Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In Medicine, new isn't always improved

An article in Sunday's New York Times reports "In Medicine, New Isn’t Always Improved." The article reports, "It is an American impulse to covet the new and improved — whether it’s a faster computer, a smarter cellphone or a more fuel-efficient car. And in medicine, too, new drugs, devices and procedures have advanced patient care. But the promise of innovation can also prove a trap, a situation now playing out with dire consequences for possibly tens of thousands of people who received artificial hips intended to let them remain active." The article further reports, "A review of the medical world’s embrace of the metal-on-metal hips over the past decade — including interviews with doctors, industry consultants, regulators, medical experts and patients — shows how innovation’s lure led almost everyone to seize on a product promoted as a breakthrough without convincing evidence that it was better or even as good as existing options."

Can science fix its own mistakes?

Carl Zimmer authored an essay in Sunday's New York Times on whether science "can fix its own mistakes." He quotes the late Carl Sagan, "Science is a self-correcting process.” Mr. Zimmer cites several examples of research findings that were questioned, but where no efforts were made to replicate the research itself. He concludes, "If the scientific community put more value on replication — by setting aside time, money and journal space — science would do a better job of living up to Carl Sagan’s words."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

USMLE Study Tool available online

New Online USMLE Study Tool Available
USMLEasy is a new online tool made possible by the Center of Excellence - Office of Cultural Enhancement and Diversity. It provides a practice test-taking environment with over 8,450 USMLE questions from the renown McGraw-Hill test preparation books "PreTest(tm) and Lange(tm) Q&A. Optimize your study time for USMLE Step 1, 2CK, or 3 by targeting various organ systems, disciplines, or subspecialities; or take a simulated USMLE exam. A robust performance profile tracks your progress over time. The system even suggests targeted remediation based on test results and links to selected readings from within AccessMedicine.  Many other features are available to help you customize your study path for the USMLE, or to simply supplement your course studies.
USMLEasy is available inside AccessMedicine, a database available through Dykes Library. First time users will be prompted to set up a free account. Please contact the library if you have any questions getting started.