On October 4, 2018, I had the opportunity to hear from three different researchers regarding the opioid crisis both locally and on a world-wide scale.
One researcher looked at the crisis from a sociological standpoint, developing a link between domestic violence and opioid abuse. She conducted studies on various groups of women and noted that counseling in domestic violence cases often results in the survivor coming out about substance abuse. She claimed that service providers are struggling to combat opioid abuse victims and there have been cases of victims overdosing in abuse-help shelters. Her next step in research is to conduct phone surveys with domestic abuse survivors to discuss opioid addiction and solidify the link between abuse and substance dependency in various socio-economic locations.
Another researcher was developing methods to reduce opioid abuse through the implementation of a virtual reality distraction. He played a clip from a Chinese parable which depicted an army general in need of a surgical procedure but lacked pain medication. To reduce the sensation of pain, the general played chess to distract himself (non-pharmaceutical pain reduction) which, as the parable shows, was an effective method. This researcher conducted a study on out-patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in which a 3-D immersive virtual environment was used to distract children in need of burn dressing changes. Conductors of the study asked the participants various questions about their perceived pain with and without the virtual reality distraction and concluded that patient satisfaction was around 96%. Along with this, 96% of participants stated they would use this method in future procedures and overall, observed and perceived pain was reduced with VR technology. The next step in his research is the testing of the “BuyBack” program in which companies buy opioids back from patients to help reduce addiction and he plans to generalize his findings through the repetition of this study in different children’s hospitals.
The last researcher took a psychological standpoint and discussed the creation of a ‘Best Practices Model’ to use in cases of opioid addiction and abuse. He stated that the opioid crisis is very complex, and the lack of education and sufficient interventions leads to many opioid users relapsing continuously until overdose. The model, pictured below, shows opioid users (or people with OUD) on the left with an event or injury leading up to their inevitable treatment. The three flow-charts depicted on the right show the modes of recovery from an opioid-related event: emergency services, treatment centers, and pathways to recovery. He emphasized that people using opioids will usually relapse without proper resources and a fluid, step-by-step recovery process. This researcher was given a grant to conduct a study in which 50 people with OUD will be questioned in a survey along with 50 workers from treatment centers and 50 workers from emergency services in order to depict where the process of recovery is flawed and why so many opioid users are not reaching full independence from the drug. With this data, he will be able to create an effective model for recovery in order to reduce the number of opioid users and opioid-related deaths. This was my favorite presentation, as I did not realize there was a lack of a ‘Best Practices Model’ for opioid addiction and with this, there could be a dramatic decline in relapse. I look forward to hearing more about this initiative and seeing how the model he creates will be implemented in the recovery process of users.
During my senior year in high school, I was given the opportunity to shadow Dr. Schumer, an ophthalmologist in central Ohio, who founded the ReVision LASIK and Cataract Surgery Center. When I arrived at his office that morning, I was given a pair of scrubs and was briefed on the surgeries that I was going to observe, making me feel as if I was the doctor in the situation. Throughout the course of the day, I was able to oversee four cataract surgeries and two laser eye or LASIK surgeries, all of which were performed by Dr. Schumer.
Prior to this event, I had no knowledge or interest in optometry but was excited to be around the professional setting of the operating room and learn more about the field. During my time with Dr. Schumer, I learned what a cataract is, how it is removed, what replaces the old lens, and how technology has shaped the modern world of optometry. Dr. Schumer explained to me that the eye surgery is conducted using a procedure called ‘phacoemulsification.’ This method uses ultrasound waves to break apart the lens so the cataract can be removed, while a personalized intra-ocular lens (IOL) is placed inside the eye to allow for clear vision. Patients are awake for the surgery and remain conscious throughout the entire duration of operation, so Dr. Schumer allowed me to ask patients various questions about their vision before and after the procedure. This portion of the experience was impactful to me because I could feel the appreciation and amazement in each patients voice.
Personally, watching this procedure was extremely fascinating and this experience overall helped further my knowledge and interest in the medical field.
Greetings and welcome to my ePortfolio! My name is Gabriel Jelkin, but I go by Gabe for short. I was born and raised in Westerville, Ohio (just north of Columbus) where I graduated from Westerville South High School with an International Baccalaureate diploma. I have always dreamt of attending THE Ohio State University due to my mother being an alumni and my sister a current student. I am a neuroscience major on a pre-med path with goals of attending The Ohio State University College of Medicine after getting my degree. One transformational experience in my life occurred when I was eleven and was gifted the opportunity to observe various careers in the medical field through my local school district.
Throughout middle and high school, science was my main interest due to my ability to comprehend and apply the material both in the classroom and in the real world. Having realized this passion for science, I had my mind set on entering the field of medicine since I was twelve. From that point forward, my primary interests lay in the medical field such as neurosurgery, anesthesiology, and cosmetic surgery; however, I am open to all career options in the field at this point in time until more doors are opened to me and I can investigate each path. In my time at Ohio State, I hope to learn valuable lessons through my coursework and extracurriculars, participate in as many opportunities to help me flourish as a person, and help others make the transitions I have already made into the ‘real’ world.
Autumn 2018 Semester in Review:
This semester was by far the most challenging academic position I have been in since the beginning of my education. Through my courses, I was required to access my learning style and make adjustments to fit my new environment which was difficult. However, through these adjustments, I also learned a lot about myself as a student and a part of society. Having been a straight-A student throughout middle and high school without the need to study much or do a lot of work outside of class, coming to college and having to work around the clock to meet these same standards was a cultural shock. Majority of my free time during the week was spent studying or doing assignments, which taught me valuable skills such as time management, long-term focus, and perseverance. These skills learned through disciplined study will be used throughout my time at Ohio State and into my career in the future, thus this semester was very impactful on my personality and life-vision. One of the best parts of my first semester at OSU was having the chance to meet new people and adjust to this new situation together, as we are all facing new obstacles. I am looking forward to what the future holds for me in the coming semesters and growing more as a person both academically and socially.