Ultraportable Ultrasound Introduced to Medical Education Curriculum

Ultraportable Ultrasound Device made available to Icahn School of Medicine students and trainees

This article was written by Alexa Mieses, a first-year medical student, and first published in The Rossi: Medical Student Quarterly Report.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is known for innovation within the realms of patient care, research, and medical education. Training future physicians requires a commitment to progress, and the newest addition to the medical school’s curriculum is no exception: In the spring of 2013, handheld ultrasound will be introduced to enhance students’ and trainees’ clinical skills and generation of a differential diagnosis by reinforcing anatomic and physiologic principles.

Unlike traditional ultrasound, bedside ultrasound is performed at the point of care, not in an imaging suite. Handheld ultrasound – an even more recent technology – is small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, with a screen roughly the size of a smart phone.  Compared to traditional ultrasound, these devices are more portable and less expensive, although the quality of image may be compromised.

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Eradicating Cervical Cancer

As an oncologist, I am often confronted with patients with advanced gynecologic malignancies with limited successful options to cure them. The success of treating and curing patients with cancer depends not only on the skills and technologies, it is very much dependent on the patients and the stage of their diseases. Too often, we are not able to detect these malignancies early because we do not know what causes the disease and there are no early detection tests so that by the time a patient is in my office, the disease is at an advanced stage.    Cervical cancer, however, is one of the few gynecologic malignancies that we know is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that can be detected by a simple pap smear. Furthermore, cervical cancer can be prevented with an HPV vaccination.

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David L. Reich, MD, Named Interim Hospital President and COO

David L. Reich, MD

David L. Reich, MD, a prominent thought leader in the field of anesthesiology who has been at Mount Sinai for nearly three decades, was named Interim President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of The Mount Sinai Hospital, effective immediately. A 2011 Physician of the Year honoree, Dr. Reich is the Horace W. Goldsmith Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology.

Wayne Keathley has stepped down as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Mount Sinai Hospital to become President of Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center and Health Network in Houston, Texas. “We would like to thank Mr. Keathley for his outstanding service to Mount Sinai over the past nine years,” said Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Mount Sinai Medical Center. “During this time, Mount Sinai has experienced tremendous growth and change, and we are confident this outstanding growth will continue under the leadership of Dr. Reich, who has assumed the interim positions.” Dr. Davis added that a national search for President and COO was launched and Dr. Reich is a candidate for these positions.

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Dystonia Researchers Discover New Gene

A team of researchers at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and elsewhere recently discovered a causative gene for primary torsion dystonia (PTD), which sheds light on the genetic underpinnings of this debilitating movement disorder that affects an estimated 500,000 adults and children in North America. PTD is characterized by repetitive twisting muscle contractions throughout the body.

Drs. Laurie Ozelius and Tania Fuchs

The findings—which appear in the December 9, 2012, issue of Nature Genetics—identified the gene GNAL after exome sequencing was performed on two families with PTD. Further investigation into GNAL revealed six additional mutations of the gene. Exome sequencing is an effective, less expensive alternative to whole genome sequencing.

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Mount Sinai Surgeons Implant Portable Artificial Heart

When Daquain Jenkins, 29, left The Mount Sinai Hospital last year, he became the first patient in the New York metropolitan area to return home to await a heart transplant with the assistance of a portable artificial heart.

The milestone was remarkable in a number of ways. First, the Total Artificial Heart, manufactured by SynCardia Systems, Inc., in Tucson, Arizona, replaces both failing heart ventricles and four heart valves, eliminating end-stage biventricular failure. It is immediately available to patients, and serves as a bridge while they await a suitable heart donor. In addition, it allows patients to move freely and manage everyday chores while wearing a backpack that stores the 13.5-pound battery-driven device.

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Women’s Health Fashion Show and Luncheon

Designer Pamella Roland’s spring 2013 collection took center stage in December at The Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Second Annual Women’s Health Fashion Show and Luncheon at The Waldorf=Astoria. The models wore jewelry provided by Chopard, and more than 500 guests enjoyed a luncheon menu selected by chef Mario Batali.

The event raised more than $450,000, which will be used to raise awareness about the importance of primary care in the prevention and detection of women’s medical issues, fund research on reproductive cancers, educate women about heart health, and investigate the relationship between gender differences and the environment.

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The Exercise Game!

If you like video games but need some exercise, try this “game.” You can win and get in shape.

As you walk to and/or from work, pick up the pace because

  • for each person you pass, you get one point.
  • for each person who passes you, you lose one point.

When a light stops you at the curb,

  • you get a point for waiting safely on the sidewalk.
  • you do not lose any points for people who pass you to wait on the street.
  • you do not lose any points for people who pass you to walk against the light.
  • you get a point when you pass those people on the next block, even if you are passing them for a second time.

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Flu Myths vs. Facts

Dr. Cindy Feely

In my daily practice at Primary Care Associates, I get asked many questions about the flu and the flu vaccine. Despite improved access to accurate, responsible information in the media and on the web, a number of myths about the flu and the vaccine still exist. So here it is, point-by-point, information for you to make informed choices for your healthcare.

Myth #1: The flu vaccine gives you the flu

Facts: The vaccine, including this year’s version, consists of a dead virus which cannot infect you. What it can do is make your body produce the antibodies necessary to fight that virus if you come in contact with a live version of it. The live virus is included in the Flu Mist – a nasal spray, not an injection – but it is engineered so that it will not make you sick.

Myth #2: If you weren’t vaccinated by November, there’s no point in getting it now

Facts: While we are seeing a large number of cases right now, the flu often doesn’t hit its peak until February or even March. And while it does take two weeks to be fully effective, the vaccine will help lessen the severity if you do get the flu.

Myth #3: There’s no treatment for the flu

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The Flu Epidemic: What YOU can do

Influenza has officially reached epidemic proportions in several regions of the United States. Approximately 7.3% of deaths (exceeding the 7.2% threshold) are now attributed to pneumonia and the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionMount Sinai is taking a number of actions in order to continue to provide optimal care to all of our patients and to protect our patients and staff from exposure to influenza.

What can you do to protect yourself and others from influenza?

  • It’s not too late to get vaccinated. Click here to make an appointment online with one of our primary care doctors or call 212-241-6585
  • Dr. Prarthana Beuria recommends being vigilant about washing hands every time you’re out in public and around lots of people, whether in the subway or at the office, and to avoid touching your face with your hands.
  • If you have the flu, Dr. Beuria recommends that you “stay home from work until the fever has been gone for 24 hours. If people around you have compromised immune systems, stay away.”

Click here to view the full infographic

  Aquí está la influenza gráfica en Español

Who is at risk of getting the flu?

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Barbara Murphy, MD, Appointed Chair of the Department of Medicine

Barbara Murphy, MD

Barbara Murphy, MD, MB, BAO, BCh, FRCPI, a world-class physician-scientist known for her innovative research in transplant immunology, has been named Chair of the Samuel F. Bronfman Department of Medicine at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Murphy, the Murray M. Rosenberg Professor of Medicine, is the first woman to serve as chair of Medicine at an academic medical center in New York City. She has been the department’s acting chair since June, and Chief of Mount Sinai’s Division of Nephrology since 2004.

Dr. Murphy also serves as the Director of Conduits at Mount Sinai’s Institute for Translational Sciences, and as the Dean of Clinical and Population Based Research. She has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1997. Dr. Murphy’s current focus is on the use of genomics and genetics to investigate outcomes following renal transplantation. She holds one patent for a peptide that inhibits the immune response, and is awaiting approval for another for a urinary biomarker that predicts the development of fibrosis in renal transplants.

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