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Journal Cover UBC Medical Journal
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1920-7425 - ISSN (Online) 1920-7417
   Published by University of British Columbia Homepage  [4 journals]

    • Authors: Rebecca Zivanovic, Evan Wood, Seonaid Nolan
      Abstract: In North America, and Canada in particular, the harms associated with the increased use of prescription and illicit opioids constitute a serious public health concern. Further to this, the recent emergence and increased availability of fentanyl in illicit drug markets has contributed substantially to an increasing number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths.  Awareness of the clinical presentation, management options and preventative measures for opioid overdose are important universally for clinicians if we are to help combat this growing epidemic. Here, we provide a brief review of the scope of the opioid problem, discuss how to make the diagnosis and provide evidence-based care for an individual presenting with an opioid overdose. We also review several important harm-reduction strategies that can be utilized to prevent future opioid-related harms with a focus on those utilized in Vancouver, BC.
      PubDate: 2016-01-05
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2016)
  • The Merits of Mindfulness and Meditation in Medicine

    • Authors: Matias Petteri Raski
      Abstract: The following is a review of literature concerning the place of mindfulness, a non-judging present-moment awareness, and techniques by which to invoke it, in Canadian healthcare. Central to the discussion are the effects of mindfulness on personal and interpersonal well-being. Mindfulness has been found to positively impact a wide range of measures of personal health including stress, anxiety, affect, and healthy lifestyle choices. It also presents benefits to interpersonal relationships by promoting empathy, compassion and attentiveness, which in turnfacilitate healthy physician-patient relationships and high quality of medical care.At present, mindfulness-based therapies are applied to a wide range of psychiatric and somatic illnesses with impressive efficacy. With recent growth in research interest, new worthwhile applications of mindfulness such as mindfulness training for physicians as a means to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue continue to be uncovered. Recent investigations of mechanisms underlying the effects of mindfulness are also discussed. There exists an emerging emphasis onthe disempowerment of maladaptive cognitions as determinants of behaviour, leaving the individual free to skillfully, consciously and deliberately navigate her mental life. Given the evidently remarkable potential for mindfulness to promote health, its increased utilization among patients, physicians, and the population at large is advocated in this writing.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Addressing the Osteoporosis Health Care Gap with Fracture Liaison Services

    • Authors: Gabby Napoleone
      Abstract: Fracture Liaison Services have been developed in parts of Canada, the United States and other countries around the world, proving to be a cost-effective means of managing osteoporosis and reducing recurrent fractures. Such a service has not been implemented in British Columbia; as a result there exists a large osteoporosis care gap, costing the health care system millions of dollars, and putting many older adults through needless pain and suffering.  This commentary provides the facts around exciting knowledge translation research that is taking place in BC to make a Fracture Liaison Service a reality across this province in the future. 
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine: Learning from Dr. Henry Lu, PhD, Dr.TCM

    • Authors: Alvin H. Ip
      Abstract: n/a
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Chronic pain management and Canadian public health insurance: Do we need
           more comprehensive healthcare?

    • Authors: Andrea Jones
      Abstract: N/A
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Evidence-based Medicine Amongst the Growing Popularity of Complementary
           and Alternative Treatments

    • Authors: Stephanie Lake
      Abstract: N/A
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Regulating Health Professions in British Columbia

    • Authors: Pretty Verma
      Abstract: N/A
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • The Need for Ethnically Diverse Stem Cell Donors

    • Authors: Warren Fingrut
      Abstract: A majority of patients who are in need of a stem cell transplant cannot find a suitable genetic match in their families, and rely on unrelated donors: individuals who have registered with a stem cell donor database. Many unrelated stem cell donor registries currently direct their donor-recruitment teams to target and recruit ethnically diverse individuals as stem cell donors. However, despite a large body of evidence in the literature highlighting the need for ethnically diverse stem cell donors, no resource exists which explains why building an ethnically diverse stem cell donor-database is important or needed. The purpose of this review article is to summarize evidence highlighting the extent of ethnic and racial disparities both on registries in North America and worldwide. Further, the author explains the multifactorial nature of this disparity, with contributing factors including ethnic differences in representation, genetic diversity, and attrition rates. This review aims to equip donor recruitment staff and volunteers with a resource to inform their recruitment efforts, and support them to target recruitment of ethnically diverse stem cell donors.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Dental Care in Canada: the Need for Incorporation into Medicare

    • Authors: Elisabeth Kirsten McClymont
      Abstract: Dental care was recommended within the 1964 Royal Commission on Health Services that helped to shape our current health care system but has yet to become a part of Medicare. This has left almost one third of Canadians without dental insurance, leading to poor health outcomes and stark inequalities. This commentary explores the medically necessary nature of dental services, the accessibility and comprehensiveness of dental services, and the monetary implications of the exclusion of dental services from Medicare. Evidence indicates that dental care should be incorporated into Canada’s existing Medicare system in order to improve overall health of our population, reduce inequalities, and take advantage of preventative measures.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Teaching Social Pediatrics: the Global Health Initiative Inner City

    • Authors: Vignan Yogendrakumar, Erica Tsang, Barbara Fitzgerald
      Abstract: Exposure to social pediatrics is prevalent throughout residency, but is limited for most medical students.  The purpose of this article is to describe an innovative program at UBC for junior medical students to learn and practice social pediatrics within communities of Vancouver. Medical students were trained in relevant areas of cultural awareness, the effects of poverty on health, and assessment of developmental pediatric disorders.  Student then participated in developmental assessments and assisted in the formulation of management plans. In the process, students gained valuable skills in developmental pediatrics in a model of care that emphasized collaboration and integration with school and community supports.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Interview with a Vampire? – Driving the stake through common
           myths about Naturopathic Medicine

    • Authors: Csilla Egri
      Abstract: This interview style commentary addresses some key questions medical doctors typically have about the practices of Naturopathic Doctors (NDs).  As relative content experts in their respective fields, questions are asked by a medical student and answers provided by a naturopathic medical student. Readers will gain a first hand understanding of the ND route of education, scope of practice, as well as answers to some common myths around the practice of naturopathic medicine.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Investigating Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Seniors

    • Authors: Katrina Marie Ward, Renee MacPhee
      Abstract: AbstractObjectives: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is used regularly by 70% of Canadians,2,3 but when compared to younger users ofCAM, seniors tend to use it less frequently. Using a phenomenological approach, this study sought to explore the attitudes and beliefs of seniors towards the use ofCAM. Methods: This qualitative study used either in-depth personal interviews or focus group interviews as the primary means of data collection. Participants in the study were individuals who had either usedCAM in the past, or who were currently usingCAM.Results: Participants described that they would use conventional treatment for pathological disease, but would prefer to useCAM in certain circumstances as it was perceived to be a more natural approach. Exercise was also described as a form ofCAM. Deterrents forCAM use include: limited scientific evidence; cost; and the attitudes of others (e.g., physicians, the public). Conclusion: Participants felt that they had positive experiences usingCAM as an adjunct to conventional medicine, and felt that they had no personal barriers to accessingCAM. A major deterrent ofCAM use was the limited scientific evidence, while minor factors included cost and the attitudes of others. Open discussion aboutCAM use should take place between physician and patients. 
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Garlic-induced esophagitis and gastroenteritis: A review of four cases

    • Authors: Gurinder Singh Grewal, Adam Amlani
      Abstract: Garlic, or Allium sativum, is a common culinary ingredient used as a natural medicine for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, cancer prevention, treatment of fungal infection, and atherosclerosis prevention.  We reviewed all cases of garlic-induced esophagitis and gastroenteritis available in academic literature.  A literature search using combinations of the MeSH headings “garlic”, “allium sativum”, “esophagitis”, and “deglutition disorders” was conducted in the Medline, Embase, and PubMed computer databases. References involving reports of esophagitis and gastroenteritis were retrieved. Additional relevant articles were found by analyzing the references provided within the retrieved articles. Our review uncovered four published case reports of garlic-induced esophagitis, and one possible garlic-induced gastroenteritis.  In three cases, the inflammation was caused by direct injury, both by mechanical and possibly caustic effects.  Garlic was thought to have caused eosinophilic inflammation in the remaining two cases, both of which involved a significant atopic medical history.  Given the prevalence of garlic in both culinary and therapeutic settings, we believe clinicians should be aware of its potential for gastrointestinal symptoms.  Esophagitis and gastroenteritis should be on the differential as a cause of upper gastrointestinal symptoms in garlic users, especially in atopic patients.  In suspect patients, thorough medical histories, endoscopy, biopsies, and cutaneous testing may all be useful and should be utilized when appropriate.  Management should include avoidance of the offending agent, and supportive care.  Oral corticosteroids may be useful in certain patients. Follow-up endoscopy can be considered, especially in patients who have experienced direct injury.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine in the management of lymphomas:
           Prevalence, rationale and contraindications

    • Authors: Christine D Lukac, David D W Twa
      Abstract: In Canada, lymphomas cumulatively account for the fifth most prevalent cancer and the incidence of this heterogeneous grouping of malignancies is increasing. Though recent advances in allopathic molecularly precise therapies have improved patient survival, many lymphoma patients still succumb to their disease and experience reduced quality of life measures as a result of disease and allopathic treatment-related side effects. In light of these outcomes, studies have reported that patients frequently use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to help manage their disease. As most patients elect to engage in CAM concurrently with allopathic therapy, it is necessary to consider commonly practiced CAM modalities that have outright and/or synergistically harmful side effects that limit the efficacy of allopathic therapy in treating lymphomas. In spite of the limited scientific evidence supporting CAM efficacy, healthcare providers should still acknowledge the reasons why patients might choose to use CAM. Here, we examine recent findings on prevalence, rationale and contraindications for CAM usage by lymphoma patients. Taken together, we believe this analysis may facilitate informed discussion on the disadvantages and advantages of CAM and when it might be used to appropriately manage lymphoma and allopathic treatment-related symptoms.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
  • The Intersection of Biomedicine and Traditional Medicine in the Peruvian

    • Authors: Melanie Rose van Soeren, Melissa Aragon
      Abstract: In Northeastern Peru, in the Amazonian district of Loreto, one million Peruvians, mostly Indigenous and Mestiza, live isolated from the rest of the rapidly developing country.   This region has a rich history of traditional medicine, and with financial, geographical and cultural barriers to biomedical care, there exists a unique interaction between allopathic and alternative treatment models.  During a clinical elective in the village of Santa Clotilde, in a hospital serving a population of 20, 000, two University of British Columbia students encountered this integrative system and witnessed health-seeking behaviours that at times were positive, and at others lead to tragedy.
      PubDate: 2015-10-09
      Issue No: Vol. 7, No. 1 (2015)
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