Friday, September 27, 2013

TGIF Quote of the Week!

Happy Friday Everyone!
Hopefully everyone will find time to relax this weekend. 
Here is the quote of the week:

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.”
 — Sheila Murray Bethel

Have a good weekend!

Listeria in the News

If you attended  our first Seminar Series, Gender Jeopardy you may remember this 1000 point question: 

This bacteria affects older people, pregnant women (especially Hispanic women) and immunocompromised people after drinking unpasteurized milk or eating lunchmeat that is too old; can cause preterm labor, bacteremia, fetal loss, meningitis and death.
Answer: Invasive Listeria Monocytogenes

In 2011, an outbreak of Listeria became the worst food borne illness on record (Since they began recording in the 1970's) Over one hundred people were infected and 33 died. In recent news, owners of the farm where the outbreak originated were arrested. It was found that contaminated cantaloupes were the cause of this outbreak. 

To Read the full article in the NY Times, Click Here.


Monday, September 23, 2013

WHEP: What's Happening

We recently had the pleasure of discussing two very interesting articles presented to us by 4th year students Natalie Beaty and Rachel Danis! Check out and share these articles with your friends:

  • Childhood maltreatment and response to novel face stimuli presented during functional magnetic resonance imaging in adults,  Elliot Kale Edmiston and Jennifer Urbano Blackford

  • At what cost?: Payment for abortion care by U.S. women, Rachel K. Jones, PhD a, Ushma D. Upadhyay, PhD, MPHb, Tracy A. Weitz, PhD, MPA 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Seminar Series - Best of Center City (Part 2)

As promised, here is part 2 of our "best of" entries (check out best of Queen Lane from yesterday if you haven't already!) During our first seminar, we asked students to compile lists of the best places fellow students should check out. Here is the list for Center City:

Best of Center City:

Best Restaurant
Banana Leaf


Village Whiskey
Many Places in Chinatown

Fun Ideas for less than $10
First Friday (Monthly art gallery open house)

Best Place to Study
OCF Coffeehouse
Hahneman Library 24 hr room  

Best Food on the Go

Best Places/Ways to relieve stress
Rittenhouse Park
Kelly Drive

Do you have a favorite place that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments section. And please don't forget to come out to our next seminar on September 24th! 

*The Women's Health Education has no affiliations or partnerships with any of the businesses listed. Results were decided solely based on student feedback

Foundation for Women's Wellness Research and Fellowship Awards

The Foundation for Women's Wellness (FWW) is currently accepting applications for both research and fellowship awards in women's health.  FWW is dedicated to improving women's health by raising support for small, short-term studies with promising big impact. Details and online applications are at: FWW under the research awards and fellowship awards tabs.  

Both are short applications. The research award is a two page letter of inquiry and finalists will be invited to apply, it is a one time $25,000 award.  The two fellowship awards are given directly to the MD/PhD student, intern, fellow or trainee that is working on women's health research topics ($2,500 each).

The deadline for both is October 25. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Seminar Series - Best of Queen Lane (part 1)

Our first seminar series for the 2013-2014 was last night! Thanks for those who came out and if you were not able to make it, please come join us next time! ( Our next seminar is September 24th!)

One of the activities we did yesterday was have participants compile  "Best Of"  lists for both the Queen Lane and Center City areas. Today, we will be posting the Queen lane list, tomorrow the list for Center City will be up! If you are looking for

Queen Lane Area Best...

 Best Places to Study
- Starbucks (Manayunk)
- Volo Cafe
- The Computer Lab

Favorite places/ ways to relieve stress
- Quizzo at Kildares
- Pretzel Park (Manayunk)
- Yoga
- Play sports, walk or run  (East Falls Park/ Towpath or Preztel Park (Manayuk)

Best restaurant 
Rose Petals Cafe & Lounge
In Riva
Tomato Bistro

Best food on the Go
- Anything on City Ave (Chipotle, Pei Wei, etc.)

Fun Ideas for under $10
-Wine Tasting on Main Street in Manayunk

Have a "best of  Queen Lane that you would like to share? Post in our comments section to keep the discussion going!

*The Women's Health Education has no affiliations or partnerships with any of the businesses listed. Results were decided solely based on student feedback

The Costs of Child Care in America

 Having children is an event that many in Americans choose to embark upon and has been built into the "typical" model of the American dream. While there are many factors that contribute to the decision to have a child, early child care costs from infancy to the start of grade school may be a large deterrent. According to Census Bureau, the cost of child care has almost doubled in the last 25 years. This burden falls heavily on working mothers as they are more likely to leave their jobs to take care of children if they make less than their partner. And once children reach grade school, these women find it difficult to get back into, and become a competitive force in the workplace again.

Regardless of income, many feel the strain of childcare. However some of the hardest hit are those right above the income bracket to receive government assistance and those living in poverty. While the average percent of household income spent on childcare is about 7%, It can be much higher for low income families (about 30%!). This can impact the families ability to pay for other things such as housing, utilities and food; Which can effect the health and wellness of every family member.

Moving forward, physicians can have a significant role of encouraging parents to prepare for child care. During early prenatal visits, simple questions such as "have you began making preparations for early child care after maternity/paternity leave?"can get soon to be parents thinking if they haven't already. While it may not be possible to discuss their options, knowing what is available within the community and having resources to give can really make a difference. Simply mentioning websites like could start parents on the right track.  Also encouraging new parents to talk to others who have recently or currently exploring child care options can remind them to build their social networks as they enter into this next phase of life.

Rising childcare costs; US Census 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Today is Female Condom Day!

Female condoms are the lesser known and used version of the male counterpart. When used effectively, planned parenthood estimates that 5 out of 100 women will get pregnant (This is compared to the 98% effectiveness of male condoms, but many also use male condoms incorrectly.) They also are effective in protection against STDs. Female condoms benefit women by allowing them to take greater control of their sex lives without using any type of hormone treatment. While both partners should be willing to agree on a method of protection, female condoms can eliminate the "too small, too tight, no feeling" discussion that sometimes comes along with using men's condoms. 

One interesting benefit of the female condom is that it can be inserted ahead of time. Therefore, there is no period of stopping to find a condom that also deters users at times. This advanced usage allows the female condom to adjust to a woman's body temperature for a more "natural" feel. 

Many women are deterred from usage because they do not know how to use a female condom. Physicians should make sure that when discussing birth control and safe sex measures, patients are not only informed of their options but know proper usage. Also, if you yourself are sexually active, make sure YOU know proper utilization for any methods of protection you choose! 

Happy Female Condom Day!

More information on female condoms and usage:

Student Spotlight: Alex Harrington

Alex Harrington, currently a second year student at DUCOM recently shared the details of his amazing summer Internship with us. Through the Drexel University Office of International Programs, Alex completed the Global Health Fellows Program in Geneva through Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy. this consisted of an eight week internship at the World Health Organization (WHO) with the Gender, Equity, and Human Rights Team. Alex was able to work with some of the biggest public health leaders in the world on strategies for mainstreaming gender, health equity, and human rights approaches throughout various WHO affiliates and government offices. The internship also consisted of an intensive one week course . Interns were given the opportunity to  listen to and question WHO officers from all the different departments as well as go on site visits to organizations such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, UNITAID, South Centre, and MSF among others.

Alex has this to say about his experiences at the WHO:
"I met so many passionate people doing real work in public health, but the best part was the stimulating conversations I had with so many critical thinking people. No conversations could conclude with “that's just the way the world is,” and you couldn't get away with political talking points, generalizing labels, and empty arguments lacking substance. It was an environment where everything was allowed to be challenged, and before you criticize another country or group of people, you had to truly evaluate and examine the actions and responsibilities of yourself and your own country first." 

In addition to this internship, Alex worked in Ghana on various maternal health, engineering, and public health research projects as an undergraduate. He has also worked on similar projects in both Philadelphia and Detroit. 

Congratulations on a wonderful experience Alex! continue to make a strong impact in public health as your further your medical career! 

Alex Harrington, Class of 2016 at the Assembly Hall of Palais Des Nations
at the United Nations office in Geneva


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Seminar Series Kicks Off September 17th!

GET READY! The Women's Health Seminar Series starts on Tuesday, September 17th! We are very excited about our upcoming topics for this year. Please come out and join us! Food will be served! 

Please see the flyer below for details of our first seminar. If you are planning to attend please RSVP by Monday, September 16th!  See you then! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kidney Stones : A Growing Danger for Women

Kidney stones are a growing medical concern for women. Over the last 7 years, there has been a significant increase in the number of women who visit the emergency room due to kidney stones.

So what are the numbers? Khurshid R. Ghani, MD, and his colleagues from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit analyzed the changes from 2006-2009. They conducted a national survey using charges for patients with upper urinary tract stones from ER visits. Per 100,000 patients, incidence for upper urinary tract stones increased from 289 to 306. In Total, over 3.6 million were treated. For women, treatment rose an estimated 2.85% per year and they were also more likely to be hospitalized. Over the course of the study, that would be a 3 year increase of about 8.5 percent, and if those numbers have stayed the same, there would have been about an almost 20 percent increase from 2006 to today!

But why could we be seeing this increase? Dr. Ghani suspects that one reason may be the growing numbers of obesity in women. One of the major risk factors for developing a kidney stone is obesity. Also among obese individuals, women have a higher chance of developing stones.  

Another problem with the rise of treatment is cost. Medical technology is becoming increasingly expensive and the increased use is driving up the cost for the nation. Dr. Ghani explains in the video linked below:

With rising incidence rates, kidney stones are another issue that may need to be discussed with certain patients; especially women who are obese or borderline obese. Trying to lower rates of obesity and encouraging patients to take proper care measures if they are able to pass a stone are important. In addition, the future of medical technology may benefit financially by finding an alternative diagnostic method for kidney stones. If obesity trends continue, we are likely to keep seeing these rates of kidney stone hospitalizations, with similar or higher costs to the healthcare system. 

Click here Read the NIH report

Saturday, September 7, 2013

TGIF Quote of the Week

Happy Friday everyone!
Here is the quote of the week:

"When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is
wrought in our life, or the life of another."

-Helen Keller

Keep your impact positive!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Women's Health Scholars: The Basics

The Women's Health Scholars Program has been getting a lot of attention lately and we are very excited about all of your interest! So for those who do not know and for those who need a refresher, Here is a quick breakdown the Women's Health Scholars Program. You will earn the official title of "Women's Health Scholar" if you complete four requirements during your time a DUCOM:

1. Complete the WH Seminar Series Elective [Available for first and second year students] - You must attend at least 8 seminars in one year and fill out an evaluation form for each seminar attended. Seminars you have gone to in year one cannot roll over to be completed in year two. For more info on seminar series click here 

2. Make a Women's Health Education Resource by creating either a bulletin board, newsletter or brochure. 

3. Community Education / Outreach - You must spend at least 15 hours demonstrating leadership in a community based environment. 

4. Scholarly paper - You will compose a 15-20 page paper on a specific women's health topic. 

For those of you who are interested in learning more, upcoming we will be holding a Women's Health Scholars info session (still TBA). We will be sending an email out with details to all first and second year students. The info session will describe the requirements in greater detail and give a general timeline so you can begin to assess if this is something you would like to do. If so, you will work further with WHEP to craft your own personal plan of action. 

Continue to look for more information here and in your mailbox! 

To read the official WH Scholars document click here

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Recap from IFM 1, Reproductive Health

Examining the nuchal translucency of a fetus
For IFM1 folks, hopefully you all enjoyed the interactive component of lecture today. Being able to hear the stories of former patients and their experiences are important as you grow as physicians. 

Today nuchal translucency was discussed in class when we were taking about access fluid being around the neck of a growing fetus. During an ultrasound, the thickness of the nuchal translucency is measured to determine if it is normal. All fetuses have some fluid, but an abnormal amount can indicate a genetic abnormality. Downs Syndrome is one of the most common.

For the visual learners:
The left displays a normal level of thickness. Notice the small arrow
on the right picture indicating the access fluid around a fetus' neck. 
When the mother will be about 35 or older at the time she will give birth, if there is family history of birth defects or if the mother has had previous pregnancies or births with defects, the fetus is at greater risk. Of course along with these, there are other factors that can cause birth defects. Therefore it is important to know the medical and social background of both the mother and the father to help determine which reproductive options work best for them.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Cyberbullying: A trend that may be getting worse

Bullying has always been a concern in schools, but the growth of technology allows for a new dimension of bullying called cyberbullying. On top of in person verbal or physical abuse, a child may continue to receive hurtful messages or be slandered online even after the school day ends.  This gives bullies the ability to harm their targets at times that used to be safe, but many states with bullying laws do not include actions performed off campus. 

It is also apparent that this is an issue we are seeing more in young girls.  Girls are more likely to both be cyberbullied and cyberbully someone else. And while many student suicide cases are not based solely on cyber bullying, we have been seeing an increase of (girls especially) suicide in which cyberbullying is involved.  In some of the worst cases, students are sexually assaulted only to have it posted on the internet where they are further humiliated and sometimes blamed for what happened.  Examples like this have come to light recently with cases such as the Stubenville, Ohio rape case.

What could this mean for physicians? In the future young patients may benefit from screening questions that target cyberbullying. In addition to asking if kids feel safe at home or school, perhaps physicians should ask if they feel safe using a phone or the internet (first asking about access), Or ask additionally about technomedia experiences if young patients seem despondent. And while children and teens are effected most frequently, adults can also experience cyberbullying, and it should be considered in patient assessment at every stage of the life cycle.

Want more info on Cyber Bullying? Visit the Cyberbullying research center website  

Cyber-bullying in the news: 

Sunday, September 1, 2013


September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month!! Youth sports teams around the city can lace up with the Philadelphia Union in supporting the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s annual Get Real with Teal campaign. Laces are provided free of charge to youth sports teams while supplies last. Please join us in wearing teal shoelaces for games during September to help spread awareness about ovarian cancer!

Know the symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- Bloating
- Pelvic pain or abdominal pain
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)
* These symptoms are persistent and are a change from a woman’s normal body*

For more information on how your sports team can participate:

Also, mark your calendars! September 15th is the Turn up the Volume Walk on Ovarian Cancer in Harrisburg, PA. Check out this and other great events that are upcoming on the Sandy Rollman events calendar.