The Medical Joyworks Monthly

 

Connect to MJ's thriving community

Issue #10 (July 2020)

IN THE NEWS

An important announcement!

Our entire app lineup is now available as a single new product: Clinical Odyssey.

One easily accessible app
Clinical Odyssey is an online simulation learning system offering you new and updated Prognosis cases and Clinical Sense scenarios in one, easily accessible browser-based location. Your favorite stories are now organized by specialty and by organ system; and they are accompanied by other valuable learning resources, including: short reference articles, a multiple choice question (MCQ) study tool, and physician-moderated discussion boards.

Clinical Odyssey comes in two flavors: for institutions (which replaces Clinical Sense: University Edition), and for individuals. Both are paid subscription-based products, where users can opt between monthly and yearly plans. But unlike our free apps, Clinical Odyssey is entirely advertisement free!

Why things are changing
When we started in 2010, we decided to fund our operation with pharmaceutical advertisements. These were displayed based on anonymized user data, and the revenues paid for our production expenses. Nowadays, pharmaceutical companies want targeted (identifiable user) data. The non-intrusive ad-business has rapidly shrunk over the last several years and we have been presented with a hard choice: either compromise on our principles and sell our users’ data, find a different business model entirely, or shut down our operation permanently.

We refuse to fund our business using identifiable user data. We also enjoy making products that help medical professionals learn better, and we are determined to continue doing so. Therefore, our way forward is with a viable business model that allows us to stay true to our values. Paid subscriptions is that business model.

An invitation to join Clinical Odyssey
All of our app users will be awarded a 50% discount for Clinical Odyssey. You will receive this invitation in your app(s), along with instructions on how to claim the award. Discounts will apply to monthly and yearly plans, and be valid for anyone subscribing until midnight (UTC) on Sunday, August 16th.

As to our current apps, we will continue to offer free, stand-alone versions of them, with a limited (yet valuable) selection of content. They will continue to display banner ads, provided that they respect our values and do not interfere with users' overall app experience.

Thank you!
Since 2010, your learning, enthusiasm, and feedback have been essential to our continued motivation and success. Thank you; and we sincerely hope that you will continue to be a part of our growing medical community!

That is it for now. Stay healthy, and curious.

The MJ Team
 

DOCTORS' LOUNGE

Q&As from our user community

Clinical Sense: Internal - updated (Systemic lupus erythematosus)

Q: Should oral contraceptive pills (OCP) be avoided in all patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)?
A: Patients with stable and moderate SLE who are at a low risk of thrombosis can use OCPs.

Note that the patient in this scenario has antiphospholipid antibodies, hypertension, and nephrotic syndrome, all of which increase the risk of developing thrombosis; therefore she should not use OCPs. For more details, please see: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa051135
If you would like to play this scenario or join the conversation, go to the Clinical Sense app in your mobile device.

Prognosis: Your Diagnosis: Heady - updated (Meningitis, Bacterial)

Q: Following the clinical diagnosis of meningitis, you started empirical steroid therapy – and then discontinued it once Listeria monocytogenes was found to be the causative pathogen. Why did you do this?
A: Steroid therapy in meningitis is a controversial area with conflicting evidence that varies based on both the organism and geographic location (i.e., developing vs. developed countries).

There is evidence that steroid therapy results in better outcomes in meningitis due to S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae B (in children), M. tuberculosis, and S. suis. However, steroid therapy has not been shown to affect the clinical outcomes of meningitis due to L. monocytogenes; hence, the reason for discontinuation.
If you would like to play this scenario or join the conversation, go to the Prognosis: Your Diagnosis app in your mobile device.

MEET YOUR IMB

International Medical Board members

Name: Dr. Stanley Sack M.D., P.A.
Speciality: Pediatrics
Designation: Pediatrician
Work institute: Community Health Initiative of South Florida, Marathon, USA
Graduated from: Hahnemann University, USA
What attracted you to your specialty?
I made the realization that you could make more of a difference in a child's life. When you acquire patients when they are young, you can make a longer-term impact on their lives. 

What have you learned about your specialty solely from experience?
I’ve learned that no one has more power to foster good health in a child than a parent. Most of the knowledge I use in practice comes from reading and patient care experience, less than training.

What is a common misconception associated with your field of study?
Many people believe that Pediatrics is all about babies, signing forms and giving vaccinations. Vaccinations are important, but every time a child comes in for a routine exam, we are monitoring growth and development and giving safety and health habit advice. My first position was in fact, all about sports medicine and behavioral issues in late school-age and teenage patients. As a pediatrician, this process of monitoring growth and development continues well throughout a child’s formative years.

What is your biggest research interest today?
I don't do my own research, but I am very interested in preventing childhood obesity by fostering good feeding practices early - from that first feed, if possible! I'm also interested in the practicalities of treatment of the already obese child.

What publication/research are you most proud of?
Many years ago, I directed a teaching project at the University of Massachusetts. It involved teaching topics on sexuality across all of the third-year clerkships. These days, I write for the public on a variety of topics and enjoy addressing questions that people really want answers to but are perhaps covered less often.

In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge in your field today?
I feel our greatest challenge comes down to communication among physicians, and communication between physicians and other medical specialists. The advanced technology at our disposal hasn't made this easier; providers simply don't talk to each other. It's all well and good to be an expert in your field, but you have to be able to communicate.

What will be a game-changer innovation in your field?
Pediatrics is not all about a fancy new procedure or treatment. What I think our game-changer is has more to do with how we interact with families. When we give advice now, there's a lot more emphasis on what's possible in the "real world." I think there was a tendency for providers to simply preach what should be done. Now that we have the phrase, "social determinants of medicine," it seems like everything needs a label to be taken seriously! Providers enter into more of a dialogue with families and take into account cultural, economic, and other logistic factors in their recommendations.

How has MJ helped advance your professional objectives (in terms of teaching, research, management, personal development, etc.)?
I’ve entered the field of medical communication, after a long career practicing general pediatrics. Medical communication is a wide-open field that involves disseminating information to clinicians, scientists, government officials, and the public. Much of what’s written might be medically accurate but may potentially leave out information or, at times, not even answer the reader’s question. I’ve been involved in a variety of projects that attempt to fill those gaps. Serving on the MJ IMB is one of these. An engaged reader is an informed reader, and if I can play a part in providing accurate, engaging information, I’m happy.
That's all for now!

Tell us what you think or share valuable insights with the community by writing to us at: penelope@medicaljoyworks.com.

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