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Killexams : Why And How Physicians Can Improve Their Practice Management Strategy Through Outsourcing

Marketing Director at Arthur Lawrence, overseeing the strategic marketing initiatives within the technology and healthcare management space.

On a breezy evening in spring, John and Kevin, two handsome young men, graduated from the same medical college. Twenty-five years later, these two doctors visited their alma mater for a reunion.

A distinction between them became apparent. John was not living up to his potential. He managed everything himself, like supervising staff, front- and back-end services, and calling insurance companies to settle claims. His involvement in administrative tasks delayed patient care. As a result, John often rushed through appointments and spent less time with his patients. Although John was a good practitioner, he couldn’t increase either the patient volume or revenue. His poor work-life balance took a toll on him.

Kevin, on the other hand, had a different approach to managing his practice.

Instead of micromanaging, he partnered with numerous domain experts. He subcontracted administrative tasks so he and the nurses could spend less time on paperwork and more time with the patients. Kevin hired a digital marketing agency to manage his online presence. Kevin secured a healthy work-life balance by delegating clerical responsibilities to seasoned companies.

Unfortunately, John is not alone in feeling work-related stress within the healthcare domain. In my four years of working closely with healthcare practitioners, I have observed that most physicians micromanage instead of taking a patient-centered, outside-in approach. They are often hesitant to delegate administrative tasks or partner up with certified to ease up their workload.

There are essentially three ways doctors can Improve their overall practice management strategy to ensure better care, Improve the patient experience, optimize their online presence and, most importantly, increase revenue through outsourcing. (Full disclosure: My company offers many of these services.)

1. Partner With An Ancillary Service Provider

If your goal is to provide your patients with convenient in-house diagnostic services and you are thinking from a financial perspective, you may consider partnering with an ancillary services provider. They are excellent outpatient and hospital alternatives, as they tend to offer cost-effective yet equally competent services.

When choosing an ancillary service provider to partner with, you should weigh the below factors:

• The training and skill set of the provider’s technicians, technologists and administrators.

• The quality of the equipment they use.

• How much investment working with them will require in terms of time and money.

• Their expertise and length of experience in any diagnostic services you may require, including screening services like autonomic testing, respiratory and renal scans, eye scans, heart screening, thyroid tests and screening, and so on.

2. Outsource Administration And Practice Management

You may also choose to delegate a portion of administrative services or subcontract the entirety of your practice management to a third party. This can give doctors and nurses more time for care delivery. Once your administrative systems and processes are in safe hands, your providers may also be able to enjoy a better work-life balance.

Below are some cost-effective approaches in this domain:

Practice Management

Healthcare practice management and consulting companies take care of all the business aspects of your practice, including financial performance, information technology, practice efficiency and efficacy, and human resources, among others.

An ideal practice management consultant will offer you transparency and complete autonomy in using your systems and processes in addition to managing them. This ensures that you are in control of your practice’s operations. Another crucial factor to consider is how well versed they are in the ever-evolving local and federal healthcare laws, policies and legislation.

Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)

A third-party RCM consultant specializes in functions associated with claims processing, payment and revenue generation right from the beginning when a patient makes an appointment.

Before you decide to partner with an RCM expert, consider their length of experience and expertise in:

Front-office management: This includes appointment scheduling and management, benefits verification, authorization and referral management, and leveraging front-office administrative and revenue analytics solutions.

Back-office management: This includes expertise in appropriate billing and claim entries, claim submissions and audits, accounts receivable management, denial management and monthly business analyses and reporting.

• Experience and expertise in insurance credentialing.

• Claim management percentage: look for lower claim denial rates and higher clean claim rates.

Finance And Accounting Service

Hiring a full-time accounting staff is a costlier option, especially to meet a healthcare practice’s finance and accounting needs. A smarter, more cost-effective alternative is to subcontract an external accounting service provider.

It is important to choose a service provider that has relevant medical bookkeeping and accounts management experience. This is because they should be aware of the data privacy and security standards established by HIPAA to be able to remain compliant across functions. Another important aspect is the technology and financial tools the consultants rely on for data management and analytics. QuickBooks, Stripe, Square, Gusto and Oracle NetSuite are some of the tools that service providers tend to leverage to automate your practice’s finance and accounting processes.

3. Hire A Digital Marketing Agency

Most doctors are cautious about utilizing the power of digital marketing to their advantage. A weak online presence can hamper a doctor’s ability to gather ratings and reviews. In contrast, strong and consistent online visibility can not only help you sustain stronger relationships with existing patients but can also help you reach potential patients.

Ask any digital marketing certified you’re considering working with how they plan to augment your healthcare facility’s reputation and boost footfall within your specific zip code. They should also be able to explain how they help healthcare professionals find areas that aren’t working for future campaigns. Ask them about their plan for creating measurable, accountable and scalable digital and integrated marketing key performance indicators with multiple milestones along the journey. An ideal digital marketing partner will enable you and your practice to leverage all the above areas to build and maintain your practice’s digital presence and positioning.

Not all healthcare practitioners in the U.S. recognize the value of a collaborative advantage for improving their care delivery model and strengthening patient experiences. However, by choosing the right providers, practitioners may be able to enable easier access to quality care, Improve operational and financial efficiencies, and minimize the cost of care.


Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?


Wed, 27 Jul 2022 23:00:00 -0500 Aseem Mirza en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2022/07/28/why-and-how-physicians-can-improve-their-practice-management-strategy-through-outsourcing/
Killexams : The bar exam. Who needs it?

(Reuters) - As thousands of would-be attorneys anxiously await their scores after slogging through last week’s bar exam, law grads in Wisconsin are already beginning their careers as full-fledged attorneys, blithely unburdened by the need to pass a test.

The only state in the nation that still offers “diploma privilege,” Wisconsin allows people who graduated from either of the state’s two law schools -- University of Wisconsin Law School or Marquette University Law School – to skip the bar, provided they successfully completed specific law school classes.

“We have a good thing going in Wisconsin,” Margaret Hickey, president of the state bar association, told me.

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I think she may be right.

Twitter these days is full of people denouncing the bar test as “a hazing device,” “an unbelievable waste of time,” “a test of resources, not competence” and “a gatekeeping mechanism that does nothing to protect the public from bad lawyers,” to quote just a few of the comments tagged #abolishthebar.

A task force established by the New York State Bar Association in 2019 has also criticized the test, calling it “arbitrary and unfair” in a report last year.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners, which develops the nationwide test, responded to the report by saying that the purpose of the test is to protect the public with a "consistent assessment" of whether test-takers know the basics in order to practice law. As my colleague Karen Sloan has reported, the nonprofit corporation is in the process of revamping the test to place more emphasis on legal skills and less on the memorization of doctrinal law.

NCBE spokesperson Sophie Martin in an email pointed out that many high-stakes professions, including engineering, medicine and aviation also rely on licensure examinations to make sure new entrants meet basic standards.

The bar test provides “reliable test of minimum competence to practice law,” she said in the email.

That’s certainly laudable. We all want minimally competent lawyers. Still, a new article by Texas A&M University School of Law professor Milan Markovic offers some hard data about diploma privilege in Wisconsin that suggests we don’t need a bar test to get there.

Published in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics last month, the paper compares complaints against attorneys in Wisconsin versus the country as a whole.

If bar exams really do protect the public by screening out incompetent practitioners, Markovic wrote, “one would expect to see either higher rates of complaints or charges against Wisconsin attorneys, most of whom did not sit for bar exams.”

Granted, it’s an imperfect measure. As he notes, lack of competence is not a major cause of attorney misconduct complaints, which tend to be related to communication, diligence, safekeeping of client property, fees and conflicts of interest.

Still, he argues that a central rationale underlying the test is public protection, and it’s not clear that’s what it provides.

Markovic dug into data from 2015 to 2017 in the annual Survey on Lawyer Discipline Systems conducted by the ABA’s Center for Professional Responsibility.

He found that Arizona attorneys had the highest number of unhappy clients, with 17.8 yearly complaints per 100 lawyers. Lawyers in Delaware had the fewest complaints, with 4.2 per 100.

Wisconsin sat squarely in the middle, with 7.4 yearly complaints per 100 lawyers, which suggests that lawyers admitted via diploma privilege are no more likely to be subject to complaints about bad lawyering than those who passed a bar exam.

Of course, not every lawyer practicing in Wisconsin was admitted under diploma privilege. Those who went to out-of-state law schools have to pass the bar to practice there.

So Markovic looked at all public disciplinary decisions within Wisconsin from 2005 to 2019 to see if lawyers admitted by diploma privilege were more likely to get in trouble than those who passed the bar.

Nope.

He found that 62.9% of lawyers in Wisconsin were admitted via diploma privilege. Those lawyers triggered 62% of disciplinary cases -- which means they’re actually slightly less likely to behave badly than their in-state counterparts who passed the bar.

“I find no evidence that the bar test affects attorney misconduct,” he wrote.

In an interview, Markovic told me that when he started his research, he was “open to keeping the bar exam.”

But his results have given him pause.

“The debate for too long has been, ‘Does the bar test the right things?’” he said. “To me, we should focus more on first principles: What do we expect the bar test to do that law schools are not? We need to re-think the whole way we license attorneys.”

That’s not to say diploma privilege is a panacea though.

State bar president Hickey said it works in Wisconsin in part because the state has just two law schools, both held in high esteem by practitioners, with close oversight by the state supreme court. “It would be much harder in a huge state like California,” she said.

From Wisconsin’s point of view, Hickey added, the “primary benefit” of diploma privilege is that it incentivizes its law school graduates to stay and practice there.

As a native Wisconsinite, I can attest that the state has much to recommend it (Cheese curds! Beer! Badgers football!) – but I also don’t live there anymore.

Ambitious lawyers (or those who get tired of winters that last seven months) face a roadblock if they want to move out of state. As Martin of the NCBE notes, diploma privilege “allows for local admission only, meaning that it would negatively affect the lawyer mobility that is one of the benefits of the Uniform Bar Exam.”

She also stressed that in the end, “the decision about whether a jurisdiction implements diploma privilege is not NCBE’s to make.”

Instead, it’s the responsibility of each state’s high court. As Markovic’s research shows, Wisconsin offers a model for leaving the test behind.

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Opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the Trust Principles, is committed to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.

Thomson Reuters

Jenna Greene writes about legal business and culture, taking a broad look at trends in the profession, faces behind the cases, and quirky courtroom dramas. A longtime chronicler of the legal industry and high-profile litigation, she lives in Northern California. Reach Greene at jenna.greene@thomsonreuters.com

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 06:11:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.reuters.com/legal/legalindustry/bar-exam-who-needs-it-2022-08-04/
Killexams : Weak handgrip strength may signal serious health issues

Muscle strength is a powerful predictor of mortality that can quickly and inexpensively be assessed by measuring handgrip strength. In a new study, researchers developed cut-off points that apply to the general population, while also considering the correlation of handgrip strength with gender, body height, and aging to be used in medical practice.

Most people do not give a second thought to doing things like opening pickle jars or carrying groceries, but handgrip strength is an effective screening tool for different conditions. If someone's handgrip strength is low, it might be an indication of underlying —and not only in older individuals: handgrip strength has been linked to health conditions already in younger adulthood. A large number of studies have shown that low handgrip strength may be a manifestation of health conditions related to heart and lung problems. Some studies have also found that those with low handgrip strength have a lower life expectancy.

What is missing for , are empirically meaningful cut-off points that apply to the , while also considering the correlation of handgrip strength with gender and body height, as well as the decline in handgrip strength as a result of normal aging.

In their study just published in the journal BMJ Open, IIASA researcher Sergei Scherbov; Sonja Spitzer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital and the University of Vienna; and Nadia Steiber from the University of Vienna, endeavored to shed light on at what level of handgrip strength a doctor should consider sending a patient for further examination. The results of the study provide standardized thresholds that directly link handgrip strength to remaining life expectancy, thus enabling practitioners to detect patients with an increased mortality risk early on.

"In general, handgrip strength depends on gender, age, and the height of a person. Our task was to find the threshold related to handgrip strength that would signal a practitioner to do further examinations if a patient's handgrip strength is below this threshold. It is similar to measuring . When the level of blood pressure is outside of a particular range, the doctor can either decide to prescribe a particular medicine or to send the patient to a specialist for further examination," explains Scherbov.

Handgrip strength is measured by squeezing a dynamometer with one hand. In the study, the patient is asked to perform two attempts with each hand, the best trial being used for measurement. There is a special protocol for this process as the values may depend on whether the test was performed in a standing or a sitting position, among other considerations.

In contrast to earlier studies, the authors compared individuals' handgrip strength not with a healthy reference population, but with individuals who are comparable in terms of sex, age, and body height. The findings indicate an increase in mortality risk at a threshold that is more sensitive compared to that estimated in earlier studies. In fact, the results show that a handgrip strength that is only slightly below the average of a comparable population (considering a person's sex, age, and body height) is indicative of health conditions leading to earlier death. A stronger handgrip compared to other people of the same age, sex, and body height was not found to reduce the mortality risk.

"Handgrip strength is a cheap and easy to perform test, but it may help with early diagnosis of health problems and other underlying health conditions. Monitoring the handgrip strength of the elderly (and in fact middle-aged people) may provide great benefits for the public health of aging populations. Our findings make it clear that handgrip strength is a very precise and sensitive measure of underlying . Therefore, we suggest it to be used as a screening tool in ," notes Steiber.

"It is important to point out that we are not suggesting that people should train handgrip strength in particular to decrease mortality risks. Most likely, if someone improves their handgrip strength through exercises, there will be no or very little impact on their overall health. However, low handgrip may serve as an indicator of disability because it reflects a low , which is associated with a higher risk of death. A and exercise are still the best approaches to sustain good health or to Improve it in the long term," Spitzer concludes.



More information: Sergei Scherbov et al, Thresholds for clinical practice that directly link handgrip strength to remaining years of life: estimates based on longitudinal observational data, BMJ Open (2022). DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-058489

Citation: Weak handgrip strength may signal serious health issues (2022, July 25) retrieved 7 August 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-07-weak-handgrip-strength-health-issues.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Mon, 25 Jul 2022 02:54:00 -0500 en text/html https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-07-weak-handgrip-strength-health-issues.html
Killexams : Public health and medical services in Fiji in ‘state of decay’

The public health and medical services and delivery in Fiji are in a “state of decay”, says National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad.

He said the exodus of doctors and nurses, dysfunctional operating theatres leading to delaying of elective surgeries, malfunctioning equipment leading to outsourcing of diagnostic tests and forcing patients to get tested at private facilities was a testimony to this.

Prof Prasad said information relayed to him that has been corroborated by multiple sources in the health and medical fraternities shows how the FijiFirst Government has been misleading the people of Fiji.

He said in government after the elections, an urgent inquiry would be held and a national summit of all stakeholders would be convened on the deteriorating health service delivery in Fiji to collectively overcome this huge challenge.

He said it was astounding that despite the bleak reality, the government could still afford to paint a rosy picture in terms of the so-called progress and achievements in the provision of both service and delivery of health and medical care in public hospitals and health centres.

“The fact of the matter is that the reality is startlingly different,” he said.

“We are told 25 nurses have resigned in the last two months. In the first six months of this year, 50 doctors, most of them young, have applied to the Fiji College of General Practitioners to enter general practice when normally in a year it averages five to six doctors only.

“One of the reasons it is happening is that our nurses and doctors are rostered to work for 12 hours per shift instead of the normal 8 hours. And in densely populated areas like the Suva-Nausori corridor, it becomes intolerable when they are forced to work between 50-72 hours per week.

“Only three out of the 11 operating theatres at Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWM) are operational and only emergency surgeries are performed.

“All elective surgeries, which are also important, have been delayed with no timeframe when the patients can be operated upon.

“In hospitals in the Western Division, worryingly the major ones like Lautoka and Ba, which are now managed by Aspen under the Public Private Partnership, as well as Nadi, diagnostic tests, albeit basic, aren’t done with patients referred to a well-known general practitioner in private practice.

“This cruel and heartless government, lacking any compassion and care, will be booted out because the power of the powerless will ensure this happens at the polling booth.”

Questions sent to the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama remained unanswered when this edition went to press.

Sat, 06 Aug 2022 12:04:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.fijitimes.com/public-health-and-medical-services-in-fiji-in-state-of-decay/
Killexams : Kaiser therapists flee California health giant as mental health patients languish

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Killexams : Weak handgrip strength might indicate major health issues: Study

Austria [Vienna], July 30 (ANI): According to a exact study, by checking handgrip strength, one can rapidly and easily determine muscle strength, a significant predictor of death.

Researchers created cut-off values for the general population in a exact study, taking into account the relationship between handgrip strength and gender, body height, and age to be employed in clinical practice. The findings of the research were published in the journal 'BMJ Open'.

Most people do not give a second thought to doing things like opening pickle jars or carrying groceries, but handgrip strength is an effective screening tool for different health conditions. If someone's handgrip strength is low, it might be an indication of underlying health problems - and not only in older individuals: handgrip strength has been linked to health conditions already in younger adulthood.

A large number of studies have shown that low handgrip strength may be a manifestation of health conditions related to heart and lung problems. Some studies have also found that those with low handgrip strength have a lower life expectancy.

What is missing for clinical practice, are empirically meaningful cut-off points that apply to the general population, while also considering the correlation of handgrip strength with gender and body height, as well as the decline in handgrip strength as a result of normal aging.

In their study just published in the journal BMJ Open, IIASA researcher Sergei Scherbov; Sonja Spitzer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital and the University of Vienna; and Nadia Steiber from the University of Vienna, endeavored to shed light on at what level of handgrip strength a doctor should consider sending a patient for further examination.

The results of the study provide standardized thresholds that directly link handgrip strength to remaining life expectancy, thus enabling practitioners to detect patients with an increased mortality risk early on.

"In general, handgrip strength depends on gender, age, and the height of a person. Our task was to find the threshold related to handgrip strength that would signal a practitioner to do further examinations if a patient's handgrip strength is below this threshold. It is similar to measuring blood pressure. When the level of blood pressure is outside of a particular range, the doctor can either decide to prescribe a particular medicine or to send the patient to a specialist for further examination," explains Scherbov.

Handgrip strength is measured by squeezing a dynamometer with one hand. In the study, the patient is asked to perform two attempts with each hand, the best trial being used for measurement. There is a special protocol for this process as the values may depend on whether the test was performed in a standing or a sitting position, among other considerations.

In contrast to earlier studies, the authors compared individuals' handgrip strength not with a healthy reference population, but with individuals who are comparable in terms of sex, age, and body height. The findings indicate an increase in mortality risk at a threshold that is more sensitive compared to that estimated in earlier studies.

In fact, the results show that a handgrip strength that is only slightly below the average of a comparable population (considering a person's sex, age, and body height) is indicative of health conditions leading to an earlier death. A stronger handgrip compared to other people of the same age, sex, and body height was not found to reduce the mortality risk.

"Handgrip strength is cheap and easy to perform the test, but it may help with early diagnosis of health problems and other underlying health conditions. Monitoring the handgrip strength of the elderly (and in fact middle-aged people) may provide great benefits for the public health of aging populations. Our findings make it clear that handgrip strength is a very precise and sensitive measure of underlying health conditions. Therefore, we suggest it be used as a screening tool in medical practice," notes Steiber.

"It is important to point out that we are not suggesting that people should train handgrip strength in particular to decrease mortality risks. Most likely, if someone improves their handgrip strength through exercises, there will be no or very little impact on their overall health. However, low handgrip strength may serve as an indicator of disability because it reflects a low muscle strength, which is associated with a higher risk of death. A healthy lifestyle and exercise are still the best approaches to sustain good health or to Improve it in the long term," Spitzer concludes. (ANI)

Sat, 30 Jul 2022 06:29:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/272637890/weak-handgrip-strength-might-indicate-major-health-issues-study
Killexams : Junta drops medical school entry standards amid widespread boycott

A move by the junta to lower admission standards at universities that train doctors and other healthcare professionals has raised concerns about the quality of future medics

By FRONTIER

Since the February 2021 coup d’état, Myanmar’s public health system has been in crisis. The military takeover prompted tens of thousands of medical staff to join the Civil Disobedience Movement, refusing to work until the regime handed back power to elected representatives. 

But doctors and other professionals say the system is facing a new threat: junta policies that could lower the standards of training for medical doctors.

Health sector sources, including former high-level health ministry officials, say that more than 18 months after the coup, state-run hospitals throughout the country continue to be affected by shortages of healthcare professionals. 

“Since more than half of the staff under the health ministry joined the CDM, the government hospitals can’t function properly,” said a former senior health department official in June of this year. He quit his job in the department after the military took over.

But replacing health workers is no easy task. Myanmar has six medical universities, including one run by the military. The five civilian universities take more than 1,300 of the top scorers from the high school matriculation exams each year, and entry has traditionally been highly competitive.

Medical schools have also been heavily impacted, with around half of medical students and departmental and teaching staff estimated to have joined the mass strike in protest of the coup. Just as importantly, the state education system has faced a massive boycott. Only 300,000 students sat for the matriculation test in March 2022, down from 900,000 in 2020 according to education ministry figures.

This has left the junta with limited options to replenish the dwindling ranks of doctors in the health sector. 

The situation threatens to exacerbate a shortage of doctors that has long affected Myanmar. World Health Organization figures show that with a population of about 52 million according to the 2014 census, Myanmar had 0.57 doctors for every 1,000 people. The average in Southeast Asia is 0.72 per 1,000 and for a developed country like Singapore, the average is 2.5 doctors per 1,000 people.

The regime appears to have responded to the shortage of medical students at universities by lowering admission standards.

Junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing told a meeting of the State Administration Council in Nay Pyi Taw on December 13 that they would be easing the eligibility requirements for graduating high school students to get into medical schools. Entrance is usually based on the final score of all six matriculation subjects combined, with students who score high enough eligible to apply to medical universities.

This year, however, the process for identifying eligible students has changed. Instead, students with the highest total scores from just three subject areas – English, Biology and Chemistry – will be selected. Changing the entry score calculation in this way eliminates poorer subject results and allows many students who would otherwise not qualify to suddenly be eligible.

The junta has not publicised a cut-off score, possibly to mask the decline in admission standards. Frontier’s sources say that the medical universities have still not been able to hit enrolment targets and are allowing large numbers of students to transfer in from other degrees to fill the places.

The junta is also demanding students serve in government-appointed medical roles for 10 years after graduating, rather than entering the private sector.

“Medical students will be provided with a stipend but they have to serve the State as service personnel for 10 years after they graduate,” Min Aung Hlaing said in December.

This marks a return to the policy under the previous military regime, which required medical school graduates to work in government institutions, often in rural and remote areas, for at least three years if they wanted to receive a Medical Practitioner License. 

Due to this requirement, some graduates never became doctors but worked in the health ministry instead. Reforms under the quasi-civilian government of U Thein Sein, a former general who took office in 2011, allowed graduates to receive their licence without working for the government by attending an additional month-long course, which quickly became the norm.  

Many Myanmar medical professionals and public health certified have criticised the junta’s policy change on medical university admissions, as well as the lack of teachers and clinical supervisors in teaching hospitals, saying it will result in poorly trained doctors and other healthcare professionals. 

“I’m very thinking that if the teachers can’t train medical students at the high level required, they won’t become properly qualified doctors,” said a former professor at a university of medicine who asked not to be identified for reasons of personal safety. 

Striking medical staff hold up a three-finger salute in opposition to military rule at a government hospital in Nay Pyi Taw in February 2021. (AFP)

A slump in enrolments 

Dr Michelle Khine*, a public health expert who worked in the health ministry before the coup, said admission numbers at medical schools are much lower than before the coup. The regime’s solution, though, would have potentially serious consequences, she said.

“Lowering admission standards [to address it] will affect the quality of medical students,” she warned.

Students and academic staff at medical schools in Yangon and Mandalay confirmed to Frontier there had been a decline in new admissions since the coup, and enrolment targets had not been reached.  

A spokesperson for the health ministry declined to provide enrolment figures when contacted by FrontierFrontier also contacted five students who are eligible to apply to medical universities in Yangon this year, and all declined to answer.

But the regime’s own statements appear to confirm the difficulty it is having in attracting students.  

On June 9, six weeks after an April deadline for applications, the junta’s Department of Human Resources for Health again urged those eligible to go to medical universities to apply. The announcement said deadlines were being extended for a second time, and that students may be able to transfer from other universities into medical degrees depending on the vacancies. 

On August 2, the same department confirmed that 211 students had already received approval to transfer into the five non-military medical universities from other degrees. Eligibility requirements for these transfers were not made clear in public statements or in response to Frontier’s queries, but junta officials painted a positive picture.

“It can be said that the number of students who apply for admission to medical universities is large in general,” said Dr Than Naing Soe, a spokesperson for the junta’s health ministry who is also director of the Health Literacy Promotion Unit.

“Sometimes human resource management means making do with what we have. There are also a lot of teachers [recently] appointed by the ministry. But the main thing is to ensure the quality of medical graduates produced by medical universities doesn’t decline,” Than Naing Soe added. He did not clarify how many students had applied or what human resource limitations the regime was facing.

The junta’s health ministry has also not revealed how many of its personnel have gone on strike and joined the CDM. However, CDM Medical Network member Dr Sitt Min Naing told Frontier in April that out of more than 110,000 government healthcare staff before the coup, about 40,000 are still out on strike. 

There’s also been a sharp fall in the number of academic staff at medical universities and related institutions.

A health sector source said that before the coup, there were 6,940 staff at the head office of the Department of Human Resources for Health in Nay Pyi Taw and at the 15 universities of medicines and allied universities, such as midwifery and nursing. Michelle Khine told Frontier on July 6 that almost half of those departmental and teaching staff had joined the CDM, while students who had boycotted studies at the two universities of medicine in Yangon told Frontier that nearly 60 percent of medical students were refusing to attend classes. 

Many CDM healthcare workers have fled to areas outside the military’s control, like Kayah State, and continue providing healthcare underground. (AFP)

Shift from quality to quantity

During the 2018-19 academic year, the Central Committee for Integrated Curriculum Development under the National League for Democracy government updated the medical education curriculum. The change was based on inputs from experts, as well as a comparative review of six foreign medical universities. The revamp was aimed at bringing the curriculum more into line with international medical education standards.

The new curriculum, referred to as an outcome-based, integrated curriculum, is an approach to teaching in which students learn and integrate basic medical science subjects with clinical subjects, together with professional ethics, public and family health, social and behavioural sciences, and research.

The objective of the new curriculum was to produce “fully qualified, ethically-minded medical doctors tailor-made for the situations in Myanmar and elsewhere around the world”, according to one of the medical university websites. A pilot of the new curriculum began with students who enrolled at medical universities in 2020. 

“Due to the efforts of Myanmar health professionals, the integrated curriculum was 95 percent complete prior to the coup,” said Michelle Khine. “But even though existing teachers will be proficient in the integrated curriculum teaching methods, teachers who transferred from other departments after the coup will not.” 

She said a number of doctors without teaching experience have been transferred from other departments, such as the Food and Drug Administration, into the faculties of medical universities to fill the shortfall in teaching staff. 

Frontier tried unsuccessfully to seek comment from four of the medical universities about the integrated curriculum and delivery of courses.

Qualifying as a doctor in Myanmar requires six years of study but under the NLD government, the health ministry extended that by one year. Some medical students who are boycotting classes in protest of the coup predict that the military regime’s health ministry may reduce the number of years needed to study for a medical degree.

Health experts and doctors are also concerned that the clinical training of medical students may be substandard because of the shortages of healthcare professionals at government hospitals. 

“The lack of health professionals at hospitals can have a big impact on clinical teaching,” said Dr Aung Myo Thu*, a medical practitioner in Yangon, referring to the professors, consultants, specialists, physicians and others who serve as medical officers at government hospitals.

The NUG tries to fill the void

In a report issued in April covering its first year of activities, the National Unity Government’s health ministry said it had been conducting continuous and further education for students and health professionals by holding webinars and online lectures. The NUG is a cabinet appointed by lawmakers elected in the 2020 polls, which the military annulled citing unsubstantiated allegations of massive voter fraud.

The NUG established Interim University Councils soon after the coup, aimed at providing alternative education to students that mirrors or is drawn from the curriculum of three of the medical universities. These councils are now involved in delivering some of the NUG’s online training offerings. 

One council, known as the Interim University Council, University of Medicine (1) Yangon, lists on its website a six-year M.B.B.S. medical degree including clinical placements at major junta-run teaching hospitals in Yangon. In practice, the councils are unable to deliver placements or practical training for doctors and their course offerings for medicine remains limited.

The NUG health ministry has also been providing regular health education programmes, including exams, the report said. It’s not yet providing full length degrees, but the NUG’s Interim Council of Myanmar Nursing and Midwifery Training Schools recently announced the graduation of 63 Ladies Health Visitors, health workers who provide maternal child health and other services to women in their home. The 63 graduates had all attended a nine-month course online.

The NUG health ministry has also stepped in to issue temporary graduation certificates to medical students who were supposed to graduate from their medical degrees in mid-2021, but who left university after the coup without finishing their final clinical placements or attending their graduation ceremony. 

NUG health minister Dr Zaw Wai Soe told the 21st International Conference on Emergency Medicine in Melbourne remotely in June that successive military rulers in Myanmar had left a legacy of poverty, inequality and the most inadequate healthcare and education systems in the world.

“We cannot return to the dark ages,” Zaw Wai Soe told the gathering. “We are fighting not only for freedom and democracy; we are fighting for justice and rights, rights to vaccines, rights to education.”

The NUG’s Interim President’s Office declined to comment further on the health ministry’s training activities.

Prior the coup, Dr Ye Kyaw Thu* returned to postgraduate study to train as a psychiatrist at the University of Medicine (2) in Yangon, having previously worked at the Public Health Department at Hpa-an in Kayin State as a medical officer. He supports the CDM, and since the coup has refused to attend university and gone into hiding.

Ye Kyaw Thu told Frontier that he was participating in an online training course provided by CDM health professionals, with classes two days a week. He said he is grateful to be able to continue his medical education even though he is doing so while hiding from junta security forces.

“Many medical students, including me, have created a Facebook group to be able to continue our medical education.  It enables us to study all the time,” Ye Kyaw Thu said, adding that eight of the 14 postgraduate students in his course are boycotting classes.

Prior to the coup, Myanmar health professionals and health authorities were trying to get the country’s six universities of medicine included on the World Accreditation Institute’s list of universities of medicine, but now their efforts are in vain. 

“Before the coup, I was aware that two of the six universities of medicine, including the military medical university, were on the road to inclusion on the accreditation list,” said Michelle Khine. “Now, it’s all over.”

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 17:49:00 -0500 Frontier en-US text/html https://www.frontiermyanmar.net/en/junta-drops-medical-school-entry-standards-amid-widespread-boycott/
Killexams : How to ease the transition to college when mental health is a concern

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The move from high school to college can be a trying one, particularly for students with mental health concerns. But today there are ways to make it easier.

“In the last few years, and especially since the pandemic began, campus resources for all students have proliferated, and ahead of coming to campus is when students should be connecting with the resources that they need,” says Amy Gatto, director of research and evaluation at Active Minds, an organization that works to make talking about mental health on campus as natural as talking about physical health.

A 2021 survey by the American College Health Association of close to 100,000 college students found that 16 percent of college men and 33 percent of college women had been diagnosed with anxiety, and 14 percent of college men and 25 percent of college women had been diagnosed with depression.

A study published in June by the Healthy Minds Network — which conducts research on the mental health of college students — involving more than 350,000 students on 373 campuses between 2013 and 2021 found that the number of students who met the criteria for one or more mental health problems in 2021 had doubled since 2013.

That was no surprise to Sarah Lipson, a principal investigator for the network and the study’s lead author.

“Living in a new setting and away from home can often create overwhelming and stressful circumstances, and recently we’ve added the stress of the pandemic to the mix,” says Lipson, a professor of health policy at Boston University’s School of Public Health. For students with a diagnosed mental health condition, she adds, their strategy for college success should include making and implementing a mental health plan (see “10 tips for your move to campus”).

A successful start

Jaiden Singh, 20, a rising junior at the University of Arizona who struggles with academic-related stress and anxiety, is a good example of someone who did the necessary prep work before he landed on campus.

Singh, who was a member of Active Minds in high school, said the fact that the University of Arizona had an Active Minds chapter was “a key factor” in his choice to attend school there. In addition, before he started college in fall 2020, he studied the university’s counseling center website, where he found a robust selection of services, including individual and group counseling.

During his freshman year, classes were remote because of the pandemic. Singh lived at home, but he remembers appreciating an online webinar that helped students reframe their situation.

“I could anticipate the next semester hopefully on campus and be glad that I had a safe place to be in the meantime,” he says.

Since moving to campus in fall 2021, Singh has taken advantage of one-on-one counseling, among other services.

“I found the intake process … very easy, which was a big factor, and is for many students, because just getting started accessing services can be hard,” Singh says. At Arizona, the counseling center offers an array of services, including sessions on relaxation skills, test anxiety, homesickness and time management.

Treatment and medications

For students continuing therapy and/or medications at college and “who may need to change doctors and pharmacies, it is essential that these transitions take place ahead of the term … so students can avoid interruptions in their care just when their new, exciting college experience is beginning,” says Shabana Khan, a physician and director of telehealth for the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York.

Khan, who chairs the American Psychiatric Association’s telepsychiatry committee, says changing telehealth rules make it especially crucial for students who will be attending college in a different state to find out whether they will be able to continue care with their current treating clinicians.

After the Health and Human Services Department declared a public health emergency in January 2020, many states and insurers expanded the types of health-care providers who are able to see their patients online as well as the types of telehealth services that can be provided.

In some cases, state-specific changes allowed health-care professionals of all kinds, including psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, to see patients online even when a patient had moved out of state.

Today, however, some insurers have started rolling back coverage for telehealth, and many providers thinking about flexibility ending (in July, HHS renewed the rules for 90 days) have stopped seeing patients remotely. Patients need to review with their providers whether they will be able to continue care, before heading to college, Khan says. “College counseling centers can help in transitioning students to new practitioners,” she adds.

Find your community

One evening this spring, hundreds of undergraduates at New York City-based Yeshiva University attended a discussion hosted by the college’s Active Minds chapter, which featured three students speaking about their mental health journeys. The college’s counseling center director, Yael Muskat, was proud and unsurprised.

“We work with our students to make mental health a safe subject to discuss, and seek help for, on our campuses,” Muskat says. Like many campuses, Yeshiva doesn’t just rely on students to seek out the counseling center but also actively promotes its services, which include depression screening events, drop-in anxiety groups, workshops and speakers.

At semester orientations, student-volunteers and staff offer a warm welcome to anyone interested in learning more about the center.

Feeling low, tell someone

Conversations about mental health have become more common since the pandemic began, so find that person who feels safe to speak with, says Kelly Davis, associate vice president of peer and youth advocacy at Mental Health America, which connects people with mental health resources.

Students with mental health concerns should use their first days on campus to introduce themselves to resident advisers, counseling staff and other students they meet in dorms, classes and the dining hall. These steps will help them develop a community for sharing their college experience and for reaching out if life at college starts to seem overwhelming, Davis says.

10 tips for your move to campus

1. Study campus options before leaving home. Students with a mental health diagnosis should ask their provider whether they can continue their sessions in person or remotely, says Shabana Khan, a physician and director of telehealth for the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York. If not, ask the provider’s advice on whether you should continue counseling with a new provider at college; if the answer is yes, contact the campus counseling center for guidance.

2. Review your health insurance. Generally, insurance dictates which providers you can see and how much you will pay for visits and medication. Keep in mind that some students change insurance plans when they start college, says Kelly Davis, associate vice president of peer and youth advocacy at Mental Health America, including switching to a less expensive university health plan. If campus providers charge a fee and don’t take your insurance, ask whether the counseling center offers any free or reduced-price care and if there are local providers who might take your insurance. Also investigate whether local mental health clinics provide services for free or on a sliding scale of fees. If possible, have your current provider speak to your future provider “to catch them up on your treatment,” Khan says.

3. Find the counseling center early. Introduce yourself to the staff, especially if you’re transitioning to care on campus. Keep center contact numbers handy in case of an emergency for you or a classmate, or for any questions that come up.

4. Have a medication plan. According to the Healthy Minds Network, a quarter of college students take mental health medications. It’s important to speak to your doctor about the medications you take and anything you should change or add before you leave for school and fill prescriptions before you head to campus. Once at college, contact the campus counseling center for help getting emergency supplies or assistance in getting prescriptions started at a new pharmacy.

5. Prepare for emergencies. Ask counseling center staffers whom to call if you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, unsafe or capable of harming yourself or others, says Victor Schwartz, senior associate dean for wellness and student life at the City University of New York Medical School. Many campuses are also widely posting about 988, a national suicide prevention hotline that launched in July. Students can call or text 988, or call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

6. Open up with others. Since the pandemic began, conversations about mental health have become more common, so build on that. Campus officials want you to thrive and know the transition can be difficult, Davis says. “In your first days, say hi to resident advisers, faculty, counseling staff, classmates online so that you start to develop a community and feel comfortable sharing how you feel.”

7. Tap into other services. Students with mental health concerns and a diagnosed learning disability or executive functioning issue should also share those records with the academic support center, says Saul Newman, associate dean for undergraduate education in the School of Public Affairs at American University in D.C. “That should be in place before the start of a semester,” Newman adds. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a class or assignment as the semester moves forward and think you won’t be able to complete it, contact the professor as early as possible, Schwartz says.

8. Participate. Making new friends is the best way to defuse stress and ease anxiety and depression, Schwartz says. Elizabeth Lunzer, 21, who graduated from UCLA this year and was a member of the school’s Active Minds chapter, says being involved gave her a safe place to discuss her anxiety with people who understood and cared about how she was feeling.

9. Find your counseling space. Since the start of the pandemic, many people have switched to remote therapy, even when the provider and patient are on the same campus. Students should be sure to have a private space for the sessions, says Anushka Gupta, 19, a sophomore at New York University. If your room isn’t an option, ask the counseling center, library or student activities center if there is a room you can have to yourself once a week for sessions.

10. Parents may be a support system for some. Parents, guardians and family members aren’t necessarily looped in about health issues when a student is 18 or older. If a student wants to involve parents and others in their care, they can ask the counseling center how to lift confidentiality provisions to keep them informed.

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Fri, 05 Aug 2022 22:14:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/08/06/college-mental-health-transition/
Killexams : WHO Endorses Injectable PrEP for HIV Prevention No result found, try new keyword!By Winniecynthia Awuor With the weakening progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries to use long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB-LA) as an ... Tue, 02 Aug 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/who-endorses-injectable-prep-for-hiv-prevention/ar-AA10hsOy
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