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Archive for the ‘Medicine’ Category

A healthy trend at medical schools

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By Kemba Dunham, Boston Globe

As a child, Ryan Rasmus dreamed of being a doctor. Now, the 22-year-old is a first-year student at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

“There is a great responsibility that comes with this education,’’ said Rasmus, an African-American who is originally from Houston. ’’It will enable me to impact my community in ways that may increase their quality of life and their longevity.’’

More minority students like Rasmus are enrolling in US medical schools, according a study by the Association of American Medical Colleges, a nonprofit that represents all 150 accredited medical schools in the United States and Canada. Native Americans had the largest enrollment growth, at 24.8 percent, followed by a 9 percent increase for Hispanics; 2.9 percent for African-Americans; and 2.4 percent for Asians. The growth is in part due to a push by schools to attract more underrepresented minorities — African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans, and mainland Puerto Ricans — to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.

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December 10, 2010 at 3:12 pm

RIP: Dr. Mildred Jefferson

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By Kathleen Burge, Boston Globe

Dr. Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School and the first female surgical intern at Boston City Hospital, broke many race and gender barriers during her long career as a doctor. But it was when she turned to politics, emerging four decades ago as a eloquent leader of the antiabortion movement, that she began to win a following.

Dr. Jefferson died Friday at 84, according to Anne Fox, a close friend and the president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. The exact cause of death is unclear, but Fox said Dr. Jefferson’s health had declined two weeks before her death.

“She was one of our founders and her philosophy profoundly affected the movement,’’ said Darla St. Martin, co-executive director of the National Right to Life Committee. “She spoke to young, to old, to all religions, to all races, to all people.’’

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Written by Symphony

October 19, 2010 at 6:51 am

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Regina Benjamin

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by Queenie Wong, US News & World Report

reginabenjamin1. Regina Benjamin was born in 1956 in Mobile, Ala., and raised in Daphne, where her divorced mother worked as a waitress.

2. Benjamin cites her “strong-willed and very compassionate” grandmother, who died when she was 9, as her mentor.

3. Her family has had a history of illnesses. Her father died of diabetes and hypertension, her only brother of an HIV-related illness, and her mother of lung cancer.

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From storm-tossed Ala. clinic to top doctor post

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by Desiree Hunter, Associated Press

reginabenjaminBattered and flooded by Hurricane Katrina, this coastal Alabama fishing village was in wreckage four years ago when Dr. Regina Benjamin began assessing her patients’ needs. Trouble was, her little health clinic had been flooded and they couldn’t come to see her.

So she went to them.

She could be seen “going door-to-door in all that mud and sewer, just a mess from her head to her toes with boots on,” Stan Wright, one of her patients, said Monday, hours after Benjamin was nominated by President Barack Obama to be U.S. surgeon general.

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July 24, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Profile: Dr. Raynard S. Kington

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raynard_kington_lrgRaynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. was named Acting NIH Director of the National Institutes of Health on October 31, 2008, following the departure of Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. Since February 9, 2003, when Dr. Kington was appointed Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), he shared in the overall leadership, policy direction, and coordination of NIH biomedical research and research training programs of NIH’s 27 Institutes and Centers with a budget of almost $29 billion and 18,000 employees.
Prior to this appointment, he had been Associate Director of NIH for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research since September, 2000. In addition to this role, from January, 2002 to November, 2002, he served as Acting Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Prior to coming to NIH, Dr. Kington was Director of the Division of Health Examination Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As Division Director, he also served as Director of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), one of the nation’s largest studies to assess the health of the American people. Prior to coming to NCHS, he was a Senior Scientist in the Health Program at the RAND Corporation. While at RAND, Dr. Kington was a Co-Director of the Drew/RAND Center on Health and Aging, a National Institute on Aging Exploratory Minority Aging Center. Read the rest of this entry »

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May 23, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Church effort sharply increases first-time African-American blood donors

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by Beth Miller, Washington University in St Louis

A program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital designed to increase awareness about sickle cell disease and the importance of blood donations within the African-American faith community led to a 60 percent increase in first-time blood donations, a new study has found.

The program, called Sickle Cell Sabbath, was formally launched in 2003 by Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine and a sickle-cell disease specialist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. It is observed on Sundays from February (Black History Month) through June, in honor of Charles Drew, M.D., an African-American blood specialist whose pioneering work in blood collection, plasma processing and transfusion laid the foundation for modern blood banking. Its aim is to educate congregations of predominantly African-American churches about sickle cell disease and the benefit of blood and cord-blood donations and to make giving blood more convenient by encouraging church sponsorship of blood drives. Read the rest of this entry »

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December 16, 2008 at 7:46 am

Surgeon looks to inspire black youth

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If Dr. Roderick Claybrooks had his way, academic superstars would be as popular as “American Idol” and as publicized as the Super Bowl.

It pains him that many youths “especially African-American boys and girls” see entertainment or athletics as their only ticket to success.

“You have a much better chance of becoming a surgeon than of becoming the next Kobe Bryant,” Claybrooks, a spine surgeon, tells them.

To which he often gets a puzzled look. But Claybrooks, 36, doesn’t back down.

He backs it up with numbers.

He says there are about 400 men playing in the NBA, but hundreds of thousands of doctors. There are 921,904 physicians, including 161,370 surgeons, in the United States, according to the American Medical Association.

“An education, a good education, is the surest ticket out of the ghetto,” Claybrooks says emphatically.

He knows because, although he didn’t grow up poor, education opened doors to opportunities he would have had no other way.

He’s so convinced of it that he wrote “The Black Student’s Guide to Success” and published it himself late last year.

Claybrooks says he was driven to write the book because it bothered him that so many kids he talked to had limited aspirations and many people he treated had promise but were doing nothing to develop their potential.

National radio personality Steve Harvey was so impressed with Claybrooks and his message, “he interviewed him on his nationally syndicated show” that he invited him to be among a group of people from a variety of professions to speak to 100 students at the Disney Dreamers Academy in Florida last month.

Read the entire article at Contra Costa Times