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Hands

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Digitized, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Digitized

    Digitized Junior Member

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    As someone thinking about applying to med school - the biggest hurdle i have had to overcome is that i have hands that are very shaky. Well not very shaky, but enough to cause concern. Now by no means is this so bad that i can't write a nice looking paper or draw a decent map. But my hands do shake in every anatomy and chem lab i've done. My partner usually has to do most of the lab work while i guide him and do the equations and stuff. Even though this is a premed question - since most of you guys know a lot more about the clinical experience - I just wanted to know if anyone has had a similar problem. My doctor told me that he isn't sure what the problem is - and I can cut a peice of paper in a straight line - so he said i can probably get used to it - but I if this motor deficiency is going to make my career miserable - I would rather do a phD program. At least in the lab u have a little less pressure (a factor that may cause my skinny hands to shake although i'm generallly not that nervous of a person). To be more specific, my goal was to be an ophthalmologist since I was a little kid. My hands have been a little shaky since that point in time, but I think all this computer use over the last couple of years has caused me to notice this more. I understand that ophthalmologists use a lot of neat equipment and so they don't have to have "surgical precision" but again, I haven't job shadowed an ophthalmologist (yet) so I may be wrong. Does anyone have any advice on what I should do or know where I can find information pertaining to this unique situation - again, I haven't been diagnosed with any medical condition like arthritus or tendonitus, but I'm pretty sure a RSI in both hands as exacperated a condition I've had since middle school.

    Thanks
     
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  3. none

    none 1K Member

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    I don't really know. Your question is entirely a matter of degree and it is very hard to estimate the degree of your problem is difficult to understand online.
     
  4. BCgirl

    BCgirl Member

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    As none suggested, I don't think anyone here would be able to give you a concrete answer. Did you try asking your doctor if it would impact your career choices?
     
  5. dustinspeer

    dustinspeer Who's your daddy?

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    Welcome to my boat. Its a fun trip! I am curing mine by reducing stress, and is has been working so far. My shakiness is due to nervous energy, and when I run, it uses a lot of it up. It worked for me, who knows if it will for you.
    I work at an ophtalmologists clinic 2 days a week a couple of hours each day, and he is usually in surgery those days. The fact that the surgery has very little in the way of blood is true. You are working with an organ that has a diameter of about an inch and a half, so everything is small. Most of the surgery the doc I work for does is under microscope. Its precise, and I think one of the most interesting surgical specialties around. But I think you can find a way around the shakiness.
    That you have decided to go into it is awesome. If you want any more info on Ophtho, then just ask, it is up there on my list of choices too. I am sure you can overcome the shakiness, just try a bunch of stuff and see what works best. Good luck!
     
  6. Digitized

    Digitized Junior Member

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    Well, to be more specific, my shakiness is enough to disrupt lab work and cause my hands to shake "slighty" yet I can't stop the shakiness when I need to do something precise like inset a solution into a test tube, nonetheless, I can do it given a little extra time. I don't notice this shakiness when writing, typing, playing basketball, or playing video games - indicating that it may be some sort of nervousness/anxiety like dustinspear described. I don't know exercising more will help, I play a lot of basketball but I can't imagine doing or running before having to do surgery, and the rotations in the ER will certainly be something that causes "extra" anxiety. How does one prepare to do that, when they can't even help themselves in the less strenous college science labs? :confused:
     
  7. Digitized

    Digitized Junior Member

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    Hey dustinspear, I was wondering what you though about the research feild in relation to ophthalmology specific. What would be the best undergrad/phD program to lead to an alternate career in research as opposed to ophthlamology where most of your time is spend diagnosisng problems and performing surgery? I know the future lies within genetics. Biomedical Engieering/Nanotechnology will also play a major role. Perhaps however molecular/cell biology will give the best "base" if your goal is to do something to reall make a difference in the vision science world. Any suggestions (and one could always do one these programs while getting a MD)?

    thankz
     
  8. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    Digitized,
    there are many ways to reduce stress, though that may not be the only cause of the shakiness. I would say learn some simple meditation or breathing exercises. I'd be happy to tell you about several different forms. You may also want to look into other forms of treatment(I'm a hypnotherapist), and I believe it COULD be helpful. Where do you live? Maybe I could recommend someone in your area.
     
  9. Barton

    Barton Senior Member

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    Digitized,
    You should check out a show on Discovery Health Channel called "tomorrow's surgery". It details cutting-edge technology in medicine. A few weeks ago, they had an episode devoted to remote surgical techniques and devices. One of the highlighted devices was a robot used in laporoscopic surgery. This device used devices similar to normal laporoscopic tools, except they were hooked up to a computer/robot in the next room. One of the features of the tool is that it doesn't transmit tremors or slight movements of the surgeon's hands; it has a kind of "motion threshold" that eliminates these types of movements. Pretty cool. If you don't get this channel, you might be able to buy a copy of it from the discovery channel.
     
  10. X

    X

    Alright. I think everyones hands shake, its just a matter of to what degree. mine have a tendency to shake once in a while. Since you mentioned that they are not noticeable in some activities, I think its fair to assume that there is nothing wrong with you.
    One thing that you might consider is the level of caffeine that you are taking. I know what your saying, "but I don't even drink that much caffeine." You might be without realizing, pay extra extra attention to what you are drinking. Even though the caff. may not be making you jittery, it jsut causes your hands to shake during certain tasks. The rest is just nervousness when doing that task, just try to think that its not that hard.
    With a little attention paid to this, I think you should be fine.

    X
     
  11. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    X-
    I think you might have hit on something with the caffeine, but if I'm reading into the situation right, Digi's hands stop shaking when he/she is immersed in doing something(i.e. not thinking about it). Thinking about nervousness can increase it- it's like the whole don't think about pink elephants. Telling yourself to stop doing something in which you don't feel in control can actually add to the problem. Just my $.02
     
  12. dustinspeer

    dustinspeer Who's your daddy?

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    Digitized:
    I can't say that I know of any one specific MD/PhD program that is outstanding in ophtho. The doctor I work for (one of the most highly regarded in the area) went to school here at Arkansas, and did his residency at Vandy. He first went Internal Medicine, then changed his mind and did Ophthomology. (He did full residencies in both, imagine that) I believe Vandy has a respected program, but really its all about where you do your residency, and what you score on the USMLE. UT Memphis has a top MD/PhD program, Johns Hopkins, the inevitable Harvard, and so on. I think most top research schools would be about the same. Some may disagree with me on this point though.
    To use your research is very difficult in a field like ophthomology. You mentioned genetic engineering. I really think that will not go anywhere specifically with optho. The latest things in opthomology are Laser vision correction, currently LASIK. The machine to do this surgery costs 500,000 for a base model. Cataract surgery is a staple in optho, and many advances are being made there. The new Phacoemulsification machine, which uses sound waves to break up the cataract then suck it out, makes the surgery no-stitch and much easier. This machine costs around 100,000 I believe. The lens implants used in the surgery are also mega expensive, something like a few hudred for a pieve of plastic 1/4 the size of a dime. Where I am going with all this is that the best bet for research in ophtho is for private companies that make the equipment. They need the MD/PhD people to design it. It pays well too. Another thing could be at any teaching hospital. You could research a vast area thats not very well known such as glaucoma. Almost all of these would lead to private companies though, as eye surgery is usually seen as non-life-threatening.
    To do all this, you would probably need to be in private practice and do some self-led research. Innovate new ways to do things. I know it sounds hard, but its where its at in Ophthomology.
     
  13. csgirl

    csgirl Senior Member

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    My hands were shaking like mad during the MCAT!
     
  14. cleaner

    cleaner Member

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    Have you ever considered whether alternative remedies like chinese medicine might offer you a cure for your "shakiness". I've had acupuncture myself, and although I know there are a lot of skeptics out there, I really do believe it works. Of course, you'd have to go to some lengths to find a well qualified acupunturist in the US. I usually get "poked" when I go home every summer to Asia. :)
     
  15. Digitized

    Digitized Junior Member

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    I don't know - I see genetic engineering as the future - once a artificial retina's can be created, many many good things will come out of it. Also, technology will breed artificial retinas much sooner than the genetic engineering stuff. I believe there already working on some prototypes although the amount of vision that will be retained won't be much. Still the biomedical engineering and biophysics needed to design something like this is in a lot of demand. Lasik is a waste of time if you ask me. Its going to get really cheap - and we honostly don't have a clue as to the long term affects. There is something called the Bates Method, and if some of what Dr. Bates said is true (back in the 1930's, you can get a book on his work on amazon - to my knowledge he hasn't really been disproved by modern medicine) - than lasik is going to come back and haunt some people. I would "never' perform Lasik on a single patient regardless of the financial reward. In my opinion - it truly goes agaist the hypocratic oath.
     
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  17. Digitized

    Digitized Junior Member

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    Well I'm definently going to cut back on caffiene - but the damage may already have been done. I've enjoyed coke and pepsi since I was a kid. Not a smart thing I know, espicially for a parent to allow, but caffiene as kept me up during those all nighters, and may attribute to getting me a A or a B instead of a C in certain classes. I mean I'm addicted, but I'm not sure if its really causing this particular problem. Since my hands only shake when I'm under the stress of having to perform precise motor functions, it may or may not be the caffiene. It may simply be the natural skininess of my hands, my increased reliance and dependance on typing along with any Reptitive stress injuries i've accumulated over the years, nervousness, - or perhaps a combination of all of the above. So this leads to the question, does anyone truly have an idea of how to counteract all these elements? A change in diet, increase in vitamins and supplements, decrease in hand work and improvement of computer work area, alternative treatments like cyrotherapy, massage/reflexology, breathing exercises, acupuncture, energy (the chinese medicine variant also used in complex martial arts), and perhaps even a drug. Anyone know anything on paxil or as someone suggested to me, celexa, in relation to shakiness? Any other suggestions?

    Thanks
     
  18. Digitized

    Digitized Junior Member

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    By the way - nitemagi, I would really appreciate it if you could tell me some of the meditation methods that you know. The more I know the better

    Thanks :)
     
  19. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member
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    Do you want it posted publicly or by personal e-mail
     
  20. Digitized

    Digitized Junior Member

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    Whatever is convenient for you, thankx
     

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