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Promoting Thyroid Cancer Awareness

Promoting Thyroid Cancer Awareness

According to recent estimates, approximately 62,980 people in the United States will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2014, a nearly 5% increase from 2013. The incidence is rapidly increasing among all age groups, and thyroid cancer is especially common in women, who represent three of every four people diagnosed with the disease. September is recognized internationally as Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, and ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association sponsors this observance to raise awareness. ThyCa (www.thyca.org) provides free handbooks, education, support services, events, and awareness materials to patients, professionals, and the public by mail and by download. Not a “Good Cancer” “A common misconception about thyroid cancer is that it’s often called a ‘good cancer’ because the prognosis for most patients is excellent,” says Gary Bloom. “This undermines the seriousness of the disease. When clinicians diagnose thyroid cancer, it’s an opportunity to deliver messages in a way that patients understand the gravity of their situation. While most patients do well, there is still a lifelong risk for recurrence. These patients all need to be monitored consistently for their thyroid health.” Early detection of thyroid cancer is critical because the disease is usually treatable when caught early. However, some thyroid cancers are more aggressive and difficult to treat, further illustrating the importance of early detection. Physicians can perform a simple neck check that can be completed in seconds, and this brief exam can help improve outcomes. “Physicians can encourage patients to be regularly checked for thyroid nodules,” Bloom says. “When a diagnosis is made, physicians can advise bringing a friend, family member, or caregiver to help patients understand the diagnosis...
Assessing Women’s Knowledge of Stroke Warning Signs

Assessing Women’s Knowledge of Stroke Warning Signs

According to national estimates, stroke is the third leading cause of death among women in the United States, and the aftermath of these events is significant among survivors. Studies have found that about one-third of women who survive a stroke will need help caring for themselves, whereas 16% will require institutional care, and 7% will have an impaired ability to work. Each year, about 55,000 more women than men will have a stroke. There has also been a rise in stroke prevalence among middle-aged women that has not been seen in their male counterparts, highlighting the need for a better understanding of stroke among women of all ages. Research has shown that women from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds experience a disproportionate stroke burden. For example, African-American women have an incidental stroke risk that is almost twice as high as that of Caucasian women. Some studies indicate that the prevalence of stroke risk factors may be higher among Hispanic women. “Considering these risks, it’s important to assess the ability of women to recognize stroke warning signs at their onset,” says Heidi Mochari-Greenberger, PhD, MPH. “Early recognition may lead to more rapid access to emergency care, which in turn may result in decreased stroke-related morbidity and mortality.”   Surveying the Scene To improve outcomes and reduce disparities, it is important to address gaps in women’s knowledge as it relates to stroke warning signs. In 2012, the American Heart Association (AHA) commissioned a national survey to determine women’s cardiovascular disease awareness. This survey also included an assessment of knowledge relating to stroke warning signs. For a study published in Stroke, Dr....
Med School Debt & Resident Salary

Med School Debt & Resident Salary

Medscape’s Residents Salary & Debt Report 2014 was just released this week, surveying over 1,200 medical residents across more than 25 specialty residency programs. The survey focused on medical residents’ salary, debt, and overall experiences in residency. Survey results found that the average resident salary was $55,300. Other highlights from the report are as follows: * Average salaries were highest in the Northwest (71k); lowest in the Southeast (50k) * Residents in critical care received the highest salary at 65k * Family Medicine residents received the lowest salary at 52k * Average salaries increased from 51k the first year to 60k after the fifth year * Men and women made an average of 56k and 54k, respectively * Only 48% of men feel fairly compensated, compared to 57% of women * 58% of residents owe over $100,000 of medical school debt after 5 years in * 36% of residents owe more than $200,000 * The majority of residents (77%) felt that the hours worked are sufficient for training Results of the Medscape survey follow closely with the Association of American Medical Colleges’ recent statistics of the indebted graduates, class of 2013, in their Medical Student Education: Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Fact Card. According to the AAMC, the mean debt for residents attending a public institution was 162k, and the mean debt was 181k for a private institution. The AAMC reports that 79% of graduates owe over 100k, while 40% owe over 200k. In May, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that in inflation-adjusted terms, compensation has been essentially unchanged for 40 years. And according to a recent...
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