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How to Find the Best Medical School for you

Your years of college have prepared you for a career in medicine. Now it’s time to find the right medical school. The choosing of a medical school can be one of the most important decisions you make for your future. It may determine the path of your entire medical career. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a medical school.

Obviously you want a school that has a great reputation, one that scores high on rankings of medical schools and is known to produce quality doctors. But there is much more to a school than just reputation. Know what kind of medicine you want to practice and find out if the schools you are considering have a reputation for quality education in that kind of medicine. Are you more interested in medical research or direct care of patients? You need a school that has a similar philosophy. If you are not happy at a school or it is not providing you what you need, it will be very difficult for you to complete the program in a reasonable amount of time, if at all. If this happens, you could be wasting valuable years that you will need to become a doctor. Even if you are in the greatest program in the country, your reputation will not benefit if you fail to finish.

You also want to be realistic about where you are likely to be accepted. Time is of the essence, and you don’t want to waste time researching and applying to schools that are unlikely to take you on. Any listing of top medical schools will show you the MCAT scores and GPAs required for acceptance, and the average scores of accepted students. Take these statistics into consideration when deciding where you will apply.

Consider the physical location of the school. You will spend many years in your pursuit of a medical career, and you want to be sure you spend those years in a tolerable location. Medical school can be taxing and challenging, and your physical environment must be one that is pleasant to you if you are going to give yourself the maximum chance to succeed.

Consider the cost of the school. Medical school can be a financial drain as well as an emotional one. Be sure you can afford whatever schools you are considering attending. Be sure you will be able to get the loan you need to pay for that school, if necessary. If you will be in residence near the school and away from your home, consider the cost of living expenses as well.

Most of us know some medical professionals, whether they are friends, relatives, or the family doctor. Consult with them as to the best path to take in regards to medical school. They are sure to have some helpful suggestions and may think of things to ask yourself when you are deciding that you had not even considered.

Your medical school choice will decide your future for many years to come. Don’t leave this decision to chance. Use the tips above to make the most informed choice possible and give yourself the best opportunity for a prosperous medical career.

Craig Berger

Why Colon Hydrotherapy Is Vital To Your Health

The colon is an essential part of the digestive track. Aside from aiding in the digestion of food, it also eliminates waste products. However, with several tempting foods in the market, it’s so easy to go out of the healthy diet. Poor diet results in constipation and other gastrointestinal problems. When the colon is clogged up with accumulated feces, it fails to do its job properly.

In fact, an unhealthy colon could poison all other organs. If feces is not removed in the body within twenty four hours, it gets deposited in the colon walls. This would release harmful toxins and poisonous gases. The blood would then get polluted, which would eventually infect the organs it runs through.

An ancient practice for cleaning the colon of these toxic wastes is colon hydrotherapy. Some may call it colonic irrigation or simply colon therapy. Basically, it is the process of injecting safely determined amounts of water at defined intervals. The whole treatment may take awhile depending on the severity of colon problems.

Colon hydrotherapy is similar to enema. Enema is also a treatment for cleansing the colon. Their only difference is that colon hydrotherapy is much more extensive. Whereas enema only cleanses the lower portion, colon hydrotherapy aims to clean the entire colon, which is roughly five feet in length.

Enema has been around for several centuries already. However, complete cleansing of the colon has gained prominence only in the late 19th century. This started with the popularity of the idea of autointoxication. It has been suggested that the body could poison itself by the release of toxins from accumulated fecal matter in the colon into the blood stream.

During colon hydrotherapy, a patient is asked to lie on his side or back. The therapist will then insert a soft plastic tube into the patient’s rectum. A measured amount of filtered water is then pumped into the colon. Depending on the practitioner, the water may also contain “purifying” substances such as herbs and natural enzymes.

The colon hydro therapist may start gently massaging the patient’s abdomen to aid in releasing fecal deposits in the intestinal walls. When done, the water would then be vacuumed back using the same tube and out into a closed waste container. The whole process is done gently and there are no mess or any foul odor during and after the treatment.

With several repetitions of this process, the whole treatment may take up to an hour. The total water used in these numerous treatments is approximately 20 gallons. Almost all of the water pumped in is removed by the end so there’s no need to run to the toilet afterward.

Should you decide to give yourself an extensive colon cleaning, you would have to choose your practitioner carefully. The treatment is sensitive, and thus you would have to ensure that the facility and equipment to be used are clean. Usually, all equipments used are disposable and well-sterilized to avoid any infections.

It is to be noted that colon hydrotherapy is considered to be an alternative medical treatment. Some colon hydro therapists voluntarily go through a certification process. There are also several organizations of colon hydro therapists. One example is the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy or I-ACT in the United States.

For general health checks, getting a colon hydrotherapy once a year should be enough. However, pregnant women in their third trimester should not undergo this treatment. Colon hydrotherapy is also not recommended for those with severe hemorrhoids, abdominal hernia, heart disease, amoebic dysentery, and diverticulitis among other health problems. You would have to discuss your present medical condition first with your colon therapist to make sure there would be no complications.

Currently this alternative medical practice is regulated in some states. Several orthodox medical establishments insist that colon hydrotherapy is just an expensive laxative. It typically costs around $65 to $80 in the United States.

There are no scientifically proven therapeutic claims for colon hydrotherapy, however. In fact, several patients have reported of a much energized and lighter feeling after the treatment. There are also evidences suggesting that colon hydrotherapy helps in treating numerous ailments such as indigestion, headaches, allergies, skin problems and even joint problems.

Complementary treatments to clean the colon include aerobic exercises and a low fat, high fiber, vegetarian diet. Even licensed medical doctors agree that red meat and fatty foods are the major contributors to colon health problems.

Lee Dobbins

What is Diabetes and the Differences Between Type 1 and Type2 Diabetes

Diabetes is the inability to transfer sugars in blood into the sugar-storage sites of your body, the muscles and liver. Sugars, called carbohydrates, are found mainly in cereals, rice, bread, pastas, potatoes, milk products, fruits, fruit juices and sweets. When we consume these foods, they pass from the stomach into the intestines and get broken down to the most basic sugar form, glucose. Glucose (sugar) normally moves into the blood via a web of blood vessels that are connected to the intestines. When the movement of glucose into the blood stream raises its average level above 100 points (mg/dl), it triggers the secretion of a hormone called insulin from the pancreas. When insulin is secreted into the blood, it causes the excess glucose (sugar) to be stored in muscles and liver cells. It is stored in a form called glycogen, which may be used at a later time as an immediate source of energy.

This energy is used for activities of up to three minutes: lifting or throwing an object, running away from danger, sprinting, stop-and-go actions such as a short walk, or any sports activity. Some people have impairment in their insulin production or in the functioning of their insulin. This insulin impairment causes the level of glucose to rapidly rise above the 100-point mark, and that is the condition we call diabetes. High sugar levels, left untreated, can gradually cause damage to vital tissues, such as blood vessels, the nervous system, kidneys, heart and arteries. This can cause debilitating strokes, heart disease, erectile dysfunction, loss of sensation or pain in the feet and hands, leading to leg amputations, kidney failure and blindness.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is when someone can produce little or no insulin, due mainly to immune and genetic (inherited) defects in the pancreas. People with Type 1 Diabetes create approximately only 10% of all of people diagnosed with diabetes. Type 1 can occur at a relatively young age, especially during childhood. At the time of diagnosis, people are usually of average weight, experiencing weight loss; frequent urination, blurred vision and dry mouth and their blood fasting sugar are way above 125 points (mg/dl). Type 1 diabetics have to depend on insulin use for the rest of their lives, in order to survive and making good lifestyle choices is integral to diabetes control. Oral Diabetes medications that are Sensitizers (see detailed discussion of this group of drugs in Action Step 2 right after the Insulin section) can be prescribed along with Insulin for people with Type 1 which can help reduce the amount of daily insulin used. Also leading and maintaining an active Lifestyle and making favorable food choices and raising your fiber intake can all help bring Diabetes under control and reduce the amount of total daily insulin dose (decisions about insulin dosing can ONLY be made by your doctor). Refer to Action Step 4 for a detailed discussion on how to start and maintain an active Lifestyle and make favorable food choices.

Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Pre-diabetes

This is a condition where glucose levels are higher than normal but not enough to be diagnosed as diabetes namely at a range from 100 to 125 mg/dl on a fasting state (first thing in the morning before eating). Typically, the more than 54 million people in this category are overweight or obese. They are people who consume large amounts of “junk food” (nutrient-deficient foods and drinks such as soft drinks and all other sugar containing juices and drinks. Foods that are loaded with sugars and unfavorable sources of fat such as animal fat, butter, margarine and Trans Fatty Acids that are found in the majority of packaged processed sweet and or salty snacks) and lead totally sedentary lifestyles; they also have high cholesterol and triglycerides and have low HDL (the good cholesterol). Studies show that these people will eventually develop diabetes and other preventable chronic ailments, such as: high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, “unless” they are identified early and they start making favorable lifestyle choices.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes affects some women during pregnancy and is characterized by consistently higher than 95 points (mg/dl) on a fasting state first thing in the morning, and over 120 points 2 hours after a meal. Most women who suffer from Gestational Diabetes will return to having normal blood glucose levels after delivery. Up to 45% of women who develop diabetes during pregnancy may progress to having full-blown diabetes later in life unless they make favorable lifestyle choices and change their eating and activity habits. The main predisposing factors for gestational diabetes are family history of diabetes, obesity and sedentary lifestyles . It is crucial that women at risk be identified, since high blood sugar causes fetal harm.

Who Should Test?

All women, early on in their pregnancy, who have the following criteria must be tested for high blood sugar; women who are: overweight, over the age of 25, who have family history of diabetes, those who belong to ethnic groups other than Caucasian, those who have previously had gestational diabetes, or who have previously delivered large babies over 9 pounds.


Gestational diabetes is initially treated with Lifestyle interventions such as making balanced food choices and increasing activity as described in Action Step 4. If fasting (first thing in the morning before eating) blood sugar is not brought to 95 points (mg/dl) or to 120 points 2 hours after lunch or dinner then Insulin is the ideal drug that is used. Your doctor will decide which insulin product and dose is appropriate for you. (See the discussion about insulin in Action Step 2).

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, usually affects people later on in life, after the age of 25 or 30. However, Type 2 Diabetes has alarmingly been plaguing children at a much younger age than ever witnessed. Kids as young as 15 and 17 who are obese and leading sedentary lifestyles and commonly seen in grocery stores shopping while riding electric shopping scooters, are now diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. About 90% of people with diabetes have Type 2. People with Type 2 Diabetes produce insulin from their pancreas, but due to lifestyle factors such as obesity and inactivity the insulin is not able to perform and move the extra sugar from the blood into the muscle and liver cells, resulting in the buildup of sugar levels in the blood. This defect is referred to technically as insulin resistance. The diagnosis for Type 2 Diabetes is when people have a fasting (before eating in the morning) blood sugar level of 126 points (mg/dl) and over on 2 separate readings.

Type 2 Diabetes can be of hereditary origin. Non-Caucasians are more predisposed to getting it. But the vast majority of people get it due to inadequate lifestyles such obesity, overeating and sedentary lifestyles. A staggering 75% of people with diabetes are obese and inactive . This lends to the worsening of their conditions. I witness this trend every single day in my pharmacy practice. People drop off several prescriptions for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure, and they sit the entire time in the pharmacy waiting area. When I counsel them about their medications and suggest they might increase the amount of daily walking, their invariable answer is, “I don’t have time.” Sometimes, they drop off their prescriptions and go food shopping; they bring back a cart full of bacon, cookies and other packaged snacks such as popcorn, jugs of soft drinks, pretzels, butter, white bread, and let’s not forget the cigarettes!

People with Type 2 Diabetes may be treated with: medications, either taken by mouth and/or through insulin injections, and by making favorable lifestyle choices . Medications alone without an active lifestyle will never be an efficient way to control diabetes and/or other chronic lifestyle-related diseases. Your doctor has many medication options from which to choose. What is important is to get diabetes under control in order to avoid deadly complications ! Your health is your responsibility, and staying in close contact with your doctor and pharmacist is the only way to avoid diabetes complications and hugely important in keeping your diabetes under control.

The message that I bring you is that, “You are not doomed.” Certainly, you can control diabetes, but you have to be aware of some simple facts and act on them . Inaction will cause these deadly ailments to creep up on you and systematically destroy your internal organs and claim your life prematurely. You can become involved, seriously and consistently, in your health; take the lead and the primary responsibility for managing your health and disease! It is simpler than you think.

If you take charge of this responsibility, you reap the benefits of living your lifespan to the fullest, enjoying the best quality of life. It is very simple. You just have to take charge by starting to apply the reliable, simple, and practical recommendations in LIFESTYLE MAKEOVER FOR DIABETICS AND PRE-DIABETICS

For more detailed information on any of these topics log on to: and check out these information packed lifesaving book and e-book volumes: LIFESTYLE MAKEOVER FOR DIABETICS AND PRE-DIABETICS and 4 other e-books: Lifestyle Makeover: Sex, Stress, and Alcohol , Lifestyle Makeover for All Couch Potatoes , Lifestyle Makeover: Defeat High Cholesterol and Blood Pressure , and Lifestyle Makeover for all Tobacco Users . The author of this article is also the author of these volumes

Test your knowledge on these various issues and take a simple True and False quiz by logging on to:

Copyright © 2008 by George Tohme All rights reserved.

George Tohme

Cash Discounts? if You Want to Pay Less at the Doctor, Ask About Cash Discounts

There are serious problems with health care in America. The cost of medical insurance continues to increase 10%, 20% or even 30% each year. This is a much higher percentage increase than most American’s annual salary increase. For the past several years health insurance was one of the few items in the family budget that saw steep increases every year. Today, this is not true. Families are seeing increases in groceries, gasoline, mortgage payments, credit card interest rates and heating oil. Couple a stretched family budget with a poor economy and the future looks worse than the past. There are predictions that unemployment rates will rise. Another prediction is that more families will not be able to afford health insurance.

Studies indicate that people without insurance do not go to the doctor for checkups or for ailments that are not debilitating. Those with chronic diseases like diabetes that go without regular checkups usually end up in the emergency room. Often, people who go without regular medical care see treatable conditions progress into irreversible health problems like a heart attack or a stroke.

Perhaps a better description of our health care system would be a disease care system. There are government funded safety nets for those sick enough to go to the emergency room but in most cases there is not funding for wellness care or chronic disease management. This situation will only get worse as more Americans lose their jobs and their health insurance.

It is not just patients that are frustrated with our current system. Doctors are burdened by the excessive paperwork required by medical insurance companies. Most doctors today have one or more employees dedicated to processing insurance forms and following up with insurance carriers that do not pay in a timely manner. The set fees for Medicare and Medicaid patients are often far below actual costs for the service rendered. Politicians have been talking about reforming our health care system for decades and little has changed except the rising costs.

Doctors are also frustrated by laws that prevent them from charging patients without insurance less than Medicare and Medicaid set fees. Most doctors sincerely want to help their patients with little means by reducing fees so they will get regular medical care.

In the last few years, doctors in many cities across America have opted to discontinue accepting medical insurance and to change their practice to a cash only business. While some doctors do this on their own, in most cases a group of doctors work together and come up with a medical care plan. While these plans are not insurance, since they are a structured plan they are legal.

Doctor after doctor that has made this conversion to a cash only business has reported that they actually make more money. They are able to eliminate the staff personnel that handled insurance claims. They get paid as services are performed instead of waiting up to several months for payment. They no longer have to argue with the insurance company about needed treatment or tests. They are able to totally focus on treating their patients. Doctors report operating a cash only business is much less stressful and allows them to be more responsive to their patients needs.

Patients also like the Patients also like the cash only system. Since routine office visits are priced similar to an insurance co-pay more people without insurance are able to afford medical treatment. Some people choose to carry catastrophic medical insurance only and use the cash doctors for checkups and routine care. Since routine office visits are priced similar to an insurance co-pay more people without insurance are able to afford medical treatment. Some people choose to carry catastrophic medical insurance only and use the cash doctors for checkups and routine care.

If you are one of the growing numbers of Americans without medical insurance or if the cost of your insurance takes too big of a bite out of your budget, do some checking and see if your community has cash only doctors. If so, ask questions and find out exactly how they structure their fees. You may just find an affordable alternative to maintaining good health.

Loren Thomas

question about medical college outside of the united states and canada.?

If i was to go to a college to learn a medical practice outside of the united states and canada would i have the same chance of getting a job at a hospital in the u.s. or canada as i would if i had taken it in the u.s./canada? if so what colleges would be best to go to? im just starting college and i plan to transfer to a canadian school after a year of college on a different continent.

It is a long and trying process to get foreign medical credentials certified. But that does not seem to be what you are saying. You are doing a year of general university studies abroad or you are doing a year at a medical college abroad and you wish to transfer to Canada what you have done? If it is the former that can be done much more easily if it is a recognized institution. The latter would be very unusual but perhaps not impossible. If you were studying at, say, a British or Australian university then you’d have a much better chance than if you were studying in, say Nigeria or Turkmenistan. You might want to contact the Registrar or Admissions office of the Canadian university you think you want to attend and get information from them.

Good luck.

Dental Problems -What to do now?

Im in my early 50s, in the UK, and have had a dental problem for some time now and wonder whats the best way forward. It started over a year ago.
My first dentist spotted the need for a root canal job in an upper back tooth and didnt do it herself but referred me to another dentist who did the work. He took some X-rays and said there were areas of gum infection, but nothing more was done or advice given about it.
Last year, my regular dentist found a tooth in the same area which she said was in a bad way and gave me the option of filling or extracting it. Currently I still have all my teeth so I chose a filling, with the provisio that if it didnt work it would come out. Unfortunately I cant remember which tooth it was because I have so many dark amalgum fillings, which all blacken the teeth inside so its not easy to tell.
About 2 months after she did that filling, she suddenly left the dental practice without notice.
I started getting toothache and got treatrment from an emergency dentist, who also mentioned a rotten tooth in this area -again it wasnt specified exactly which one.
But the problems continued, including a gum abscess and swelling of the face and I was finding it hard to get a new NHS dentist in my town until a month ago (as many have gone Private). I got one a month ago, though by this time the abscess/swelling had gone again. I told him about the recent problems/history.

After my new dentists first examination (including use of X-rays), he said I had gum infection that has spread to the bones, was incurable, but could only be slowed down by cleaning under the gumline every 3 months (which only he could do -and did on that occasion), and correct cleaning above gumline, which I could do. He added the abscess problems will come back, and there was also a possible cracked filling on a tooth in the problem area, but then told me to make arrangements for a 15 minute appointment to repair a filled tooth on the opposite side of my mouth, which was done last week.

However, following that work, he said I was OK now for another 6 months -there was no reference to the 3-monthly clean, nor the possible cracked filling in the problem area, which surely was a higher priority. And over the last few days my face is starting to swell up and down again.
The abscess when visible appears as a yellowish blister, and today isnt visible (though 2 days ago it was). Ideally Id like him to see it for himself so he can judge whether its due to the gum disease or this rotten tooth -wherever it is- has something to do with it, as he seems to have (literally) left this side of it for now. Surprisingly theres no pain involved this time (there was a heat-sensitive tooth in this problem area last year but Sensodyne toothpaste cured that).

Yes its fairly obvious I need to see a dentist again and it seems likely the ‘bad’ tooth should come out. But the swelling/abscess seems to come & go quite fast -right now it seems to be going down again- and if he cant see anything himself when I go how can he treat it effectively? Why did he say Im OK for 6 months? He was looking at his computer -shouldnt he have noticed the gum disease history and the cleaning etc agenda he himself had identified/suggested the week before? And as its computers, is your entire dental history passed on when you transfer to a new dentist? (this would plainly be useful for everyone).

well here are a few points that might help you:

your dental history is not passed on from one practise to another.

checking your mouth, possibly including x-rays, will tell your dentist everything, the notes of some years ago are practically irrelevant for today’s treatment

the general answer to gum disease is:

"clean and keep clean"

a dentist might give you some advice on cleaning/brushing technique and many practises have hygienists who could clean your teeth thoroughly and train you to become a tooth cleaning champion at home.

this is far beyond a "scale and polish"

and also the key to oral health in general is :

"clean and keep clean" and you can and must do it yourself, the dental professionals can only help you to do it yourself

expect to pay for the hygienist privately

OK for 6 month does not necessarily mean your teeth are perfect, it might just mean: the dentist cannot think of any improvement ( within the limits of the NHS) right now

early 50s, UK resident, lots of old black fillings, swellings on and off, gum disease and so on rather let me assume you are seeing end of a period of relative dental peace that started with extensive repair in your teenage days

NHS treatment means a cap on your treatment cost (and unless you are exempt you will pay about 90 % of the cost involved yourself), so while you can expect to get out of pain and a bit more, don’t expect miracles on the health service

I think you should see you dentist and talk about your worries, and if you don’t get along with a particular dentist: go somewhere else

good luck

Should I tell my employer that I want to do medical coding or just wait until it “comes up”?

I just started working for a physician’s practice managment company a month ago as a medical biller/ AR follow up Specialist. I really want to do coding. I know the company is short on coders. How should I go about moving to the coding side of the business? Wait or take the noisey approach?

Definately show your interest.
If they don’t know you have an interest, then they may never bring you into their considerations.

how to start a medical practice in africa?

hey, im hoping to train to become a doctor in a years time, my grades are pretty much the highest they can be, im a straifght A student and i volunteer at various projects, working with kids, adults, disabled etc..
i think i really can do this and next year im volunteering at africa helping out in community service, building homes…
i really wnat to work in africa and open up my own medical buisness..
id really like to know the basics, like how much you would need, how would you make a profit (i dont want anything big, but i need to stay in buisness, and how would i go about doing it, obviously after i become a doctor :P)
thannks! :)

Oh great. First let me salute you for having a good heart. Its depends on the country in Africa. Like my country, you need to affliate with the medical association and from them you obtain a permit to start up your practice. Then you set up your own services. Offcourse you know that the expenses depends on the length of the services you want to set up. Sure you will make money too. Once you are good at what you are doing and people can count on you then the sky is your limit. Since it is still some year off, i will advice that you try to improve your your public and human relation. That is a key. Once people can feel understood by you then you have them. Those are general tips but if you want specific then feel free to write me at or add me on facebook, Thanks for your great heart.


I currently work as a receptionist at a medical practice – how can I become a manager?

What classes, college majors, languages, etc would benefit me to eventually move up?

Get your BS in Business Administration, major in whatever you like that will get you the "career" you like, bear in mind that the title of manager is just that it’s a manager, but what you need to specialize in is manager of what…and take some courses at the Small Business Administration as well. Don’t kid yourself, no one moves up within any business from receptionist to manager. You’d have to move to a different company to be a manager.