Vol. 4: Winter 2015

MSRJ – Volume 4 – Winter 2015


The entire issue can be downloaded as a pdf: here


Excerpts from the abstract and links to individual articles are displayed below.

Letter From the Editors. Jessica L. Wummel, Jack Mettler. The editors of MSRJ are excited to announce our Winter 2015 issue. As always, we were incredibly impressed by the caliber of submissions. This issue includes interesting articles written by medical students from UC Davis College of Medicine and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.Link here.
White Coat Sparty. Carter Anderson. Professional responsibility, compassion, honesty, respect for others, competence, and social responsibility are the characteristics that the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine strives to instill in every student. Link here.
In Situ Thrombosis of the Pulmonary Arteries: An Emerging New Perspective on Pulmonary Embolism. Virginia Corbett, Houria Hassouna, Reda Girgis. The annual incidence of pulmonary embolism(PE) in the United States is reported to be 0.69 per1,000 persons with mortality of up to 30% depending upon the size of the emboli.1 PE and deep venous thrombosis (DVT) are both considered manifestations ofthe same disease of venous thromboembolism. Virchowpostulated that dysfunction of vessel walls, alternationsin blood flow and hypercoagulability of theblood triggered inappropriate thrombus formation.2 DVT most commonly occurs as local clot formation in the deep calf veins. PE arises when clots break off from a peripheral DVT and become lodged within the pulmonary arterial vasculature. PE is routinely diagnosed when filling defects are found in the pulmonary arteries on computed tomography angiogram (CTA). Among the general population of patients presenting to emergency rooms, absence of DVT may occur in up to 57% of those diagnosed with PE.3 A high prevalence of isolated PE may suggest localized thrombus formation in the pulmonary arteries instead of embolization from peripheral clots.Link here.
Sticking to the Plan: Patient Preferences on Epidural Use During Labor. Lauren Ann Gamble, Ashley Hesson, Tiffany Burns Background: Women have been shown to value control in the labor experience, a desire that is often formalized into an explicit birth plan. Epidural preferences are a primary component of this plan. Despite this specification, women’s plans are not always carried out. This may be due to patient factors (e.g., dissatisfaction with labor), provider behaviors (e.g., frequent epidural offers), or situational variables (e.g., prolonged labor). Purpose: The current study investigates the relative impact of patient preference for epidural use as compared to provider suggestion and circumstances of labor. It hypothesizes that providing an epidural preference in a birth plan and receiving frequent epidural offers will predict epidural administration. Methods: Adult, postpartum women were surveyed about their labor experience at a high-volume obstetrics unit in a medium-sized community hospital. Responses to a structured survey instrument focused on prelabor preferences and labor characteristics. Descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression modeling were used to analyze participant responses. Results: Eighty-three postlaboring women completed surveys, of which 79 surveys were analyzed. Eighty-four percent (N_66) received an epidural during their labor process, while 73% (N_58) desired an epidural as a part of their birth plan. Women were offered an epidural at a mean frequency of 0.2790.48 times per hour (median_0.14). The significant predictors of epidural administration were desire for an epidural in the birth plan (pB0.01) and the frequency of epidural offers (pB0.01). Wanting an epidural was associated with receiving an epidural. Conversely, increased frequency of being offered an epidural negatively correlated with epidural administration. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that personal preference is the most influential factor in determining whether or not a laboring woman will receive an epidural. Increasing provider attempts to offer an epidural – as represented by increased frequency of queries- decreased the likelihood that an epidural would be received. Link here.
Care for Laotian Ethnic Minorities: A Cross-National Study of Medical Students in Laos and California. Katherine Crabtree. Background: In both the United States and Laos, Lao ethnic minority patients face cultural and linguistic challenges to adequate medical care. We may be able to learn from Lao experiences to improve care for patients in the United States. This study explored Laotian and American medical students’ experiences in care for these patients. Methods: Laotian and American medical students (n_19) participated in five interview groups discussing barriers to health care and strategies for addressing barriers for Laotian ethnic minority patients. Results: The students identified similar barriers to care. Laotian students identified unique strategies to address barriers to care. American students focused on general approaches to cross-cultural care. Discussion: The strategies that Laotian medical students learn in their training reflect their extensive exposure to Hmong and other Laotian ethnic minority patients, while American students learn broad strategies to care for many minority groups. Further work is needed to determine if their experience can be translated into the domestic context. Link here.


Cover Page: Download here
Credits and Acknowledgements: Download here
Table of Contents: Download here
Citations for the articles:

Wummel JL, Mettler JC. Letter From the Editors. Medical Student Research Journal. 2015;4(Winter):51.

Anderson C. White Coat Sparty. Medical Student Research Journal. 2015;4(Winter):52-3.

Corbett V, Hassouna H, Girgis R. In Situ Thrombosis of the Pulmonary Arteries: An Emerging Perspective on Pulmonary Embolism. Medical Student Research Journal. 2015;4(Winter):54-8.

Gamble LA, Hesson A, Burns T. Sticking to the Plan: Patient Preferences for Epidural Use During Labor. Medical Student Research Journal. 2015;4(Winter):59-65.

Crabtree K. Care for Laotian Ethnic Minorities: A Cross-National Study of Medical Students in Laos and California. Medical Student Research Journal. 2015;4(Winter): 66-70.



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Jessica Wummel

Executive Editor
Jessica Wummel is a third year medical student at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. She received her B.S. in Human Biology with a specialization in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society also from Michigan State University in 2011 from the Lyman Briggs College. She is interested in pursuing a career in Med/Peds and would eventually like to be involved in academic medicine later in her career.