Vidoes on Health and Medicine
September 8, 2012 3:52 PM   Subscribe

The Medical School at the University of California, San Francisco “presents Mini Medical School for the Public, a series of programs providing an opportunity to learn about health and the health sciences directly from UCSF faculty members and other nationally-recognized experts.” Videos particularly geared toward integrative medicine and healthy living can be found here. (Most of the videos are between sixty and ninety minutes long.)

There are hundreds of hours of videos, which may feel overwhelming to some. Two videos, available through youtube, but apparently not through the UCTV site linked above, particularly impressed me, though I’m sure others I haven’t viewed are as good or better.

(1) Martin Rossman’s video, Worrying Well: How Your brain Can Turn Anxiety and Stress into Calmness and Confidence, uses mindfulness, guided imagery and other techniques to help prevent the self-defeating and destructive effects of worry, anxiety and stress. For those interested in trying a guided imagery exercise about an hour and five minutes into the talk, click here.

(2) Rachel Naomi Remen, a Clinical Professor of Family and Community Medicine at UCSF, has worked for 25 years as a therapist to people with cancer. In her video, The Art of Living Every Minute of Your Life, she discusses how people in crisis, particularly those suffering from cancer, create meaning through the stories they tell.

There are many, many videos on more traditional topics of medicine. For example, a control-f search for Alzheimer’s disease and related terms brings up the following:

Updates in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Approaches to caregiving.
Preventing dementia, fact and fiction.
Frontiers in the biology of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.
Healthy aging of the brain to mild cognitive impairment.

Other topics include ADHD, Diabetes, menopause, depression, cancer, heart disease and so on.
posted by ferdydurke (12 comments total) 83 users marked this as a favorite

All the medical-induced hypochondria and none of the fancy doctor salary! This is perfect for me! (Seriously, though, the "Worrying Well" one probably is actually perfect for me.)
posted by infinitywaltz at 5:25 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]

I found the UCTV mini med school lectures on knee injuries to be absolutely brilliant.

My knees still hurt but I now understand why and that the best thing I can do is lose some weight.
posted by srboisvert at 5:25 PM on September 8, 2012

That second video is exactly what I needed to see right now. Thanks.
posted by ambrosia at 5:51 PM on September 8, 2012

Pardon the derail, but it's nice to see a Gombrowicz reference, ferdydurke. Woot woot!
posted by mr. digits at 6:13 PM on September 8, 2012

Well, dang! I didn’t even know about UCTV much less their mini medical school.
So this is a great find for me. Made my day.
posted by quazichimp at 7:21 PM on September 8, 2012

This is exactly what I've been needing to find. Probably I should have used an AskMe on it, but no need to now.

I see my cardiologist on Tuesday, and I've been wanting (needing, really) to find video detailing what he did to me and why, and what I should be doing, just overall to get into the right frame of mind when I see him, to be back in the saddle on all of this information. I watched the Khan vids on the heart and it's good but it's short and it's pretty basic, gets me in the right city but not on the block.

But I've just watched this video entitled "Heart Health -- Health Matters and it's exactly what I need to see, and there's so much more behind this -- IE lots more videos -- I'll be able to talk shop with my doc. This is great stuff. There is even captured, in this vid, the procedure of putting a stent in, exactly how it's done -- very, very cool. (Check out this Dr. Peterson, the cardiologist who is giving all the information, look at how lit up he gets when discussing the topic and also the facility he has helped create. Hell of a guy.)

For a good overview, I'd say watch them both, Khan and then this one. Great stuff. (Khan actually goes more in depth on some pieces of what happens when you have a heart attack; watch them both, great stuff.)

And the Alzheimer's stuff -- I've got that in my family background also, very scary stuff. I drink the daily coffee and take the daily anti-inflammatory that seems to be about the only thing found thus far that *I* can do as perhaps a preventative, I'm always on the lookout for any new information.

I heard one doc interviewed who was pretty much raving about statins for Alz, and who knows, not I. (Here is a google search on statin's and Alzheimer's; clearly, mixed results from this study or that on.) But my cardiologist has wanted me on them anyways, for the longest time, and I (stupidly) have resisted, not wanting to take anything more than I'd need, but after a scare earlier this year I'm about ready to jump out of an airplane without a parachute if he tells me to do so.

Next up: Prevention of Heart Disease: Current Strategies for Treatment of High Blood Pressure and High Blood Cholesterol. My cholestoral levels are not at all out of the ballpark of normal, nor is my blood pressure. Except for this: I'm a guy with heart disease all over the maternal side of the family tree, and I've had heart attacks (and so has my mother and one brother, all of my mother sibs pretty much got nailed by it except one) so both my regular doc and my cardiologist want all this stuff perfect, or maybe better than that.

Anyways, this is great, a great post. Thanx!
posted by dancestoblue at 8:50 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is there one about self surgery? What do I do once the gall bladder is out? I need a good video, as I'm running out of blood.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:33 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

I never really understood "integrative medicine." I've read the wikipedia page but I find it odd that something like UCSF would give it the time of day. What's the saying? "Alternative medicine that is backed up by science is just called regular medicine"
posted by mulligan at 10:45 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I never really understood "integrative medicine." I've read the wikipedia page but I find it odd that something like UCSF would give it the time of day. What's the saying? "Alternative medicine that is backed up by science is just called regular medicine"

Well, integrative medicine types can be more tolerant of woo, which is unnerving, but the basic idea of integrative medicine is a pretty sound one: it focuses on the interventions in one's life that occur outside of the doctor's office, ideally before a problem manifests; basically preventive medicine.

Nutrition, exercise, stress relief: it's not too controversial that if people have good skills and habits in this regard, they won't be showing up in the primary care provider's office with associated diseases like metabolic syndrome, or at least not until later in their lives, and have a better quality of life in the meantime. A lot of this stuff can't be or isn't covered properly in the primery care provider's office due to time constraints, but ideally it should be, or referral to specialized providers should be broadly available; ultimately, if these kinds of interventions are successful they should lower the frequency and cost of PCP visits, reducing the cumulative cost of medicine over an extended, healthier lifetime.
posted by monocyte at 7:03 AM on September 9, 2012 [3 favorites]

I never really understood "integrative medicine." I've read the wikipedia page but I find it odd that something like UCSF would give it the time of day. What's the saying? "Alternative medicine that is backed up by science is just called regular medicine"

Except that in real practice, it isn't. If you don't believe me, talk to a "regular" doctor someday about herbs with a strong evidence base. Unfortunately, "alternative" medicine backed up by science -- and yes, it does exist -- is treated differently by the medical profession itself. It is rarely integrated into standard medical practice unless the physician is specifically interested in the topic.
posted by Wordwoman at 12:15 PM on September 9, 2012

There are excellent reasons why herbs are not used as much by doctors as synthetic pharmaceuticals.

One of the big issues in pharmacology is getting the right dose. If you give too much or too little of a drug the results can be anything from total ineffectiveness to serious harm.

In herbal medicine the concentration of active ingredients is almost impossible to get right. Plants, being subject to natural variability, will have differing levels of the active ingredient in them from one plant to the next. In fact the levels will differ in the same plant over different times or different parts of the plant, different harvesting techniques, different preservation and packaging techniques etc. Often what is referred to by a common name may be a whole family of related species or even completely unrelated plants, with varying potency.

That's basically an insurmountable problem, but may not be a huge issue if the drug has a wide therapeutic range, i.e. a wide range of concentrations over which it is effective and not toxic.

How do we know what a drug's therapeutic range is? By clinical trials with large numbers of people, under controlled conditions, with careful monitoring. There is no other way, and no, a long history of "traditional use" is not equivalent to clinical trials.

When we consider the kind of garbage that passed for medicine in the past (bloodletting being an obvious example) and recognise how many thousands of years it was used before scientific medicine finally took a look at it and decided it was useless, we can see at once that tradition is a very flimsy basis for doing something.

If your doctor has a choice between two treatments, one having well described pharmacology and extensive clinical testing with voluminous data on efficacy and safety, or an "alternative" treatment that may have some degree of plausibility like a herb, but for which there is no strong evidence and little information on safety, then it's not a mere matter of the doctor not prescribing the herb out of lack of interest in the topic, the problem is that the evidence for the pharmaceutical is of much higher quality and therefore a more reasonable thing to prescribe.

When your doctor is prescribing things despite a lack of evidence that they work because they are "specifically interested in the topic" then there is a clear problem with that doctor using an unscientific approach, he or she would at the very least be leaving themselves wide open for a law suit and will need to explain to a judge some day why their interests are more important than scientific evidence.
posted by Mokusatsu at 11:39 AM on September 11, 2012

This video is blowing. my. mind. Great FPP, thank you for sharing this.
posted by davejay at 11:05 PM on September 11, 2012

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