The IELTS and Its Flaws to Prepare Doctors


An article published in The Guardian by Ross Write describes some flaws in the International English Language Testing System when it comes to preparing overseas doctors for different dialects and colloquialisms, or a busy A&E. 

"The International English Language Testing System (Ielts) is used as a means of ensuring fitness to practice for all overseas doctors (...) but as I help prepare a group of overseas recruits as part of an NHS induction programme, I can’t help wondering to what extent the Ielts is actually fit for purpose. I listen while my trainees introduce themselves and I’m immediately struck by their grasp of the English language. Having scored the requisite Ielts score of 7.5, they all appear to possess the language skills necessary to function effectively in an English-speaking environment. However, as the course progresses, my doubts about the suitability of the Ielts as a means of benchmarking proficiency in any high-stress environment, least of all that of a UK hospital, are confirmed", states Wright.

Read Full Article HERE.

Source: The Gardian

The Prevalence of Alzheimer's Disease in Mexican-Americans


Researchers at the UNT Health Science Center received a $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study why Mexican-Americans develop cognitive loss earlier than other groups.

"The Latino population, in general, appears to be at an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease," says neuropsychologist and researcher Dr. Sid O'Bryant, PhD. "We have found Mexican-Americans appear to develop memory loss average of about a decade younger."

What Dr. O'Bryant wants to know is why.

"We just got funded through the National Institutes of Health, one of the of the largest studies of Mexican-American brain aging in the history of the United States," he says.

What's happening here could be groundbreaking. The hope is that this research could change the way we both diagnose and treat Alzheimer's.

The plan is to study the blood, brains and behavior of 1,000 Mexican-Americans from North Texas and 1,000 non-Hispanic whites over the course of the next two decades. They'll look at how biology plays a role in the disease, and whether a simple blood test Dr. O'Bryant has created could help in disease prediction.

Study participants only have to check in once every two years. Having had his own grandmother succumb to Alzheimer's Disease, O'Bryant is devoted to changing the way we diagnose and treat the disease.

Source: WFAA

The Latino LGBTQ Population


Latino/as* (a.k.a, "Latinxs" or "Latin@s") have a long and rich history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) activism. Early movement pioneers include José Julio Sarria, the first openly gay candidate for public office in the United States; Sylvia Rivera, a bisexual and transgender rights activist often credited with starting the Stonewall Riots; and Gloria Anzaldúa, a noted scholar of Chicano history and lesbian rights advocate. That activist spirit continues today in the work of people such as Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, the first openly transgender person to work in the White House.

According to the Pew Research Center, Latino/as made up 17.4 percent of the total U.S. population in 2014. Data analysis by the Williams Institute reveals there are approximately 1.4 million LGBT Latino/a adults currently living in the United States. Of the 146,000 Latino/a same-sex households in the U.S., 29.1 percent are raising children.

LGBTQ Latino/as tend to live in areas where there are already high concentrations of Latino/a people. One-third of same-sex Latino/a couples live in New Mexico, California and Texas. Other states with high LGBTQ Latino/a populations include Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, New Jersey, Kansas, Florida, New York and Washington, D.C. Notably, many of these states lack statewide non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Source: Human Rights Campaign

Latinos and Alzheimer's Disease


Alzheimer’s are expected to increase as the senior population continues to grow nationally. Latinos are 50 percent more likely to develop the disease than their white counterparts, researchers from the University of Southern California say. Between 2012 and 2060, the number of Latinos in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease is projected to increase 832 percent — from 379,000 to more than 3.5 million, this research indicates.

Despite this, experts say Latinos living with Alzheimer's are less likely to seek formal treatment for it, often because of financial barriers, including not having health insurance. (Nearly 20 percent of Latinos in Chicago do not.) Language and cultural barriers also create challenges in accessing care, experts note.

Researchers do not fully understand why older Latino and black adults are at increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Genetics, level of education, coincidence of chronic disease, like diabetes, and stress are all suspected factors, as is an inactive lifestyle and poor nutrition.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Hispanics and Diabetes Type 2


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50% of Hispanic adults in the United States are expected to develop the chronic disease type 2 diabetes — a rate that is higher than for the average adult, who has a 40% likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. The CDC also estimates that Hispanic people are 50% more likely to die from the disease than white people are.

While Hispanic people overall are estimated to be at a higher risk for diabetes, they’re not the only group: The prevalence of diabetes is also higher among Alaska Natives, Native Americans, and black people, according to the American Diabetes Association. Research suggests various factors, including those related to genetics, lifestyle, and metabolism, likely play a role in these individuals’ greater risk.

An article published in August 2014 in Diabetes Care described research that found the combination of a lack of awareness, health insurance disparities, and low household income may also play a role in the higher rates among Hispanic individuals in particular. And specific subgroups within the Hispanic community seem to be at various risks of developing type 2 diabetes, the article explains: For instance, while the prevalence of diabetes was highest in Mexicans, at 18.3%, it was lowest in South Americans, at 10.2%. 

Source: Everyday Health