper immunizations and dewormer. The entire event was funded from private donations and bake sales. Why do we do this? To foster awareness and care for all living things. Many of these animals will continue on as student’s pets, some as healthy strays that will not spread disease or reproduce and of course, some will serve as morale boosters to students and faculty between study breaks or meetings. On an unfortunate note, this semester has been a bit bumpy regarding animal safety. Reports of animal poisoning and abuse ran rampant through the student community and each case was dealt with
individually. Unfortunately, one dog died, likely from a high dose of pesticide ingestion while another dog survived due to around-the-clock care and medications. If you or anyone you know may want to bring their pet to the island, advise them not to do so. It is a common practice on the island to scatter food scraps impregnated with poison around campus and in the community to control the animal population. These food death traps are popular especially in the livestock community around campus, peaking when word gets out that a goat may have been killed or injured by a canine. Word spreads fast and soon, a force-field of poison infested scraps can lurk on the ground, possibly awaiting an innocent dog or cat. Please be careful and spread the word. Doesn’t Ross University also have a vet school? Why can’t they help with this animal problem? The PAWS group feels Dominica would make a great rotation for the Ross veterinary school in St. Kitts! We have contacted them regarding prospects of spay and neuter clinics and on ground breaking research efforts regarding the presence of feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus and Bartonella
species in the stray animal population here in Dominica. Dr. Patrick Kelly at the vet school has published on these topics previously and we are hoping he is able to gain funding for a trip to Dominica to further these endeavors. Do you want to adopt? Dogs and cats are ALWAYS looking for homes. Dogs make great personal security guards when you are walking at night or even sleeping in your own apartment. Animals have a therapeutic effect both physically and mentally. Consider taking in a pet to offset the stressors involved with medical school and you may be surprised at how rewarding this actually is. Join our facebook page forum for more info.■
Photo credit: Sarah Thomas
April 6, 2012