Perspectives: Oregon Takes Important Dive Into Psilocybin Therapy; ‘The Match’ Looks Different This Year
Opinion writers tackle these topics, dementia care and Florence Nightingale.
The New York Times:
Can Magic Mushrooms Heal Us?
Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon announced the members of the state’s newly formed Psilocybin Advisory Board this week. Why does Oregon need an official board to offer advice about the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, you ask? Because Oregon is about to become the first state in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework is different from what we’ve seen before: not legalization, not medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences. Whoa. “Like many, I was initially skeptical when I first heard of Measure 109,” Brown said in a statement. “But if we can help people suffering from PTSD, depression, trauma and addiction — including veterans, cancer patients, and others — supervised psilocybin therapy is a treatment worthy of further consideration.” (Ezra Klein, 3/18)
The Baltimore Sun:
Medical Student ‘Match Day’ Takes On Deeper Meaning Amid Pandemic
There are few more memorable days in the life of a medical student than the third Friday in March, known as “Match Day.” It is the day when, precisely at noon, medical students open envelopes to reveal where they “matched” for their upcoming residency training at hospitals all around the U.S. In the 69-year history of the “Match,” this year feels different. Each year the process works as follows: Having chosen their specialty — pediatrician, surgeon, psychiatrist, internist for example — 4th year medical students visit potential residency programs. After these visits, both parties submit their rankings of each other, which is then entered into a computer program whose function is to match both sides with their top choice as mathematically optimal as possible. (Alan M. Langlieb, 3/18)
The Long, Exhausting Reach Of Dementia Care
The Covid-19 pandemic is reinforcing a grim lesson we should have taken to heart but haven’t: Some diseases harm not only patients but also people close to them, reverberating throughout society. In the U.S., the tallies of patients and deaths is nearing 30 million and 540,000, respectively, as I write this. Millions more have suffered isolation, depression, anxiety, and declining health. More than 20 million have seen cuts to their pay or even unemployment. This toll reminds me of Alzheimer’s disease. (Jason Karlawish, 3/18)
What Florence Nightingale Can Teach Us About Architecture And Health
In the late 19th century, Florence Nightingale revolutionized hospital design in what became known as Nightingale wards. The signature innovation of these wards was large windows that allowed cross-ventilation and abundant natural light. Nightingale believed that the light and air quality in a hospital's environment play an important role in speeding patient recovery. In the decades since, numerous studies have shown that Nightingale was right: daylight is a critical determinant of human health and wellness. Patients in rooms with daylight and views of the outdoors have quicker recovery times and need fewer painkillers. Natural light has been shown to decrease heart rate, lower blood pressure, and even treat depression faster than antidepressants. Importantly, just as Nightingale theorized, daylight can also decrease harmful bacteria and viruses. (Steven Lockley, 3/18)