News and Updates

books

Ella Morone
SMDS minor Ella Morone ('20) gives us her list of top 10 books for an SMDS minor to read
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Students presented independent research in the history and philosophy of medicine during finals week.
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Amy Finnegan headshot

Students in Dr. Finnegan's courses learn the power of sociological perspective on medicine, social determinants of health, and health equity.
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Orchard-Toxic Flooding in Houston

St. Thomas undergraduate Victoria Orchard produced a visual analysis of toxic flooding vulnerability in Houston, mapping potential impacts of hazardous and toxic chemicals in the face of natural disaster.
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Peter Distelzweig Head shot

Students in Dr. Distelzweig's “History and Philosophy of Medicine” pursue a critical and creative perspective on medicine as a human enterprise through philosophical exploration of its history, foundations, and purpose(s).
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Paul Lorah - Action shot

In Dr. Lorah's Geography of Global Health course students explore the underlying environmental, cultural and demographic processes that shape the distribution and spread of disease.The course is project based, and students work with community partners such as the Trust for Public Land, Catholic Charities and Ramsey County’s Department of Public Health.
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Headshot of Emily James (English)

In Dr. James' English 202: Medical Narratives, students read a range of literary texts—novels, short stories, poems, and essays, and write about a wide array of topics: the history of the pacemaker, medical surveillance, the ethical dimensions of cloning, and today’s vaccine controversy.
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Heidi Giebel Headshot

"The field of biomedical ethics," says Dr. Giebel, "is kind of like a cross between an exciting journey to places unknown and a frantic footrace."
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Dr. Laura Dean '88

Amy Carlson Gustafson / Newsroom

In her Stillwater, Minnesota, office, Laura Dean, M.D., recalled one of the most pivotal moments of her life. On Jan. 10, 1984, her 18th birthday, the kitchen phone rang at her family home in Roseville. On the line was Dr. Tom Tommet, University of St. Thomas Physics Department chair, informing the teen she was one of two recipients of the school’s first full-tuition science scholarship. “It was a life-changing event for me,” said Dean. “Not only was I now going to college, which was not necessarily a given in my family, but I was going to St. Thomas.”

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JAMA. 2018;319(10):1024-1039. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.1150

Papanicolas I, Woskie LR, Jha AK. / JAMA. 2018;319(10):1024–1039

In 2016, the United States spent nearly twice as much as 10 high-income countries on medical care and performed less well on many population health outcomes. Contrary to some explanations for high spending, social spending and health care utilization in the United States did not differ substantially from other high-income nations. Prices of labor and goods, including pharmaceuticals and devices, and administrative costs appeared to be the main drivers of the differences in spending.

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The course invites students to engage these issues and questions by immersing themselves (virtually) in the world and work of actual hospital ethics committees.

Dr. Paul Wojda teaches "Theology & the Biomedical Revolution" in which students explore the origins and development of the “bioethics movement” from its beginnings in the immediate post-World War II era to the present. The course invites students to engage important issues and questions by immersing themselves (virtually) in the world and work of actual hospital ethics committees.
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Heart beat

Jordan Osterman '11/Newsroom

Three St. Thomas engineering students and their professor have been working for several months to create something revolutionary: an implantable device that would capture energy from the beating of a heart and turn it into electrical power to run a device such as a pacemaker.

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Guided by a commitment to Praxis, the Personal, and Partnership, 14 students from the US joined 13 students from Uganda, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe to take on history, politics, economics, social structure, and culture to forge understandings of what both creates and disrupts health, develop a set of social justice skills, and built community.
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Student doing research

Brittany Stojsavljevic/St. Thomas Newsroom

For students who are looking to do research at St. Thomas, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program office is a great starting point. With a slew of grants, students craft their own projects over a semester or summer.

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Jordan Osterman '11/Newsroom

For engineering senior John Fetzner, undergraduate research also has strong personal meaning. Last year, Fetzner approached engineering assistant professor Cheol-Hong Min because he was struck by Min’s research topic: Developing an audio and motion sensor system for children with autism that can objectively measure what emotions they’re expressing

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