Posts Tagged “Medical Center”
Boys and young men should be vaccinated against the Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, to prevent throat and anal cancers, a federal advisory board for the Center of Disease Control announced early last week. The board recommended the vaccine for boys ages 11 and 12, as well as young men ages 13 through 21 who have not already received all three shots. Vaccinations may be given to males ages 9 through 26.
Work on this controversial vaccine began at Georgetown Medical Center during the 1980s. In 2006, Dr. Richard Schlegel, current chairman of the Georgetown’s Department of Pathology, developed the first HPV vaccine to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Initially, the vaccine was recommended for girls age 11 through 26, with disappointing participation.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in American adults, with more than 80% of women in the United States carrying some strain of it by age 50. HPV causes almost all strains of cervical cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. It can also cause anal and throat cancers in men.
The announcement is likely to change the use of the vaccine since most private insurers pay for vaccines after the committee recommends them for routine use. The three doses of the HPV vaccine cost pediatricians $300, and patients are often charged hundreds more.
The HPV vaccine has become controversial since it prevents diseases that result from sexual activity. Despite that the vaccine was developed by Georgetown researchers, the University’s distribution of the vaccine has been a topic of debate in recent years.
Photo from Babble.
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Yesterday, Georgetown announced that it received $87 million—the largest gift in University history—from the late Virginia Toulmin.
Toulmin, who passed away in June, donated the money to the University’s medical center with instructions that it be used to support medical research. The gift will fund the Warwick Evans and Mary Mason Washington Evans Medical Research Endowment, which is named after her husband’s grandparents.
“I am deeply grateful to Harry and Virginia Toulmin for their generosity and trust in Georgetown’s ability to use these resources to create knowledge that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of others,” President John DeGioia said in a press release.
After Harry Toulmin died in 1965, Virginia managed his $1.2 million charitable trust as it grew to its present-day value. As a longtime volunteer who served of the University’s Board of Regents, Medical Affairs committee, and School of Nursing Board of Visitors, she had always planned to donate the money to Georgetown.
“Harry really worshiped his grandfather, who was this great man—successful physician and prominent Washington figure,” she said in a 1997 interview. “[E]ven though he didn’t graduate from Georgetown, Harry loved his grandfather and his grandfather loved Georgetown.”
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Need to assist someone in labor with a baby that’s about to breach in a crowded tent city in the devastated city of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti? Well, there’s not an app for that, but an iPhone can help.
That’s how family physician Ranit Mishori, left, of the Georgetown University School of Medicine counseled ABC News medical editor Richard Besser and others when they came upon a woman who was in labor, not knowing whether there was a medical facility nearby.
The Medical Center Office of Communications said that Mishori received a panicked e-mail that ABC reporters sent to the thousands of physicians it had on a contact list:
“Rich Besser has come upon a situation in the tent city in Haiti where he is needed to help deliver a baby,” wrote Roger Sergel, managing editor of medical news at ABC. “If you are on line right now please advise….”
Then minutes later, “Important update. Baby may be breech.” Also included in Sergel’s email was a shorthand message from Besser, “No phone. Email only old. And not reliable. Pls send what u can. Baby may be breached. No hospital. Out in open air.”
Haiti has a high rate of mortality to both mother and child during birth. In a good situation, the stakes are high, but coupled with the earthquake-related trauma, birthing can be deadly.
Mishori was away from her computer but with iPhone in hand, she responded immediately. Among other medically relevant questions, she asked, “Is she fully dialated? Complete breech?? Footling?”
Mishori, one of only a few doctors who responded to the messages, gave the ABC team who was with the woman instructions until they found out about a makeshift hospital an Israeli response team had set up on a soccer field, and took the woman there.
Later, Besser wrote, “To all: We’re with the Israeli’s… Should deliver vaginally. Thanks to everyone!” ABC News reported that the baby girl, although born prematurely, will be fine.
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Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press recently shadowed a first-year anatomy class at Georgetown University Medical School. Her article reveals some intriguing details: the first class opens with a non-denomenational prayer and “Georgetown has quit accepting bodies that weigh more than about 200 pounds,” after an embalmer injured his back preparing a heavy corpse.
However, that’s not what makes Georgetown’s a different kind of anatomy course. Georgetown, along with a host of other medical schools, is part of a movement in which schools are trying to give their anatomy classes better context. The school has revived its class curriculum to try to help students understand their cadavers as whole medical cases, not just inanimate bodies.
So before students enter Georgetown’s anatomy laboratory, they are now required to take courses such as ”Physician-Patient Communication” and “Social and Cultural Issues in Health Care.” In Dr. Carlos Suarez-Quian’s class they are asked to remember the “humanity of anatomy” and to notice the unique characteristics that make up each cadaver’s story.
3rd year student Aaron Laviana described the change, saying “You learn to manage the patient as the whole, rather than just studying one organ at a time in anatomy class.”
More than 35% of American medical schools have started a transition towards this “systems-based approach,” where instructors use gross anatomy classes as a supplement to lecture material instead of as a stand-alone course. For example, as students read about the respiratory system in class, they may also be dissecting a lung and visiting a debate about tobacco regulation on Capitol Hill.
The rules in Dr. Suarez-Quian’s anatomy class also reflect the changing times: use goggles when operating the bone saw, and absolutely no pictures of the bodies on Facebook.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
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Georgetown and George Mason University will be starting a joint biomedical program next year, according to the Washington Post. The program—cutely called “George Squared”—will offer a one-year certificate program and a masters program in biomedical sciences.
According to the Post, the program will start next year and will accept 60 students. The program will be run by faculty from both schools but will be based at GMU. Classes will focus on anatomy, biochemistry, human physiology, medical microbiology and molecular biology.
GMU Provost Peter Stearns told the Post that George Squared will allow the two universities to combine their medical resources.
GU Medical Center’s associate dean for biomedical graduate education Adam Myers explained the impetus for the program:
Biological and biomedical sciences are projected to be top growth areas in the coming decades. This growth will be driven by scientific developments related to the unraveling of the human genome, the aging of our population [and] increased concern about global infectious diseases.
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Otto and Jeanne Ruesch, left, with Michael Kaiser
The Georgetown Medical Center recently received a $6.75 million gift to do research on colon, pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers, according to Blue and Gray.
The gift comes from Jeanne Ruesch, whose husband, local businessman and philanthropist Otto Ruesch, died of pancreatic cancer in 2004 at the age of 64. Ruesch said that when her husband was diagnosed, she was shocked by how few treatments there were for pancreatic cancer.
The money will go towards creating the Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers. The center will focus on research, drug discovery and patient advocacy and will be part of the Medical Center’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. John Marshall, Director of the new center and chief of hematology and oncology at the Georgetown University Hospital, told Blue and Gray that he thinks the new center will greatly further research on gastrointestinal cancers:
We have lost our way in gastrointestinal cancer research in this country. We have accepted that merely adding time to one’s life is adequate as a treatment goal and have gotten away from the charge of curing these cancers …
We are not going to solve everything within gastrointestinal cancer treatment within the walls of Georgetown. But we will provide a model for how to move forward. If we’re right—and I believe we are—we will have a major impact on drug discovery and development and on bringing about a cure for these deadly cancers.
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U.S. News and World Report just released it’s annual rankings of Graduate programs and it looks like Georgetown’s doing pretty well for itself. From the golden child of GU’s grad programs, Georgetown Law, which ranked 14 (same as last year), to the business school (up three to 19), Georgetown’s pulling a very respectable showing. Even the Medical school, something of a black sheep, managed to inch up one spot to 39.
After the jump, Georgetown’s rankings in every program it was evaluated on (Note: Some fields had sub-rankings. Unfortunately, you had to pay to see past the top 10 or so, and since Vox is (a) broke and (b) unwilling to shill out $14.95 to U.S. News, we’re only listing the rankings that are publicly visible):
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